I’ve been on this quest to find the best basic tank for years.
My criteria: long and lean to hip below the hip (enough to wear and fit over skirts), does not stretch out or lose shape throughout the day, and not too high cut that it feels almost like a crewneck, but not too low cut that it becomes inappropriate for professional environments, and reasonably priced enough that I can buy a ton in every color or multiples of the same color (they are such wardrobe staples!).
Let’s start with Hanes and work our way up the price range. Dirt cheap prices (usually $12 for pack of 5), meant for men, super cute on women. The length is great and somehow always accentuates the “girls” quite well. Could be the wide ribbing. That, though, is also its downfall. These tanks are great basics but boy do they stretch out easily and can look quite sloppy/baggy. Would I buy them as great basics at $12 for 5? Hell yes. Get them here.
Old Navy’s “long perfect tanks“ are not really long and not really perfect. Very wide ribbing, which means not much bounce to cling onto your body, which in turn means easily stretched out. The length hit me right at the hip if I really pull it down (which I did for the picture), but throughout the day it will probably land somewhere right above your hip. Usually $8.50 at full retail, but often on sale. I personally probably would not purchase even on sale. Get them here for $8.50.
Gap tank tops are definitely higher in quality; they are 100% cotton and are a decent length (Size Small hits me right below the hip), but boy do they stretch out easily. By this I mean, even when you just take it off for whatever reason, the mere process of pulling it over your head makes the tank feel like it’s gotten bigger than when it was on your body. By mid-afternoon it feels all baggy and shapeless. If you’re still not convinced, get your “Favorite Ribbed Tank” here for $7.99-$10.00 (on sale from $14.50).
What about good ol’ J.Crew you ask? They promise the long and lean, and considering there is zero spandex in them, they surprisingly hold shape very well, at least for a few hours. After wearing the whole day, however, the poor thing stretches out until there is zero stretch left and it becomes a big sloppy blob of fabric. At the end of the day, the tank did not look anything like when I first put it on in the picture below. In addition, their tanks have really been inconsistent over the years. The one I purchased years ago is so high cut it’s up to my neck practically, and so short it barely touches my hip. Every year they’ve gotten slightly longer, but still hit only at my hips unless I size up. Plus they are $18 at full price. I could wait for sales but by the time they roll around, all the good colors are gone, at least in my size. The one I have on in the picture is even shorter than the Old Navy one; I had to really pull it down to even hit barely at the hip. I am still hopeful though for these tanks; maybe the combination of sizing up and new longer/leaner lengths this new season will make this the perfect tank. However….still too expensive to really stock up. Get them here for $18.00.
Banana Republic tank tops have been the best I’ve found up to now. Great long, lean shape, 6%-7% spandex so they simply do not stretch out, and they hit right below my hips. They generally only carry the basic, neutral colors however, and they are all priced at $20+. The one I have on in the picture is from last year, but it’s basically the lace-trimmed version of their basic tanks. I have seen these basic tanks with spandex in stores, but not online. However, they do have the “Timeless Tank” online which I’ve tried on and feels exactly the same – long, lean, and does not easily stretch out. Currently at eighty-three 4.5 star ratings, I’d say this tank is a huge hit. Get it here for $20 each or $15 with purchases of 2 or more.
Lastly, we come to my favorite. I said BR tanks have the best I’ve found up to now. Enter Lands’ End Canvas. These “Rib Tank Top” tanks are ahh-maa-zingg. I cannot describe how much I love them. They are super soft, such a flattering long and lean length, and even though it is 100% cotton with no spandex, it clings onto the body wear after wear with minimal stretching. This is the kind of tank I can pull on over a poofy skirt and look like I have a long waist with a cute flouncy mini skirt. They come in big bold colors as well as neutrals. Best of all – only $10 each if you buy 2 or more! I purchased the sapphire blue and chili pepper, which you can see in my previous posts as well, but now that LE has passed my test, I am definitely planning on stocking up. Get them here for $14.50 each or $10 each with purchases of 2 or more.