The 7 Best Layering Tank Tops

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Bustle / Amazon

Much like a white cotton T-shirt or the perfect pair of jeans, the best layering tank tops are worth having in multiples. They might not be the most thrilling items to shop for, but having your basics covered will pay dividends when you no longer have to rummage through your hamper looking for that one tank you always need. There’s something to be said for having these everyday essentials covered, especially when you find some really good ones worth stocking up on.

For such a simple top, there are, surprisingly, dozens of options out there. The hallmarks of a great layering tank include a close fit without any thick seams to finish the armscye or hem so they disappear under cardigans and shirts, but some will function better as strictly a base layer while others are pretty enough to wear on their own.

A breathable cotton tank top — in varying degrees of sheerness — is the backbone of any dresser drawer whether it has spaghetti straps or wider ones that will cover a bra. And if you want to forgo the tyranny of underwires (or prefer extra support for sleeping) a cotton tank top with a shelf bra might be a good solution.

Expanding beyond the basics, if you’re always at the gym you may prefer a layering top you can also workout in — a racerback cut gives you extra range of motion and won’t slip off a shoulder in the middle of your overhead press. Buy those in a soft, synthetic knit that won’t absorb sweat like cotton does. For a layering tank top you intend to dress up, though, nothing beats silk. It’s gorgeous all on its own and won’t bunch under sweaters. In a dainty camisole, the luxury fabric is pleasantly affordable.

The biggest luxury, however, is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the essentials in line. With that in mind, these are seven basic layers that are truly worth buying in multiples.


A Budget-Friendly Set Of Tank Tops Literally Made For Layering

These basic tank tops feature a slim fit and delicate seams in a smooth cotton-modal-spandex knit, without a trace of ribbing, for a finished look. They have some extra length that's easy to tuck in (or not) and a gentle scoop neck that's open — not plunging. Wear one with distressed denim on the weekend, and you'll still have another in reserve when it's time for business casual. "They're perfect. I bought for layering under work tops, but they are SO comfortable, that I find myself wearing them to sleep or lounging around the house," one Amazon fan noted. Prefer a cami with delicate straps? The four-pack of Amazon Essentials layering camisole is also very well-reviewed.

  • Available colors: 24
  • Available sizes: X-Small – XX-Large


This Plus-Size Tank Top In 100% Cotton

Backed by more than 3,000 perfect five-star reviews, this 100% cotton tank top has a similarly smooth weave to the tank set above, and it has delicately finished seams to slip under pieces. Cut to skim the body, its shirttail hem can be worn with leggings but isn't too long to tuck into pants. "I happily recommend this as a layering piece," a shopper reported. "I wanted something to wear under semi-sheer blouses and this has a scooped neckline that covers bra straps well, as do the shoulders." The same shopper called out the thick knit, noting it was "actually heavier than I expected for a tank in this price tucks in nicely but won't ride up and come untucked."

  • Available colors: 6
  • Available sizes: 1X – 6X


A Pure Mulberry Silk Camisole That Feels So Luxe

A silk camisole seems like a luxe indulgence but it's incredibly multipurpose. The natural fiber is hypoallergenic and temperature-regulating, not to mention endlessly versatile: It looks elegant under a blazer and also makes a good base layer for outdoor activities. This particular camisole is made from top-tier 6A mulberry silk in a 19-momme weight to guarantee quality, and it's thick enough to survive years of wear. "I am falling in love with this camisole—I’ve already worn it 3 days in a row," one fan gushed. "I’ve worn it under a fitted cashmere sweater, a looser merino sweater, and a casual cotton shirt...I’ve had no problems with bunching. [...] It feels divine against your body, plus it looks nice." On a budget or looking for a different size? This multi-pack of silk-blend camis breaks down to about $10 each.

  • Available colors: 4
  • Available sizes: X-Small – XX-Large


A Stretchy Cami With A Built-In Bra

The ultimate layering tank just might be one this one from Hanes: it eliminates the need for even a bra, perfect for days you can’t be bothered. There's a bit of spandex to the basic cotton camisole, with adjustable straps and a tag-less design, so it's seriously comfortable to wear all day. The built-in shelf bra has a wide — but not tight — elastic band on the bottom that shoppers reported offered decent support across the spectrum, although personal mileage may vary. "They're perfect for wearing under sweaters in the fall and winter and for layering in the spring and summer. So comfy! I'm even sleeping in them as well," a fan noted of their versatility.

  • Available colors: 6
  • Available sizes: Small – XX-Large


A Sheer Layering Cami With Soft Lace Trim

This whisper-weight camisole is made from 100% cotton for a barely-there layer that will also be your friend in hot weather. The ultra-thin knit features a subtle and delicate cutout pattern for enhanced breathability — although it might be too sheer for some — and shoppers were pleased to report that the lace trim didn't irritate sensitive skin. "This cotton cami is great and I love it. Soft and stretchy but not so much that it loses its shape. Cute lace trim around the top for a feminine touch. Straps are stretchy elastic so some what adjustable and material is a peek a boo pattern. Cool and comfortable for my humid Florida weather," as one reviewer testified. Available in both tank and camisole styles, you can pick the fit that's right for you. Just make sure to let this one air dry so you don't risk compromising the airy fabric. If you want a lace-trimmed cotton cami with a little extra length, this one has over 6,000 ratings.

  • Available colors: 6
  • Available sizes: Small – 3X-Large


A Ribbed Racerback Tank You Can Even Workout In

This ribbed layering tank top goes from the yoga mat to errands without missing a beat. The racerback cut gives you full range of motion, and a bit of extra length at the hip helps keeps you covered while in motion. The poly-spandex blend won’t absorb sweat like a cotton tank, and it feels silky enough to sleep in, too. "I wear these under my cycling jerseys as a base layer and love them," one shopper confirmed. "The tags are completely removable, fit is true to size, and the quality has withstood multiple washes." Since they tend to fit snugly, sizing up is recommended by the brand if you prefer a bit more ease in your tops.

  • Available colors: 10
  • Available sizes: X-Small – 3X-Large


An Extra-Long Ruched Tank Fans Call "Perfect" For Leggings

There's plenty of length on this tank top without sacrificing shape. It has a close fit and open, V-neckline with ruching on the sides that gives you some wiggle room to adjust the hem up or down. The floaty rayon blend will feel lightweight and soft, although it needs to be hand-washed to prevent accidental shrinkage. "Buy it, you won't be disappointed! I just ordered two more," one reviewer confessed, adding, "This tank is long so it's great to wear with leggings. Can be layered or worn as it. You can bunch it up so it's not so long and it still looks great. It is also extremely comfortable! Definitely a great purchase."

  • Available colors: 30
  • Available sizes: Small – 3X-Large