Make It Work For Work: The Tank Top

Make It Work For Work is a weekly fashion column written by or with commentary from a professional fashionistas that will take one clothing item and show you all the different ways that you can wear it in a work setting. We will also provide links to the stores where the items are available.

Sometimes I forget that other people wear pants. I don’t really wear pants. In the summertime, I find them constricting and hot, and during the colder months, I’m usually on a Zooey Deschanel-esque black tights with everything kick (I really need to find something new to wear under my skirts, but more about that in four months).

Yet there’s really nothing that pairs better with a plain, ribbed white tank top — which is what I’m going to be dressing up for work today — than a leg-lengthening pair of trousers. So this week, I’m going to show you a couple of summer-y pants options to complement a white tank. The tank in question is from Hanes, and everybody owns like 10 of them since they often come in bulk and are super-cheap. But most people just wear them to bed and to the gym. Well, no longer, my friends. You can wear your plain white tank to work and save money on fancy blouses and such — just read on for ideas.

Look 1:
This is the most dressed-up look of the three I’ve included. The pants lengthen the torso and their peachy color is ripe for summer. The fancy-pants navy blazer and elegant necklace help take the basic tank into a business environment. The nautical Hayden-Harnett scarf adds some excitement — can you spy all the accessories from Hayden-Harnett in this set? I love that brand for its ability to be creative and business-like at the same time. The bag is a great example, as it’s not overly structured, but still versatile and office-friendly. Add some peep-toe ankle boots (as much as I love flats, you really need a raised shoe with wide-leg pants so it doesn’t look like the pants swallowed your feet), and you and your little Hanes tank are ready to rumble in the working world. Click here to see the clothing items.

















Look 2:
A tad more casual than the previous outfit, here I pair a maxi skirt with the white tank. Note that I chose a plisse skirt and one that’s not a loud color, two features that make it appropriate for work, not for the beach. The nautical blazer — notice a nautical theme today? I need to be at the beach right now — as well as the smart accessories, “anchor” the whole look (haha, get it?). A casual bag and casual flats give the outfit a dressed-down, yet still sophisticated feel. Click here to see the clothing items.


















Look 3:
The most casual of the three, the third look is built around our famous plain white tank and a fantastic pair of tapered, relaxed-fit pants — granted, this particular pair is by Maison Martin Margiela (swoon), but you can find similar ones at lower price points. This is my favorite style of pant because it’s so roomy, but classy at the same time. The sheer black top has cut-outs and can be worn off-the-shoulder thanks to a button in the back, so it’s not particularly work-appropriate — but you can make it so by wearing the white tank underneath. A funky statement necklace and offbeat shoes save the outfit from boring-city, while a slouchy black bag complements the look. Click here to see the clothing items.

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    • Danielle Lilly

      I rocked the tank top with dress pants look for work recently. I wore a black tank and black slacks with black driving mocs. I thought I looked pretty slick till I came home from work and the first words out of my boyfriend’s mouth were: “You look like your ready for a gang fight. You just need a tattoo.” What the heck did I do wrong? Too much black?

    • natalie

      exactly, too much black. the all-black look only really works in certain contexts, and then only if your black clothes are impeccable and expensive, and you set them off with appropriate jewerly. next time maybe try a light-colored top with the pants, and a bright shoe. :)

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