The Two-Piece Outfit Formula I Rely On All Summer Long

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A woman wearing a tank-and-shorts outfit - the two-piece outfit formula you can rely on

Getting dressed for summer in the city is hard enough: striking a balance between the oppressive heat and the frigid AC is a delicate game. But add in the fact that I’ve been mostly confined to my 400-square-foot studio apartment for the last five months and you’ll understand why I’m not exactly inspired to put together an outfit these days. Luckily, my new summer outfit formula of tanks and shorts keeps any sartorial math from getting the least bit complicated.

Though sitting at home over the last few months may have lead to a lot of things, innovative outfit creation wasn’t one of them. Still, I spent the better half of April stocking up on simple, ribbed tank tops that were perfect for both lounging and layering. I found iterations from brands like LNA, Aritzia, RE/DONE, Cushnie, and Bandier — and before I realized it, I had more tanks than could fit in my drawer.

Slowly, I began adding them to my rotation even after I’d changed out of my pajamas. And now, I start just about every outfit by picking out a tank top. Ahead, four looks that rely on my tank-and-shorts outfit formula that are super easy to recreate.

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Tank & Shorts Outfits: Black Tank + Baggy Denim Shorts + Heels

This black tank from LNA feels more like a bodysuit: Its snug fit and deep rib mean it's super comfy to wear — and even easier to tuck into a pair of high-waisted shorts. Finish with a strappy flip-flop or low-heeled sandals an elevated feel.

Tank & Shorts Outfits: White Tank + Bermuda Shorts + Blazer

This outfit, which I was wearing while in Copenhagen for Fashion Week last Aug., has become a mainstay. Pair any high-waisted Bermuda shorts in denim, linen, or structured poplin, add a cropped tank and oversized blazer, et voila: instant summer outfit for indoors or out.

Tank & Shorts Outfits: White Tank + Leather Shorts + Oversized Shirt

The merits of an oversized men's button down are myriad: It works just as well as a '90s-inspired beach coverup as it does tucked into a pair of high-waisted jeans. With my white tank as my base layer, here, I draped a vintage iteration from The Break over my shoulder as a makeshift jacket. Finish with leather shorts and a vintage handbag for any weekend-ready outfit. (Just add a mask.)

Tank & Shorts Outfits: White Cropped Tank + Comfy Shorts + Socks

I dare you to find a better Zoom outfit: put-together on the top, comfortable as heck on the bottom. If I'm feeling particularly cozy, I'll finish this look off with a pair of socks from Comme Si or Brother Vellies.