Basic t-shirts and tanks


If I had to pack for a last-minute trip I would throw jeans, plain tees and tanks, and a dress in a suitcase. There is little I love more than a simple white top paired with denim. I like how classic it is, and I also like that any hairstyle, make-up look, or jewelry choices can affect how casual and relaxed or dressed up that outfit can be.

Since I wear tops like this so often, I always make sure the fit is exactly what I want, the fabric is relatively easy to care for, and the tops are something I love to wear.

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten

When you are looking for an easy tank to wear with so many different bottoms, this ruffle sleeve option is perfect. If they made it in white my dreams would have come true, but I’ll happily take the black for a classic with a twist.

This is my go-to white tee to wear with anything from leggings to jeans. I like the rounded hem when I want a bit more coverage and the vibe to be relaxed and casual.

Another favorite tee from Z Supply is the classic pocket tee. It’s a mix of cotton and polyester (versus the “cotton slub” tee I mention above that is 100% cotton). It is a little slinkier in the fabric, fits a bit longer in the body, and the v-neck is a little lower than the cotton slub.

I love the Madewell Tomboy tank for a boxier, shorter fit that looks really cute tucked into jeans. The v-neck isn’t too low and the fabric and shape is classic and relaxed.

This is an easy to wear on-trend tank for spring and summer. I love the buttons and the front-tie. I buy a lot of my Gap brand tops in “tall” when I’m able to because I like the extra length.

I love this tank from Z Supply because I can wear a regular bra with it. It’s a simple cut, relaxed in the body, and has a raw edge pocket. I also love this pocket racer tank with a racerback for casual athleisure days.

I have this waffle tank in a few colors from the brand Miholl on Amazon. It’s an easy weekend tank that I find myself wearing often!

The most classic shape of the bunch is the Madewell Whisper Cotton V-neck pocket tee. It has a straight hem, relaxed fit, and is versatile to throw on with a casual pair of joggers, or can be front tucked into a pair of dark denim for a slightly dressier look.

The easiest tee of all is the Madewell crewneck whisper cotton tee. It has a rounded hem, a slight drop shoulder seam, a ribbed collar, and generally fits like a dream. It’s relaxed and the “ideal” length in my opinion!

A last-minute addition to the line up is the Caslon Muscle Tank. I got it in a recent Trunk Club and loved it so much I ordered another color. It’s a longer tank with thin and lightweight material and has a scoop neck. The white is a bit sheer but a nude bra hides easily under the fabric.

If you are looking for the perfect conservative tank to wear with leggings, this one by Spanx is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Trust me, I have it in white and black, and it’s what I choose more often than not on days I’m wearing leggings. Because it feels a little like an athletic fabric I don’t love to wear it with jeans, but joggers or leggings are a perfect match for it.

I hope this post was helpful if you are looking to add a few timeless tees or tanks to your wardrobe! I share a lot of my daily outfits on Instagram, so be sure to follow along over there for more style posts!

P.S. if you enjoyed this you would like the post I wrote recently about my favorite bras!

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Comments (18)

  1. Meagan Hoyt says
    Posted May 13, 2020

    How do you feel about the vnecks and cleavage? I am always self conscious wearing vnecks especially bending over rangling a toddler!

    • Kate says
      Posted May 13, 2020

      I think everyone has to decide their own comfort level. I don’t have a lot of cleavage so I’m not too worried about v-necks. In general a crew neck would be a safer bet for avoiding cleavage when bending over!

    • Tara says
      Posted May 14, 2020

      I don’t wear anything without a tank underneath. That way you don’t have to worry about giving people a show when you bend over.

  2. Katie says
    Posted May 13, 2020

    I would love to know which size you get in the Spanx tank! Does it fit over your hips nicely? Your post may just convince me to get one! Thank you!

    • Kate says
      Posted May 13, 2020

      I wear a medium in all of my tops, including the Spanx! It skims over my hips nicely!

  3. Amy says
    Posted May 13, 2020

    Which of the bunch would you say has a higher neckline and which would be more plunging of them all? Granted, plunging would just be relative. Thanks!

    • Kate says
      Posted May 13, 2020

      Madewell whisper cotton has a low v-neck, and the highest would be the Madewell whisper crew neck!

  4. Megan says
    Posted May 13, 2020

    Check out the essential V-neck tee by Apt 9 at kohl’s. They’re a very soft dressier looking fabric, and usually on sale for under $10.

  5. Posted May 13, 2020

    Love these! I’ve been wanting to restock my basics! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  6. Ashley says
    Posted May 13, 2020

    I want one of each. I love the one with the ruffle sleeves and the pocket racer tank!

  7. Carissa Krikke says
    Posted May 13, 2020

    Sorta related to this post, but a while (long time ago) back you mentioned a certain cami that you wear under tshirts where the shirt doesn’t cling to it. What type of material was that cami?

  8. BE says
    Posted May 14, 2020

    I love these round up posts and your insights are super helpful! I find they can be difficult to follow because I scroll back and forth between the photos and your comments to understand which item you’re commenting on. Would it be possible to have a layout where the commentary is in the same location as the photo of the item, so we can easily see photos plus your opinions side by side? Plus, the paragraphs aren’t numbered so it’s not immediately obvious which item your comments refer to, so it would also help to carry the numbering through to your copy below. Thank you for being a great resource and always providing thoughtful writing!

  9. Kate says
    Posted May 15, 2020

    Such cute ideas! Thanks for sharing!!


  10. Posted May 26, 2020

    I wouldn’t have guessed the waffle tank was from Amazon. It’s a cool transitional style for those weird cold morning-hot evenings type of days.

  11. Kate says
    Posted May 28, 2020

    These are all so cute! Tank tops are definitely my summer staple. Thanks for sharing, love this post!


  12. Kristi n says
    Posted June 7, 2020

    I would love if you showed pictures with the items on and sizing notes here on the blog! 🙂

  13. Julia Dekleer says
    Posted June 12, 2020

    Hi Kate.. My name is Julia and I live in Vancouver, B.C. Somehow, we became connected through Facebook. It’s awesome to meet people world wide. I am enjoying your hair styling tips and with a little bit of practice, I might become a pro. BTW, for my benefit and other Canadian fans, if possible pls include information about shipping across the border. The more help the merrier! Before I conclude my message, if I may, may I share my favorite bra that I discovered at Target in Maui. It called SimplyPerfect by Warner’s..Stay Cool with Breathable Comfort Wire- Free. Wow! It’s true to size, comfortable and sexy too. And, can double as a light exercise bra. Happy shopping!

  14. Jan says
    Posted April 9, 2021

    What long sleeve V-neck tees do you recommend? Those are my “go to”.