I currently own 67 tank tops. That’s right, 67. And that’s not counting the 24 I use as pajamas. I think this might be an insane number on any account, but as I live in the Pacific Northwest, which is very beautiful but boasts roughly 3 days of summer per year, it’s kind of ridiculous. To be fair, I do wear a majority of these tops year round, and not because I’m a total lunatic who thinks tanks and shorts are acceptable December attire. I find them useful as an extra layer of redundant torso fabric (my motto: if your core’s not warm, you’re not warm!), and I generally need something to cover the skin that v-neck, off-the-shoulder, or sheer sweaters leave exposed. In fact, I own very few tops that don’t legally require another shirt underneath them. I don’t know if that’s the style, but it’s definitely my style, and as I am most comfortable this way you’ll probably see me wearing scoop neck tanks and v-neck sweaters well into my 90s.
I’d say two-thirds of my tanks are utilitarian. I have clothes of many different colors so I have tanks of many different colors to go underneath. Some for matching, some for adding a spark of color to an otherwise solid colored outfit. That’s not so crazy, right? The others are fashionable items of clothing that I love breaking out on those three warm summer days. Perfectly reasonable, I suspect. But to tell the truth, if I lived somewhere like Hawaii where it’s warm year round and I only needed to wear the tank tops, I would be fine with that. More than fine. I don’t know why. I’m not looking to show off my Michelle Obama arms* and I like the variety of my wardrobe. In fact, I think my husband’s side of the closet is a bit homogenous, overflowing with blue jeans and t-shirts, and only a sweater or two and pair of slacks for the rare occasion that requires something fancier. But oh, if we lived in a warm climate I’d probably ditch all the variety and fill my side with tanks. There would be the scrappy and/or adventurous tanks for weekend wear and fancy dress-up ones for a night out and practical but sophisticated ones for the work week. It would be grand, this tank-top-only life I would lead.
I try to live in the here and now and not obsess over that which cannot or will not be. I love the northwest and I’m not planning on moving. If I ever did, I think I’d probably go to San Francisco, and I’m pretty sure they only have the one day of summer. But I can’t stop buying tank tops and it’s hard not to let the mind wander to a warm, sandy beach when standing in the closet in front of 67 of them.
Actually, looking at them now for the purposes of the above picture, it occurs to me that 67 is an odd number. (Literally and figuratively.) I think I should go for the gusto: an even 100. Donations accepted.