How to wear the tank top, autumn’s hottest trend – The Irish Times

It’s being hailed as the most unlikely fashion trend for autumn/winter 22 – practical, gender fluid, versatile and affordable. The tank top, so ubiquitous in the summer, is set to continue its stylish hold right into the new season, taking the stuffiness out of a formal suit or evening wear just as easily as imparting its familiar insouciant look tucked into belted jeans.

It pairs well with denim, elevates a pair of statement trousers, looks just right with a midi skirt and is the perfect foil for jewellery, both earrings and necklaces. Best are those with wide rather than spaghetti straps that can hide a bra underneath and create support for the bigger figure. Stella McCartney’s Adidas racer back tank, for instance, made from recycled fibres, features a built-in bra and is €65 on netaporter.com. For chilly September days, a jacket, blazer or coat shrugged over a tank, adds the necessary warmth to bare arms.

On the international catwalks, the tank made its appearance everywhere in beguiling and different ways. Tight white tanks opened Bottega Veneta and Prada runway shows at Milan fashion week; in New York, the Row’s black tanks were long, while those at Marc Jacobs were short and covered with shawls. Loewe’s tanks had spiked necklines or were printed with surreal gloved hands, and Sacai showed them edged with satin and worn with long evening skirts. More revealing were those fashioned in sheer see-through fabric.

Despite its name, the tank’s humble beginnings were nautical rather than military. It first made its appearance in the 1920s as swimwear for men and women – tank suits were one-piece bathing suits worn in swimming pools, then called tanks. Now a universal wardrobe basic, it takes centre stage though a skintight white tee (known later as a muscle tee), not too far from the tank that made Marlon Brando a smouldering style icon in A Streetcar named Desire in 1951.

With a tailored jacket, the tank delivers a workwear look, while under a waistcoat it easily translates an outfit from summer to autumn, as it does teamed with a midi skirt and an oversized cardigan; it all shows how hardworking such a small, boyish garment can be, a real wardrobe workhorse.

Though the Row’s black tanks cost €300 on matches.comthere are loads of inexpensive alternatives. The Cos tank in white organic cotton is €15; in Next, the Gap tanks come in 10 different colours for €11.50; Zara’s stretch white tanks with wide straps are €9.95; while at H&M, cropped tanks are €6 and €9.99. So, for less than a tenner, a tank is an instant winter wardrobe update.

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