Tank tops for Singapore's weather isn't groundbreaking. Here's how to style them so they become fashionable and chic
The humble tank top is often overlooked as a fashion item. Maybe it's because they are, by nature, something of an undergarment. A piece of clothing that you don't think about because you're using it as a base on which to layer more pieces of clothing and build an outfit around. But it's maybe time to think about the practical benefits of a tank top — no sleeves! Great for the heat! No armpit sweat stains! — as a vital foundation item in your wardrobe that could shine with a bit of love and care.
A luxurious fabric
We hadn't thought about tank tops for a while until Daniel Lee released his first collection for Bottega Veneta in the pre-fall 2019 season. That collection got much of the industry excited: the Juergen Teller-style photography, the brutalist silhouettes, the wry deconstruction of the Intrecciato house code. But what really caught our eye was a dead simple look: a ribbed cashmere tank top worn with leather trousers. It had such an ease and confidence that it became a matter of priority to consider finding similar pieces in fine fabrics that could elevate the style.
Balance out the casual
One of the finer points of the tank top is that it pairs well with dressier pieces because it's so casual and easy on its own. Try a statement pair of pants — culottes, tailored, embellished, you name it. The decoration on the bottom will balance out the minimal top, which you can, additionally, throw a fancy jacket on top of it gets chilly.
Make it graphic
If you want to wear a tank top as its own fashion item, opt for something with a graphic print. A great place to start is to look at collaboration collections with a strong visual motif. Often, the graphic print — best if they're a pop culture artifact of the moment — gets transplanted onto a tank top.
Get inspired by Helmut Lang
Helmut Lang is perhaps the designer to look at for tank top style inspiration. His brand of cerebral '90s minimalism pares so much of the wardrobe back that the tank top — with a few twists and details here and there — manages to become a de facto fashion item worth collecting. Vintage sites store vintage Lang aplenty, so start looking there.
Tank tops are, themselves, extremely straightforward. What's left, when you're trying to step that routine up, is to find ways to elevate the actual style. Think quirky designs like the sporty asymmetric cuts from Alexander Wang, or the casual couture-inspired grosgrain ribbon details that designers such as Dries Van Noten routinely design their more everyday pieces with.