Tank Tops for the Well Endowed

After receiving some questions about how I manage tank tops, I thought it was time to republish this post. I hope it’s helpful! If you find yourself on the other side of the proverbial fence, please enjoy your spaghetti straps and racer back tops and strapless sundresses. We are jealous!

tank tops

Earlier in the week I posted a photo of myself on Instagram, declaring how I love tank top weather. And I do. There’s nothing I like more than a hot spring or summer day, lazing around in a tank top and shorts and flip flops. It’s the best. A friend commented and requested a post about tank tops for those of us who are a bit more well endowed.

That is a topic I can certainly speak to, ahem.

You will see me wearing a lot of sleeveless tops and tanks in my Daily Mom Style posts during the summer months, but you’ll probably notice they are all structured in a similar way.

For one thing, I always make sure the straps are wide enough to cover my bra straps. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THAT, people. Especially at my age.

I also don’t ever wear racer-back styles, even though I think they’re super cute. Because I refuse to wear them with my bra straps showing, and I have yet to find a racerback bra other than a sports bra that does its job.

Speaking of bras, a proper fitting bra is KEY. Droopy girls do not a good look in a tank top make. Or something like that.

I also try to find tops that aren’t too terribly low-cut. I never want to send the wrong message to male friends or even the mailman. How bare is too bare is, of course, is up to each individual’s comfort level and conscience, but I do try to find that fine line between styles that I enjoy and those that I feel might be too provocative. I always figure it helps that I’m a total goofball and couldn’t flirt if I tried. I don’t think I’m one to give anyone the wrong idea, but men are visual and it doesn’t hurt to be considerate with our clothing choices.

So, to sum it up! Here are the rules, or my rules anyway. And some affordable shopping suggestions through my affiliates.

Tank Top Rules for the Well Endowed

1. Cover your bra straps, yo! This means selecting tank tops that have wider straps. How wide depends on your bra. Which is the perfect segue.

2. Wear the right bra. You want a bra that is supportive but not massive enough to show around the edges of the tank top. It used to be hard to find supportive bras in larger sizes that weren’t grannie bras, but nowadays there are lots of choices. I personally love this one. I have about ten of them (no lie.) Also, make sure you’re wearing the right size bra. See my post on how to find your bra size.

3. Pay attention to the neckline. Tank tops with a modest V-neck or scoop neck are flattering, just makes sure that they’re not too low-cut. This does take some trial and error, as everyone is built differently.

4. Consider the fit. As always with matters of style, fit is key. Don’t buy tank tops that are too tight. What is “too tight” will vary from person to person, and as I’ve gotten older, I’m more picky about this. Five years and ten pounds ago, I would wear my tanks pretty tight. But now I try to find the ones that aren’t quite so figure-hugging. I like material that doesn’t have so much spandex so I can stretch them out a bit. If they’re too tight when I put them on, I just give a tug in a few strategic places, and that fixes them right up!

Sometimes a looser style is nice, like the kind with the banded waist, or a flowy tunic-style — it all depends on your personal style aesthetic and what is flattering for your body type.

5. When in doubt, layer. I have tanks that I keep only for layering under a cardigan or jean jacket, and I have others that I will wear alone. You can also layer a tank top over another tank top, so if you have one you like that is too low-cut, or it’s more flowy and always shows too much when you bend over, consider wearing a more modest tank underneath.

Best Tank Tops for Larger Chested Women

1. Banana Republic Timeless Tank. I’m a huge fan of this tank. I have at least 10 of them, probably 14. Literally! I buy a couple every year. I have 3 in black alone!

UPDATE: They have replaced the Timeless Tank with this Essential Tank. Reviews aren’t great, unfortunately.

2. J.Crew Perfect Fit Tank. They usually have a large selection of basic tanks in lots of trendy colors. I have several of their tanks, and I like them a lot, although their straps are a tad on the skinny side. They aren’t quite as body-hugging as the Banana Republic ones. I’m wearing one here.

Fashion Over 40: Summer Outfit Ideas for Moms

3. Target Long & Lean Tank. This one is better for layering (in my opinion) because it’s ribbed and fits pretty tight. Plus it’s long, making it a nice layering piece. But it is nice in that the straps are wide, and it’s not too low-cut.

Target Long & Lean Tank

4. Lands End. If you are a larger woman or particularly modest, Lands End has lots of tank tops that have wider straps and aren’t as low-cut as those I’ve featured here.

Women's Plus Cotton Tank Top Lands End

5. Old Navy. I have a lot of luck at Old Navy for tanks and not just the basic ones. In the photo at the top of this post, I featured a few from past years. I’m not a fan of these new longer styles, but they’re the trend at the moment.

Women's Linen-Blend Boyfriend Tanks

This is where I’m going to look to my readers for help. Anyone have some good tank top recommendations??? Please leave them in the comments. I’m sure there are lots of other options out there. I just haven’t looked too far because I’ve found a couple that work for me and I just go back to the old faithfuls.

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Comments

  1. says

    Love tank top weather too! I have a few of the Target and Banana tanks but also like the Old Navy pop color tanks for layering. They are long and fitted but have some stretch.

