Now that summer is officially here, the sun is shining and it’s time to break out those big brawny arms we’ve been working on all winter and spring … or maybe it’s just time to wear something that’s a little cooler and lighter. These are the days when even a T-shirt starts to feel like a cable-knit sweater — when a good tank top can become your best friend.
We like tanks that offer a little more style than what you’ll get out of a three-pack from the underwear department (you’ll see our one exception, below). We also like those that bare some skin, but aren’t skin tight, allowing for natural, breezy cooling. Soft, breathable fabrics rule this time of year, with cotton and cotton blends being an obvious choice, but we’re not afraid of a little tech fiber here and there, either. While retro styles and graphic prints are still key, clean designs in bold colors are the best look for the season. The pocket has also cropped up as an important fashion add-on this season. Although we’re not exactly sure what you’ll be stashing in there, they do look kinda cool, so we’ll give ‘em a thumbs up.
Chubbies Melonballer Pocket Tank
This 1980s throwback print will keep your mind focused on cool summer picnics (or spiked watermelon cocktails, depending). It’s a forward enough piece to throw on with jeans but will also look great with a solid pair of swim shorts for the beach or pool party.
Duluth Trading Co. Free Range Tank
OK, yes, we’re breaking our “rule” almost right away. Technically this organic cotton number from Duluth Trading is an undershirt, but we love the great, minimalist color and the simplicity of the cut so much that we couldn’t resist. Wear it with white jeans for a tonal look that’s, dare we say, elegant.
Well Worn Margarita Tank Top
Need we say more? The basics of a successful summer party — just add guacamole and chips — all summed up in one great tank top. The classic charcoal heather and bold neon lettering and trim make your intentions perfectly clear.
Univibe Meaty Colorblocked Textured Pocket Tank
In a cool green that’s reminiscent of ocean waves, this tank will have you dreaming of surf and sand — or maybe a favorite lake —even if you’re stuck in an urban jungle for the weekend. It’s got the “required” patch pocket in a contrast color.
The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. Crewneck Sleeveless Tank Top
If you have been working hard all winter — OK, maybe for a couple of winters now —it’s time to show off those biceps brachii, brachialis, triceps brachii, and deltoids. This heathery solid look provides plenty of coverage and “uncoverage,” all in antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, stretch fabric that will look as great at a party as it does at the gym.
Saturdays NYC Rosen Pima Tank Top
Go bold or go home with this intense fuchsia tank from Saturdays NYC. It’s got that loose fit we like, a pocket, and bares a little more skin — don’t forget the sunblock if you’re wearing this out and about. The bright color goes great with dark denim or navy. You can also pair with black and white checkerboard shorts for a throwback punk look.
Fourlaps Dash Striped Active Tank Top
Got game? Bring some varsity styling to the table with this single-striped tank from Fourlaps. The sport mesh fabric will keep you cool all day whether working out or playing hard, and it comes in a nice range of color options.
Vans US Open Surfing Tank
Wear this tank for its clean, simple styling that emphasizes the bold Vans US Open logo. It’s a great look whether you’re a pro or a total Barney. Get it now, because the next Vans U.S. Open kicks off on July 27.
Robert Geller x Lululemon Take the Moment Sleeveless
OK, really it’s a sleeveless T-shirt, not a tank, so it barely fits into our category, but the winning color blocking of this designer collaboration convinced us to bend the rules a little. The shirt is practically weightless and features Lulu’s anti-stink technology, as well as reflective striping on the back —great for your morning run or to help your buds spot you in the club.