Tees and Tanks

Last week Stephanie asked me where I buy my tank tops. I actually have some pretty strong opinions on this matter, not that anyone will be surprised that I have a strong opinion about anything, even something as inconsequential as tank tops.

I wear tank tops A LOT, and my hands-down favorite is the Banana Republic Timeless Tank.

I have it in 5 or 6 colors, and I have at least 3 black ones! The straps are wide enough to cover bra straps but not so wide that they are unflattering. It’s not too low-cut, although I wouldn’t mind having another inch of coverage. And they are long enough, but not too long like some others that I have.

The material is fairly substantial, and they wash and wear incredibly well. I’ve had some of mine for years and they still look great. I will say that the white is too thin to wear alone, but it’s great for layering. The other colors, I wear alone or with a cardi or sweatshirt over top.

I have other tank tops, but these are the ones I go to most often. I only wish they had them in more colors.

Now T-shirts are another matter entirely. I miss the days of the fitted T-shirt. Remember that trend? About 10 years ago, almost every woman’s T-shirt had a nice fitted shape to it — not skin tight like so many today — just a nice structure that was flattering and easy to wear with everything from skirts to pants to shorts. I also loved the double layer trend that was so short lived. That was SO nice — especially in white.

Nowadays it seems like the designers are going back to the straight fit. Like, take for instance, this Scattered Crystals Tee at the LOFT. I used to love the LOFT, but they are making all their T-shirts like this now and I’m not amused.

I mean, if it makes the model look dumpy, you know the rest of us don’t stand a chance. I love an embellished T-shirt, but I need one that has some shape to it.

I have this Trapunto Weekend Tee but I don’t love it. It’s too baggy. I’m happy to let go of the skintight T-shirt trend, but let’s find a happy medium, shall we?

When we were discussing this sad state of affairs this morning, Melissa pointed me to this Ruched V-Neck Tee at Old Navy.

I haven’t tried it, but she says it has just enough shape at the waist to be flattering while staying loose in the tummy area. I’m not sure if the ruching would be flattering on the more, um, well-endowed among us, but I’d like to try it.

Do you have a go-to tee-shirt that you can recommend?

And one more thing, while I’m complaining about current trends. I know everyone likes the longer T-shirts, but I think they’ve taken this trend a bit too far. Sometimes they are too long to be flattering. I usually get around this issue by throwing them into the dryer.

Okay. That is all.

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39 thoughts on “Tees and Tanks

  1. Land’s End Fitted tees (used to be called Fit 1) tend to work best for me. They’re plain but a great basic. They work well for me because I have a large chest which requires me to size up and that extra material skims nicely over the rest of me. And they have the extra length that works well for my long torso.

  2. Hmmm, I’m going to have to go check out those tanks! It’s HOT here in Fl, and tanks are a summer staple, but I always have a hard time finding good ones. They are usually WAY too tight to be modest. I am headnig there after I hit “post comment” .. 🙂

    As for t-shirts, I’m glad I can sew. I take in ALL my t-shirts to fit nicely at the waist. I can’t stand a boxy shirt and refuse to wear them. period. 😉

  3. I am always on the hunt for tanks. I would definitely like them to have more coverage on top. I usually wear two and a sports bra, so I get a layered look and more coverage, but that can get hot. Bra straps showing makes me crazy but it seems unavoidable these days.

    I am with you on the loose tee shirts. I don’t need any help looking like a box. I sometimes just buy a bigger size from the juniors section of the store, since they still trend to a fitted style. I wear men’s Hanes white tee shirts in a small. Somehow they have just enough fit to work without looking dumpy. I just liven it up with accessories.

  4. I layer a white cami under almost everything… feel better about layers – LOL. Also, I have a few of those ON tees from last year and they look the exact same – anyway, they are awesome. They were only available online but I’m not sure about this year. They do have good shape.

    1. Doesn’t that get hot? And also, I find that the tank “sticks” to the shirt on top, making it hard to keep it looking neat. KWIM?

  5. I have the same trouble with tees-that’s why I have so few in my closet. I have a tummy and I don’t want to show it off at all-so skintight is out but so are really loose tops because then I look like I have no shape at all.

    1. I feel your pain, but how do you get away with not wearing many t-shirts? LOL. I feel like I wear a tee or a tank almost every day.

  6. Target has a small selection of double-front tanks and semi-fitted tees too. I have three Merona Ultimate Tees that are somewhat fitted. AND the white is not too thin, so I wear it alone although right now, I’m wearing a boyfriend cardi over it.

  7. I am in the well endowed club and I’ve worn t-shirts like that. I think because it is such a small amount of ruching that it doesn’t look bad or add any bulk.

  8. I am on the never-ending quest for the perfect t-shirt, too. I have to say that I’ve been very happy with the Merona t-shirts from Target that someone else mentioned above. Everything fits so differently throughout the year because I’m either nursing, prengnant, or losing weight from the former scenarios. 🙂 I’m finding more and more things that I like from Land’s End and Talbots–both of which I previously ignored because my Mom shops there. BUT, it seems that both places are trying to get the move out of that stereotype. I’ve gotten some great sweaters and tops from the Lands End Canvas line.

