The wife beater, as this style of shirt has been called, has been around for a long time.In terms of the definition of “wife beater,” there are generally three. One would be a reference to a person who physically strikes or beats their wife. The second definition has to do with an individual receiving half of another person’s estate when they die, due to having psychologically intimidated or frightened them into it. the third definition is in reference to an article of clothing being a thin, white tee shirt that has no arms and is often stained with beer and reheated food spills. The tank top originally was a chain mail undergarment worn by knights during the middle ages, that would prevent a sword from piercing the flesh. These were called waif beaters, because they would typically be seen as worn by knights who had been abandoned and were fighting with their last “shirt.” By the 1700s, all the knights had disappeared, and the term morphed to wife beater, then referencing men who were physically abusive to their wives. In 1947, a Detroit man who had bludgeoned his wife to death was photographed in his dirty tank top with baked bean stains on it. As he was now the iconic wife beater, the shirt he was seen wearing in all his mug shots also gained the same name, which stuck.

The Tank Top as a Universal Fashion Staple
The tank top is a universal and basic standard of apparel in the fashion world, and every woman has at least one, hiding somewhere in her drawers. They pair well with sheer, see-thru tops, layer beautifully for warmth, and look great  under a leather bomber jacket. You’ll find them in soft, organic cotton jersey, with lovely, soft and feminine lace detailing the neckline and armholes. They can be loosely knitted with a myriad of blends, from cotton and poly blends to ones that include metallic fibers. There are gorgeous peplum tank tops, with some featuring contrasting panels, that are divine when paired with any length of skirt or pants.

Different Tanks for Different Looks
Cropped or chopped, a tank top raises the bar for a sexy fashion statement with all your favorite bottoms, from those high-waisted skinny jeans and stilettos to those cutoffs and strappy platform sandals. The cropped tank top paired with high-waisted jeans and shorts rock, when a lively patterned or plaid long sleeved shirt is tied about the waist. Take a sophisticated peplum tank top and pair it with a sleek pencil skirt for unprecedented polish. Migrate seamlessly from the office to the cocktail hour, just by switching jackets or overshirt. Bodycon, printed and lace skirts that hit mid-calf and lower blend with chic glamor when topped with a softly feminine tank top in a buttery soft fabric. Add a tailored blazer or an antique piano shawl to dramatize the effect. Cuffed boyfriend jeans can be a hit, with stacked espadrille sandals or perhaps some red patent leather pumps, topped off by a white or black tank top and a white, full-fitting blazer. Fringe has come to tank tops in 2016, with even more fun in their overall style influence.