White tank tops are uniquely versatile but also uniquely problematic: My pajama drawer is crowded with them—stretched out, worn too thin, or lost their luster, turning to a shade of dishwater shade. As an expert in the genre, though, I also have some personal favorites that have outlasted all the others in my main drawer, along with others that rank as my go-to choices when styling for photoshoots.
At first glance, a white tank seems so simple—but there are so, so many variations. Below, a breakdown of my absolute favorite white tank tops you can slip on your body and wear while skipping off into the sunset.
1. The Soft and Stretchy One with the Flattering High Neckline
This tank, with a super-flattering cut, is my favorite, no holds barred. It’s alsos as soft as artisanal butter, earning what you might call a “cult following.”
2. The One That’s Barely-There
This is the kind of tank you throw on with a pair of jeans to feel effortlessly cool. It’s thin but 100% organic cotton, which keeps it from feeling flimsy. I recommend sizing up!
3. The High-Neck One for Full Coverage
Meet this very classic tank top, thick enough to wear with a nude bra. With extremely fine ribbing, this tidy tank has good coverage.
4. The One You Can Wear with a Bra
Not quite white, Skim’s ribbed tank has a bit of an elevated feel to it, so you can wear it under a blazer and dress pants and stay work-appropriate. Even sans blazer, the straps are full enough to hide a bra.
5. The Longstanding Classic from High School Days of Yore
Here’s the exact tank top I had—and still have—from high school. It’s as basic as it gets—in a good way: it’s not ribbed, it has a full coverage back, and it keeps well after many, many, many washes.
6. The One with the Sporty Racerback
The Rio puts a sporty spin on Splendid’s Classic, complete with a flattering racerback. The model on their website ties hers up in the front, so naturally, I want to do the same. I would wear this with a colorful bra (think: olive or eggplant) and maybe a couple of necklaces.
7. The Men’s Ribbed One
Made from responsibly sourced organic cotton and therefore entirely recyclable, the Proper Tank Top is a good staple for anyone—easily paired with dressy trousers or comfy everyday jeans. Unlike many menswear tanks, I’ve found this one keeps its shape after multiple wears.
8. The Budget One that Comes in Bulk
Ten tank tops for $15.98! I keep these in my drawer for everyday wear, sleepwear, and as occasional workout wear in a pinch. These don’t keep as well as some of the others, but it’s a lot of bang for your buck. If you follow the whites-with-whites rule when doing laundry, they’ll stay bright white.
9. The Luxurious Silk and Cashmere One
Eighty-five percent silk and 15 percent cashmere, Naadam’s Summer Silk Tank is a luxurious option, especially for warmer months. It’s slim-fitting, with a fine-ribbed texture. Check out its sibling, the higher-priced, 100 percent cashmere Ribbed Tank Top, too if you can catch it in stock.
10. The Sculpting Stretchy One You Can Dress Up
This is the thickest of the bunch, with a stretchy sculpting material that keeps you feeling secure. It doesn’t ride up (unlike many tanks made with this material), and it’s long enough to keep tucked into pants. Do not make the mistake of putting it in the dryer: hand wash this puppy.
11. The Muscle Tank with a Breezier Fit
For a boxier, more casual fit, this crewneck muscle tank is loose and comes in sizes XXS-3X. It’s like the T-shirt of tank tops. Your go-to lunch order, if you will.
12. The Fancy Straight-Neck One (with Texture!)
Not here to be boring, this tank top has a straight-across neckline with a menu of appetite- whetting features like spaghetti straps and a waffle texture. She’s a fancy dish and knows it.
13. The One You Can Wear Out (with the Thick Supportive Straps!)
As evident from the lack of “tank” in its name, this tank top is almost not a tank. Stretchy and tight, this top’s wide straps allows you to wear a bra with thin straps and has the most flattering early-aughts tube top-esque neckline. This one from Eloquii is similar if Reformation’s top is up your alley.
14. The One with a Built-in Bra for Active Folk
I love this workout tank because it doesn’t look like a workout tank at all. With no logos and none of that shiny spandex in sight, this ribbed option with a built-in shelf bra is great if you want some extra support but don’t want to compromise on quality.
15. A Sweat-Wicking Tank for Working Out… (or not)
While this one does not have a built-in bra, it is thick enough to wear with one underneath. Its scoop back (rather than racerback) makes it look like any ordinary tank, but it sure isn’t: It’s form-fitted, stretchy, ribbed, and opaque, wicking away sweat during any number of activities or workouts.
16. The Bodysuit for a Clean Tuck
I rarely wear bodysuits, but a commenter recently asked me for my favorite white bodysuit so I went on a hunt. Good American makes bodysuits that are thick, comfortable, and soft. If you prefer one without a thong, try this one or this one.
Did I miss any you love? Tell me in the comments below!
Feature Image via Edith Young.