The fact of the matter is this: There are only six weeks left of summer. Yes, August has only just begun, and there’s likely at least one more heat wave in your imminent future, but the countdown to fall has started tick-ticking. Thus, there’s only a narrow window of time in which to bust out those summery pieces you’ve yet to wear — like those platform sandals you treated yourself to but, in actuality, have yet to take out of the box. Then, of course, there’s the tube top outfits you’ve seen the fashion set wearing throughout the season.
Chloe Baffert, curation and merchandising expert at Poshmark, advises you to start with the latter example. In her expert opinion, bandeau-style tops are a collective favorite of recent years and worthy of your attention. “In 2020, we saw tube top sales hit an all-time high (up 1176% from 2013) on Poshmark as the pandemic sent us seeking familiarity and comfort in ‘before times’ trends,” she tells TZR. Think of the stretchy, strapless tops from the ‘90s or the glitzy, ultra-bedazzled styles of the Hot Aughts — does that brief trip down memory lane provide a nice, comforting dose of nostalgia? Do you feel an irresistible urge to slip into an old tube top, put on a pair of flatforms, and crank up early aughts-era Britney Spears?
Baffert says the throwback nature of the piece is very much still in effect, but in 2022, it’s manifesting in more minimal iterations. “Today’s version of the tube tops trades in rhinestones and velour for a classic, quieter iteration,” says Baffert. “For instance, people are gravitating toward the ‘Clean Girl’ minimalist versions of Babaton and Djerf Avenue.” Ultimately, though, she says the fundamental aspect of today’s take tube tops is their versatility: “They are even showing up now at the beach and in the office.”
Ahead, you’ll find seven tube top-centric outfits that showcase the garment’s potential, including a refined date-night ensemble and a comfy-formal option for IRL work days. And while several of the below looks can be transitioned into the fall season through strategic styling, don’t wait — consider this your sign to end summer 2022 in a totally tubular fashion.
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The Matilda Djerf Effect
As Baffert mentioned, Djerf Avenue’s strapless and stretchy top has recently garnered a cult following amongst minimalist fashion enthusiasts. “We released our tube top back in 2020, and since then, it’s been one of our staple items,” the label’s eponymous founder, Matilda Djerf, shares with TZR over email. She chalks up the appreciation for the piece due to its wearability, saying “it’s versatile enough to wear both dressed down — like with your favorite jeans and flip flops — and then with heels for a night out.”
A Transitional Tube Top
“The beauty of the tube top is that it does transcend seasons,” details Baffert, saying there isn’t an exact expiration date that dictates when you need to pack them away in summer storage. As for her advice on finding a trans-seasonal piece? “Try a tube top in unexpected fabrics, like stretch leather and in transitional tones of cherry red, cerulean blue, or cognac, which pair perfectly with late summer’s slip skirt and fall’s exaggeratedly oversized blazer.”
For That Upscale Dinner Reservation
Baffert says today’s take on tube tops also reflects 2022’s all-consuming trend of romantic dressing. “We’re seeing tube tops transform with a little something extra — think stitched cup detailing that mimics a corset,” she offers, inviting you to achieve the look by opting for a top with strategic structure or subtle boning. Then pair it with a slinky silk maxi skirt and luxe separates for an elegant look ideal for that particularly exclusive dinner reservation you’ve been looking forward to all summer.
A Biker-Inspired Bandeau
Consider also tackling fall 2022’s biker-inspired fashion trend when styling a basic black bandeau top, a neutral piece you may already have in your closet, in fact. The key is to reach for the sartorial codes integral to the grunge aesthetic — like a sleek leather shacket and molten silver metallic jewelry. No helmet or Harley Davidson motorcycle required.
The Best Dressed In The Office
“For me, it’s all about the black jersey tube top — a tried and true utility player in my closet,” says Poshmark’s Baffert. “It’s a blank canvas done just right and allows you to show off your décolletage by layering dainty gold coin necklaces and freshwater pearl drop earrings without creating too much noise.” She says the black basic is even office appropriate; All you’d need to do is team it with pleated workwear trousers, dainty jewelry, and then add the pièce de résistance — an oversized blazer.
Cue Up Your Y2K Playlist
“The early aughts put tube tops on the map. Since then, we’ve seen the Y2K staple not only evolve but pick up momentum,” says Baffert. Pay homage to the design’s seminal era by planning an outfit around a glitzy, sequined top — an inherently Paris Hilton and Britney Spears-feeling piece — tailored trousers, and chunky glitter heels.
A Makeshift Moment
Don’t have a tube top at the ready? Fashion a scarf into a top for a similar sleeveless effect. Then, pair the makeshift bandeau with light-wash jeans and kitten heels for a causal yet undeniably polished look.