    Jill
    dousedinpink.blogspot.com

  2. says

    I am VERY well-endowed. My basic camisoles are from Avenue, that I wear under things. For wearable tanks, I like Christopher and Banks. Some of their shells have necklines that are way too high, but the scoop necks have very wide straps and are not cut too low for me.

  3. Melanie Dorsey says

    I buy most of mine from Target. I agree the long and lean is best for layering because the fabric is thin and too shear at the point of cleavage! There is another Mossimo brand at Target that is thicker and I wear that alone sometimes.
    I’ve tried the Loft tanks but they are too low cut.

  4. says

    I’m so glad you posted about this! This is a problem I have too. Most tank tops are too low cut at the top so I struggle to find one that feels appropriate. The Merona tanks at Target are awesome. They come up high enough and are a little thicker than a traditional tank. I also love Banana Republic’s tanks!

  5. says

    This was such an interesting post an so well-put together. Loved reading about your favorite tanks, and the only other one you haven’t tried that I have recently discovered are the Liz Lange tanks from Target. Yes, they’re Maternity but no, I’m not pregnant and they don’t have side ruching or any other maternity details. But they are thicker than Long & Lean tanks (my other favorite) and a little longer as well. The side straps are also thicker and I think you’d like the scoop neckline (not too low or too high).
    Gina — On the Daily Express

  6. says

    I definitely have the “well-endowed” problem and I always feel weird wearing just a tank top. But that Old Navy style looks right up my alley. Loose in all the right places!

  7. says

    The secret to the ones with the too-narrow straps is to layer more than one….I hardly ever wear a single tank by itself…there is def comfort in the layers. I also often layer a stretchy-fitted cami under one to give me a little coverage and to smooth out the bumps and adds a pop of color under a neutral tank.

  8. says

    Great post Jo-Lynne! I hate the summer heat but love wearing tank tops. I have 2 nude color bras that I religously wear in the summer with my tank tops; Victoria Secrets bra with clear straps and Calvin Klein racerback bra (very feminine and comfortable!)

    xo,
    Janise
    http://MamaInHeels.com

  9. Janell says

    I just recently found your blog, and I love it!

    I rarely wear tanks alone, and now I realize it’s because I’m not wearing the right ones!

    I just bought my first pair of colored jeans and capris. I’d love to see a post on how you style yours!

  10. says

    Yes! I second all of your rules and abide by them myself. I actually prefer tanks that have a really wide strap…more true sleeveless than “tank” maybe? I hate when my bra straps show and do not think that’s a good look for anyone. The only issue so far I’ve come across in my search for good tanks is that if they do have the super wide straps they are usually super tight crew necks and good grief I wish I could find some that were modest scoops or v-neck….like the one you posted from Land’s End LOVE that one!

  11. Claudia says

    I love the Banana Republic timeless tank!!! I get a new color every summer and replace the black and white ones as needed. I’m so bummed they’ve changed the style! The original tank is still available in black and white only. The new style, which comes in a couple of fun colors in stores and stripes, has a built in shelf bra!?? Tried it on for kicks and the fit is awful…frumpy and the back is much too low! I need a bra when wearing a tank and I also like to layer them if I need to. The shelf bra kind of limits that. Sorry for the rant but I truly hope Banana Republic doesn’t stop making their best selling tank.

  12. Mary says

    Eddie Bauer women’s favorite tank. Perfect amount of stretch, strap width and scoop neck are just right. Length is great-especially if you are a bit short waisted, like me. Love!

  13. Suzanne says

    I got a bunch of those tanks from Target this year, and normally wear a MED in all tops….but these were just super tight, so I went up to a large. I thought the straps would be too long, but they aren’t. They are still tight enough that I can sort of “place” the fabric where I need it to be and it stays. Same with the length…a bit too long for me, but I do some “self-ruching.”

    I also love this tank from Title Nine: Breeze Tank, http://www.titlenine.com/product/420972.do?kwd=tank Def. on the costly side of things (esp. compared to the 5.40 tanks at Target) but it’s SO PERFECT, it’s worth it to have one. They go on sale occasionally…..mine was $30, not $48. LOVE THIS TANK!

  14. says

    Great roundup of tanks! I haven’t tried the Banana Republic ones yet, but I’ll give them a try next time. I’m a fan of the Target Merona and the J Crew tanks, but I do prefer the little bit longer ones on me.

  15. says

    Talbots has a variety of tanks and I like most of them. Their basic tank is one that they carry year round in a variety of colors. It’s nice for layering and wearing by itself. They have cardigans in the same colors for layering. They have wide enough straps to cover bra straps, but I usually wear a bra with adjustable straps so that I can move them over a little if needed. Check out Talbots sometime. I think you would like their tanks.

  16. April says

    I second the lady who said Eddie Bauer tank tops. The straps are wide enough, they have the right amount of stretch, they are fitted but not too tight or revealing, and they come out with fun new colors and patterns each year. Give them a try, I think you’ll like them.

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