    For those who love or need to layer with camis but tend to get hot, I found a super little gem last year. It’s a racer back, thin but opaque, bra-lette made by “Boob-eez” I know it’s a silly name. Our Net Nanny program wouldn’t let me go onto the website! Anywho… It looks great under those tops that are just a little too low-cut. They also have a tube-top thing that may work better for those more well-endowed. Here’s the link… for $12, it’s worth a try!! It looks low-cut in the picture but I don’t think it’s too revealing…I’m very picky about having just the right coverage.


    Have a great weekend!

  9. Yup, that Old Navy tee is a winner. I found them in stores last year. Nice fit and a tiny bit of stretch (which I like).

    Another fave are JCrew Perfect Fit Tees. Unlike their tissue or painter’s tees, these keep their shape, are long but not too long, and are actually fitted.

    Target makes a double layer tee (by merona, has a shirred neck, very subtle) for a steal at 10 bucks. It has a v neck that is appropriate and no cami is needed.

  10. I’ve always found a little ruching, like the old navy tee looks very good on those of us that are a little more endowed in that department.

  11. Lands’ End Modern Fit tees are great I love the double layering. I don’t care if it’s out, I am wearing a cami under my tees. ‘sa there. hhaha

  12. I get most of my tees and tanks from Urban. Why? Well I like my hub’s corporate discount, but also because they run small and I just go up a size and the tee is more fitted.

  13. I love Target’s T-shirts. Nice shape, not too tight, but flattering, not too low-cut, wash and dry well, lots of colors.

    1. Hunh. I’ll have to check them out. I don’t think I’ve ever bought one of their tees before.

  14. I have oh, six, maternity long-sleeved shirts that have ruching just like that last tee and think they are pretty flattering even on a large chest. I am not usually a fan of Old Navy tops … the neckline on that one looks REALLY low to me … but I may check it out.

    1. Yeah, it looks low to me too, but I need to see in person. Also, a cami under might work, but that feels fussy to me. I don’t like layering Ts.

    2. I was reading the reviews on it and a few people said it was really low too. I wish it was on a model in that picture. Amazing how much even a size -2 model can tell you about a tee.

  15. I’m an Eileen Fisher kind of girl, and I really love her scoop neck tee: http://www.eileenfisher.com/EileenFisher/Shop_By_Item/Features/Eco_Collection/Tops_Tees_And_Camis/PRD_S1ORB-T1489M/Scoop+Neck+Tee+in+Organic+Cotton+Baby+Rib.jsp?bmLocale=en_US
    The best part? It’s organic cotton. I truly appreciate her approach to clothing and eco-consciousness. I know $48 is steep for a t-shirt, but I know that I am paying the true cost for owning this article of clothing. Plus, they wash and wear extremely well.

  16. Thanks for answering my question, Jo-Lynne! I’m definitely going to check out that Banana Republic tank next time I’m at the mall (they should pay you a commission!). 🙂

    I agree w/ you about t-shirts. Too tight is TERRIBLY unflattering. Too loose is frumpy. Straight tends to be ugly. I’d like a nice fitted tee – preferably with a v-neck. Let us know if/when you find the “perfect” one.

  17. I own six of those Old Navy v-neck tees. They are FANTASTIC. For reference I am 5’7″, around 140 lbs., and have had TWO c-sections and the medium fits me… well, to a “t”! (Punny, huh.) The material is super-soft and they have held up wash after wash.

    I am also a fan of the Merona perfect tee from Target, as a few others have mentioned. I have them in crewneck and v-neck, in every color of the rainbow, short-sleeved and long-sleeved, and some of them are many years old.

  18. It’s funny you mention the long tee trend. I used to get super annoyed at this. But, then I got pregnant last year. Turns out you can save a ton of money by buying these long tees a size up for your prego self. I got a ton at Old Navy for $5. I’m a big fan of layering because pretty much every t-shirt I find is too low cut for my taste. They are also great for the transition clothing period post baby (which I am in now:). Costco used to have these amazing tanks for layering called Lady Hathaway. They stopped carrying them (wah) and replaced them with a Kirkland brand, which sucks. I can’t stand the built-in bra thing. Does that seriously work for anyone? I want to know!

  19. I got my old navy shirts (shown above) today. They are as thin as the reviews state, not quite as low cut, but will require a cami (mostly due to the thinness vs the low cut – to be honest) and they run a bit smaller around the middle than I would have anticipated, however they are a nice length.

    In other words, they are like the good-news-bad-news shirts. 😉 I’m glad I got them but I know I won’t order more.

    1. Ooh, I always wear a tank/cami under practically anything so I didn’t even think to mention it – my apologies! I wore my blue one yesterday with a kelly green tank underneath. They are thin but super-soft. Great for layering!

      1. I normally do too – I’d like a few shirts that I wouldn’t have to layer in the heat of summer, but I don’t know that I’ll find what I’m looking for any time soon. Thank you!

  20. I just had to come back and say I was WRONG about not LOVING my Old Navy tees that I ordered for summer. They ARE thin but in 100 degree heat, who cares. And they are a little low but again, on a super hot day, meh they’re not THAT low. I do love to be able to wear them with a tank underneath and I find they are a little dressier than my Lands’s End modern fit tees and I LOVE THEM.

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