Why A Tank Dress Is Always A Reliable Summer Style Option

Not only has the classically shaped, body-conscious tank dress come roaring back for summer, but its versatility is amazing. Depending on a few factors that we'll unpack, many styles of tank dress can be dressed up or down, allowing you to get maximum use from just one or two pieces all season long.


The genius of a tank dress is that it's essentially a long, arm-baring tank top. But add a curve-hugging fit and suddenly it's elevated to the Beyoncé-worthy Ferragamo gown she wore on her Renaissance tour.

The length, shape of the neckline, and the quality and type of fabric are the main factors that distinguish one dress' vibe from another. For comfort, dresses and sneakers are a combo made in heaven, and during hot weather, a classic tank can be an easy slip-on for running errands. They're perfect for an upscale dinner, but also suitable for an office job. It all depends on the cut of the dress and how you style it.

Downplay a formal shape with sneakers & a baseball cap

A trend that's come in and out of fashion over the years has been a really inventive mix of highbrow and lowbrow — like pairing ultra-feminine couture-like gowns with combat boots or other unexpected touches. It's a cool way to take an elevated look and tone it down into almost streetwear.


That's exactly what we see here: an elegant, bright tank dress in light emerald green with a cute side slit in the front. That bright green color keeps it perfect as a daytime dress. But we love how this woman has added practical yet pristine sneakers and socks and a baseball cap, making it slightly less serious and a bit fun. This would be an amazing outfit for a young mom cheering on her kids during a softball game. And it transitions easily to or from a more office-appropriate look. She could just grab the baseball hat and sneakers and then change out of her heels during the ride to the game.

With shapewear built right in for curvy girls

Tanks are body-conscious dresses, so bumps and lines from undergarments are to be expected. If you generally wear bras, underwear, Spanx (or any other brand of shapewear), these days you can skip a step and search instead for a tank dress with the shapewear built inside. If it's summertime, we suspect this works best for the evening when the temperature is a tiny bit cooler. This shapewear supports your top and bottom and naturally, that extra layer will make you a bit warmer.


The best part is you won't have to navigate your bra drawer to find the proper width and placement of straps to exactly match the cut of the dress straps. This particular black tank on @happeningsofkendra's TikTok channel is super elegant and a great choice for girls with curves. The side slits make it sexy, and the maxi length suggests an evening out. We'd add a large, three-inch golden goddess cuff on one arm to elevate this look.

Styled for evening

Here's a maxi-length, shoulder-baring racerback-style tank dress that you could wear to the beach with a neon bikini underneath, or just as easily to a more formal evening event. Accessories make all the difference here.


We love this woman's styling. She's got her hair pulled back into a simple, low bun that shows off her stud earrings. Evening looks call for a slightly bolder choice, so the heavy chain, longer length, and noticeable pendant of her gold necklace are perfect. She's also wearing a large statement ring on one of her index fingers. Sticking with the black and gold theme, she wears flat sandals that feature a large gold circle shape on the arch of the foot and carries a woven, rectangular-shaped clutch in a neutral taupe color. She completely nailed the accessories to create this upscale look using an otherwise simply cut dress.

Day looks from boho chic to a brunch date

The simple cut of a tank dress is magic. While longer maxi lengths are often better for evening events, midi, and shorter lengths are even more versatile for the day. @alyssahougen shared three ways to transform her midi/short tank dress on TikTok, and we especially like the last two.


Adding a wide-brimmed hat, kimono, and flip-flops, Alyssa created an inviting casual vibe in a mindful way — her tank dress is blue, and the kimono is in a lightweight orange fabric with a blue pattern. This is genius because orange and blue are opposites on the color wheel, and complementary colors tend to create a pleasing visual combination. Her hat is a neutral beige or oatmeal color. The shape says boho, but the color doesn't compete with the kimono jacket. And in her third look, she added a black motorcycle jacket and heels, perfect for brunch at a cute restaurant.

Daytime looks for a nursing mom

New mom @houseofchyda shared some great workarounds on her TikTok channel, showing how she draws attention away from her postpartum belly while still rocking a tank dress. Her daytime tank dress is white with thin, horizontal black stripes and thick shoulder straps, perfect for running errands or getting a well-deserved massage.


Her first hack is to tie a soft, light blue denim jacket around her waist. To make it undeniably chic with a white dress, try white denim instead of blue. The jacket acts a bit like a belt, pulling in the fabric to accentuate her waist while also adding a bit of coverage to her belly from the jacket sleeves. She made the whole look sporty with sneakers but also added a cute little cross-body bag: just enough for her keys, a credit card, and lipstick. In her second look, she draws the eye away from the waist altogether by draping a black and white sweater over her shoulders, sleeves tied together at the collar bone. Also, she added a silk headscarf and a red cross-body bag, adding a pop of color. It works beautifully, pulling your eye upward.