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The womens tank dress is a versatile wardrobe staple that every woman should have in her closet. This sleeveless, figure-hugging dress is comfortable, fashionable, and can be dressed up or down with ease. In this article, we’ll explore the history of the tank dress, its different styles and designs, materials and fabrics used, and tips on how to wear a tank dress for different occasions.
A Brief History of the Tank Dress
The origins of the womens tank dress can be traced back to the 1920s flapper dresses, which featured thin straps and a loose silhouette. However, the tank dress as we know it today really came into popularity in the 1990s. The simple, minimalist cut allowed women to stay cool in the summer months while still looking stylish.
The term “tank top” first came about in the 1920s as well, referring to the sleeveless cotton undershirts worn by men. So the concept of a sleeveless top with thin straps was already well in existence when tank dresses for women hit the mainstream fashion scene.
Over the decades, the womens tank dress has become a staple in women’s wardrobes all over the world. The comfortable, pulled-together design is easy to wear, works for multiple body types, and can be dressed up or down seamlessly.
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Different Styles and Designs of Tank Dresses
From mini to maxi, loose to fitted, plain to embellished – there are so many styles of tank dresses available to suit any taste or figure! Here are some of the most popular cuts and designs:
This form-fitting tank clings to your body showing off your curves. Look for sturdy fabrics like Ponte knit that will suck and smooth. The bodycon tank dress looks great with blazers and heels for nighttime and denim jackets and booties for daytime.
The Loose Tank Dress
Offering breathable comfort with its relaxed A-line or trapeze cut, the flowy tank is a effortless choice. Look for soft, lightweight fabrics like jersey or modal that drape beautifully. Belt a loose womens tank dress at the waist to cinch and define your figure.
The Long Womens Tank Dress
When a tank dress extends down to maxi length, it turns into a long and lean showstopper. Long tank dresses look amazing on tall body types. The column shape is elongating and slinky. Opt for halter and racerback long tank dresses.
The Mini Tank Dress
Flaunt those stems in a flirty mini womens tank dress! Hitting mid-thigh or higher, a mini tank is fun and flirty. Look for stretch fabrics that won’t ride up. Pair a mini tank with flat sandals or feminine wedges. Using dark neutrals on bottom and bright colors up top works beautifully.
The Sheath Tank Dress
Sleek and sophisticated, the sheath womens tank dress has a straight, curve hugging cut. Often featuring a V-neckline and thick shoulder straps, the sheath glides over your shape, showcasing your figure. Look for lined sheath tanks so undergarments and lines don’t show through.
The Shirtdress Tank
Don’t mistake this for a billowy oversized shirt – the tank shirtdress is fitted in the bodice with a defined waistline. The skirt flares out into an A-line cut. Crisp cottons and linens capture the shirtdress feel. Cinch with a thin belt and add subtle prints or embroidery for a romantic vibe.
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Popular Fabrics and Materials for womens tank dresses
The material used for a womens tank dress impacts its fit, drape, and function. Knowing the properties of different clothing materials can help you choose the best textile for your needs. Here are some go-to fabrics for stylish and comfortable tank dresses:
Cotton – Breathable and natural, cotton tank dresses come in varied weights and feels. Choose lightweight cotton gauze or cotton voile for flowy shapes. Look for pima or Egyptian cottons for softness and sheen. Crisp broadcloth or denim cottons work for structured sheaths.
Jersey Knits – Available in natural or synthetic knits, jersey offers stretch and flexibility. Great for bodycon tanks! Opt for thick ponte knits, soft modal or triblends with spandex for shape retention.
Crepe & Chiffon – Flowy crepe and chiffon fabric tanks drape beautifully. Crepe has more weight and is wrinkle resistant while chiffon is sheer and delicate. These fabrics sway beautifully and work for formal maxi tanks or loose shirts.
Mesh & Lace – Mixing transparent mesh and ornate lace gives tanks a touch of texture and femininity. Use solid linings if see-through mesh is too revealing. Delicate lace tank dresses capture romantic charm.
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How to Wear Tank Dresses for Different Occasions
The simple womens tank dress adapts well to day dates, beach vacations, summer parties, evening cocktails, and more. With clever styling and accessorizing you can wear tanks dresses anywhere. Here’s how to style tank dresses for a variety of events:
Casual Daytime – Give your daytime tank outfit a laidback edge with jean jackets, kimonos or soft cardigans left open. Add sneakers, sandals or espadrilles to finish the casual look. Look for fun prints or add your own DIY touches like fabric paint designs.
Office Attire – Choose thick fabrics like ponte knits or cotton blends that aren’t see-through. Pair with a blazer, sophisticated flats or low wedges for work-ready style. Add a skinny belt and statement jewelry to amp up office-approved tanks.
Beach and Poolside – Airy cotton voile, lattice weave eyelet and soft jersey knits work beautifully poolside to cover up while still keeping comfortable. Make sure swimsuits and undergarments don’t show through thin white fabrics. Bring a sarong for more coverage walking to and from water.
Summer Parties – Bright solids and fun prints turn basic tanks into summer statement pieces. Look for tiered and embellished tank dresses to wear to picnics, barbecues, garden parties and outdoor celebrations. Add wedges for height and definition. Sparkly earrings and cuffs glam up parties.
Cocktail Attire – Luxurious fabricated like satin and velvet transition effortlessly from day to night. The sheath womens tank dress or bodycon silhouette also looks dressy for formal events. Add an evening jacket, stilettos and an embellished clutch for cocktail parties.
Accessorizing Your Tank Dress
No tank dress outfit is complete without the perfect accessories to tie everything together seamlessly. Enhance your personal style with accent pieces that speak to your personality. Here are some chic extras for making any womens tank dress shine:
Pendant, gems and sculptural statement necklaces pop against the blank canvas neckline of basic tank dresses. Go for contrasting colors that accent the tank’s hue. Keep other jewelry minimal to let statement necklaces shine.
Since tank dresses provide streamlined simplicity, use accessories to add eye-catching vibrancy. Vivid printed handbags with unique silhouettes infuse color and femininity into casual tanks. Contrast the colors and patterns between your bag and dress.
Wraps & Kimonos
Lightweight wraps, long open cardigans and soft kimonos layer beautifully over womens tank dress, allowing you to transition your look throughout the day. With the options to belt, leave open or take off outer layers, wraps provide versatility and warmth when needed.
Cinching a belt around the smallest part of your waist not only defines your figure but brings movement and visual interest. From embellished metal belts to vintage ribbon and fabric belts, there’s a womens tank dress belt for every girl’s personal flair.
Hats & Hair Accessories
Don’t forget to decorate from head to toe! Hats and functional hair accessories like scarves, headwraps and headbands infuse retro glamour into modern minimalist tanks. Show off your hair with head chains or keep cool with wide brim straw hats at beachy tanks.
No matter where you’re headed or what the occasion calls for, the versatile womens tank dress can fit right in when styled creatively. With so many options available from fabrics to hemlines, patterns and detailing – your dream tank is waiting to be discovered! Play with different accessories, layers, shoes and hairstyles until your inner style shines through. Stay cool and confident by embracing this forever fashionable wardrobe staple.