A plain, white ribbed tank is a year-round wardrobe staple of mine. In the warmer months, a ribbed tank can be easily paired with some Levi 501s or slacks, and when it’s a bit colder, it’s the perfect, unfussy garment for layering underneath big, chunky sweaters. My obsession with the ribbed tank, I realize, is far from unique: it’s been a symbol of model-off-duty street style since the ’90s (thanks, in large part to Kate Moss, Calvin Klein, and Angelina Jolie).
The trouble is, not all ribbed tanks are created equal. Some — like the cheap ones from Brandy Melville — are far too tight and cropped. Others, like the famously flattering one from RE/DONE that Bella Hadid is always wearing, is $80. And the generic, buy-in-bulk tanks — the ones you can find at Target — are often too loose at the bottom. The perfect ribbed tank, in my humble opinion, must be formfitting yet stretchy, not too see-through, with relatively slim straps (the ones with super-wide straps are just not flattering on my chest.)
I’d never found this perfect white tank. And so the other day, when I realized I’d left the ones I do own (a few from Brandy Melville, an old, slightly saggy one from J.Crew), I decided to buy a couple different tanks on Amazon, see which one I liked the best, and return the rest. My ordering system was … imprecise. I searched “ribbed white tank” and clicked add to cart on all the ones that looked most like what I wanted. One, the from a brand called “Sugar Lips,” was absurdly cropped in person, though it hadn’t appeared so on the model — it only went down to my belly button. Plus, it felt flimsy and cheap, like something you’d find on Fashion Nova. Another tank was very loose and made me look slightly stocky. The winner was a surprise: a random four-pack with mildly positive reviews (read one: “these tanks are solid!”) I slipped it on and went over to the mirror where I found I was wearing the tank of my dreams. It checked, I could tell immediately, all of my highly specific boxes. It was neither too cropped nor too long — perfect for tucking into pants, or leaving loose with a lower pair. It was snug with a bit of stretch for comfort, and had thinner-than-usual racerback straps. And unlike other Amazon clothing purchases — like my Wrangler pants, for instance, which look absolutely incredible but feel synthetic — this tank actually felt high-quality, soft, and substantial.
On one of the warmer days this week, I wore this tank top underneath an open white button down, and get this: someone actually asked if the tank was RE/DONE. I went home and bought another four-pack.
Other (more expensive) tanks I love
The ribbed tank that Bella Hadid loves, which I’ve long coveted.
Another perfect tank: this one, from Leset. It doesn’t have racerback straps, which means it’s slightly easier to wear with regular bras.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.