Basics. You’ve got to love them, eh? Just when you’re feeling a little tired of your puffed sleeved dresses, throwing on a classic tee or a ribbed tank with your trews can make us all breathe a sartorial sigh of relief.
When it comes to ‘fashion basics’ or ‘staples’, one person’s T-shirt layer might be another’s statement piece. But that’s the beauty of a vest top: whether you’re layering it under an open poplin shirt, or as a top in its own right, there are a few things about the trend you should know.
Whilst basics always have your back and therefore we don’t want to mess with them too much, there are some slight iterations which are having a moment. Meet the racerback vest (it’s the half-sister of the tank top). A trend that’s fully forced its way into the fashion set’s wardrobe since they defined 2022’s aesthetic (and is here to stay this season). And mine too – I’m obsessed. It makes up most of my trans-seasonal wardrobe and makes any outfit feel effortlessly cool. Plus it adds a sporty edge.
Don’t be put off by supermodel Hailey Bieber being a regular wearer, it works for any body type. Trust me (I have boobs and wear them) – you just need to be prepared with the right underwear.
First things first, unless you’re going braless a la nineties style, here’s some of the best tried and tested bras for racerback vests.
Hands down the best seamless racerback option out there. Also great for those who don’t like structured or underwired bras. One word: comfy!
Another great wireless option, the nifty cross design on the back will hide behind your vest.
A good option for those who need a bit more support. Still pretty with the lace details and a great shape for the sporty style.
If the front of the vest has a cool cut out pattern or the straps are quite narrow, you’ll have to go strapless if you want that chic curvy line. Plus no one wants to see those ugly bra straps, do they?
Dora Larsen’s underwear hits that perfect line between being sexy and still practical. This strapless number is great for those who want something a bit more subtle under the racerback – I recommend the Kermit green!
You can’t knock Wonderbra for their endless support (had to, sorry!) and their strapless options are great for a bit more support. I’ve had mine for over 10 years, it’s that good.
Another entry from Skims, because if Kim K’s brand can’t smash the underwear category then she must be doing something wrong. This one is certainly so right.
And if, like me, you’re in the market for a good quality racerback top that’s truly versatile, scroll down to see my recommendations and what to wear them with:
For the office
You might think a plain vest top is a bit caj for the office, but as soon as you team it with tailored trousers and even a teeny strappy heel, your look is instantly transported to summer office chic.
An easy way to take the tank from day to night is to pair it with a sexier material. Enter: leather. Trousers, shorts, skirt – whichever you choose, they’ll all work and with any colour combo.
For brunch with the girls
The humble vest is a great option for when you want to look cute, but not have to try too hard. Wear with autumn’s It trend: the denim maxi skirt. Try a cropped style with a high-waist plus a pop of colour for fun, and Birkenstocks for ultimate comfort.
For a trip to the sunday market
When you want something easy to chuck on at the weekend, try a vest under a pair of denim dungarees or a jumpsuit for a low-key look. I like to keep mine tonal, to avoid looking like a nursery school teacher. Sliders or mules and a crossover bag will give it that cool edge.
Laid back look
If in doubt? Just add jeans. A very good pair of jeans, like my favourite straight cut from Agolde, will hold any basic top as a complete look. Add a leather jacket for the cooler evenings and some banging gold jewellery to top it off.