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A simple T-shirt can be stunning.
By "Today" Style Editor
updated 5/17/2005 10:05:38 AM ET 2005-05-17T14:05:38

Love them? Live in them? Can’t live without them?

Then look forward to a summer filled with fabulous, outfit-making tanks and tees.

Whether you're casual, sporty or a fashionista, there’s a plethora of these practical pieces out there.

Confused by the cacophony of colors and styles? No worries! We’ve got you covered to pick out the perfect top, right here in this week’s edition of our weekly fashion-and-beauty update.

You'll halt traffic with this.

A modern must
The newest twist on the tank top is the sleek, sophisticated halter (which, by the way, is a very flattering style for women with broad shoulders). For the most fashion “oomph,” look for a version that is adorned with silver, gold or wood (yes, wood). That’s right, your jewelry is built right in! This style of tank top is dressy enough to slip under a jacket by day (and an outstanding way to showcase your bare shoulders at night). Finish with a stack of bangles and you’re ready for summer!

Trend Tip:
This is a high-fashion look that’s available at real-world prices. The tank featured here comes in five colors and is from Banana Republic. At $38 a pop, you won’t feel like there’s been a run on your bank account.

A tank with swank.

Fashionista fun
Want the hit of the season? Go for a boldly embellished, head-turning tee! We love the sophisticated, turquoise-and-silver-sequined “starbust” tee from Tory by TRB. (We just bought it in two colors.) Not your speed? We’ve spotted tees adorned with everything from glittering graphic designs to vintage billboard signs to wood and gold combinations. Wear it out loud and proud all summer, because this trend will be gone by the time your tan fades.

Trend Tip:
If you want this look on a budget, peek into your favorite juniors store to see what’s cooking. This red-hot trend has been picked up and “reinterpreted” everywhere and at all price points — and with juniors particularly cost-conscious, prices at these stores tend to be less. Express also has embellished tees under $30. Meanwhile, the Tory by TRB tee featured here is $85 and can be paired with a super thin cardigan sweater.

Layering lends a new look.

Sporty chic
Even simple summer tanks are getting glammed-up this season. Let’s start with the layering trend: Create a rich color mix by wearing one lightweight tank (or tee) over another and you’re right in style. You might then want to move on to the embellished tank for the outer layer. We love the look of a plain white tank studded with sequins, pearls or glitter at the neck. So simple, yet just the touch needed to say “Summer 2005.”

Trend Tip:
Several brands are creating ultra-lightweight tees and tanks made for layering. Look for C&C California or James Perse. Another bonus — they’re incredibly soft and sexy against your skin.

Neo-hippy or fashionista?

Boho luxe
It’s hard to escape the bohemian trend right now. And if you love the look, there’s good news  — it’s very easy (and fun) to incorporate this trend into your summer wardrobe. Look for wildly printed tees or tanks, tie dyes, ikats or ’60s-style patterns in the colors of the season — turquoise, coral, brown, yellow, gold or white. Wear this little number with jeans or shorts, or, if you want to go all out, pair it with a long gauzy skirt and a macramé belt for a super stylish flashback.

Trend Tip:
No need to break the budget for this trend — we found great bohemian-influenced prints from Realitee (pictured here) for under $30.

Be peppy with preppy.

Posh ’n’ preppy
If you love the fail-safe look of the classic “club” style for summer, you’re in luck. The iconic Lacoste polo is enjoying a major fashion revival and it’s a must-have favorite of the fashionista set. How do you wear your polo? In a range of solid brights, of course — plus you’ll find polos that are “shrunken,” striped, sleeveless, halter style, super stretchy … and more!

Trend Tip:
Not loving Lacoste’s little crocodile? You might adore Lily Pulitzer’s line of Palm Beach-bright polos and prepster separates (her pique halter top is our pick).

Judy Gordon is a New York-based style consultant and the “Today” show’s style editor. She has been covering the fashion and beauty beat for the past decade. To learn more about Gordon, you can visit her Web site, TheTrendReport.com, which highlights style trends in America and across the world.

firstVIEW is the primary supplier of photos to Fashion Friday. Go to www.firstVIEW.com for the latest pictures from top fashion shows around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Milan, Brazil, New Zealand, South Korea and more.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints


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