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13 Australian creatives show us how they style a boob tube

IMAGE VIA @ZIGS_MOM/INSTAGRAM
WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

An unexpected wardrobe staple.

The boob tube is a surprisingly versatile clothing item. Whether you wear it alone or layer it over a T-shirt or button-up shirt, whether it’s stretchy and colourful or structured and minimalist, there’s a lot to be said for this small but sexy piece of fabric.


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Personally, one of the most versatile items I’ve ever purchased is an unassuming black, structured boob tube. I picked it up when pricing clothing at a vintage store I worked at a few years back. I remember thinking it looked like a handy item to own, but I could never have predicted how much wear I would get out of it.

I style it over striped shirts (see above), long-sleeved mesh tops, turtlenecks, faded band T-shirts and wear it alone. I would quite honestly be lost without it.

It’s an item I’ve worn on repeat for years now, and I get immense satisfaction from breaking down the cost per wear of this humble piece of fabric. Obviously, I j’adore a boob tube, so with this in mind I reached out to some of our favourite creatives to see how they style theirs.

Carmen Azzopardi, content creator

As a bigger busted person, I’ve always appreciated the boob tube trend but never really felt like I could pull it off myself, so I’ve admired it from afar. However, over the last few months, I’ve been noticing that the boob tube trend is on the rise (and so too is my confidence!) so I’ve finally taken the plunge and tried it out, but with a twist! My Dead Pretty halter-top is one of those pieces that I love tying up a million different ways, so when I was dressing for date night last week, I thought why not cross the straps over the front, tie them around the back and tuck them in to form my own boob tube?

It surprised me how supported I felt in doing this as the tight straps around the back of the piece worked to keep the top from slipping down (a fear I always associate with big boobs and going strapless!). I’ve given my ingenuity a 10/10 and can confidently now get amongst the boob tube trend as a busty person.

@zigs_mom

Mon Barton, writer and model

I would rank a boob tube higher as an essential than a bra, but that’s just me! I mean, boob tubes grant you the freedom to ditch the bra and flaunt that sexy decolletage. We all love a pop of the collarbones and a chance to stack all your chunky necklaces.

My all-time favourite tube is this custom made one from Sexiaz Lingerie. With the double ties you can turn it into a halter, double neck strap or any other variation you want! Plus, it doubles as a swim top due to the nature of the fabric. Win-win!

@mons.monday

Ruby Staley, freelance writer

As influenced by Matilda Djerf, I knew this summer I needed to find a way to incorporate the iconic boob tube style back into my regular rotation. But because of Naarm’s ongoing wintery weather, there’s no way you would catch me wearing a strapless number alone any time soon.

So for a simple, minimal, and most importantly warm, outfit, I wore this vintage knit boob tube over a classic white button-up. I paired the combo with some black flare low waist pinstripes and a thick fur-lined coat in typical Melbourne style for added warmth in the form of layers.

@rubystaley_

Bel, musician

When I was 20, after saving up for months, I bought these two iconic Prada boob tubes. Since then, I have not purchased a single other one. These are all I need. I got one of them on Farfetch, and the other on Rakuten (Japanese eBay) secondhand.

These are so versatile, and stand the test of time stylistically. You can layer them with shirts or knits, [or] wear them on their own with a sexy black pant and stilettos. I’ll never get rid of them. They’re a staple in my closet.

@eyesofbel

Matisse, model and content creator

One of my favourite looks to date is a ‘something borrowed’ moment, which I love. The boob tube in question is a friend’s Sexiaz Lingerie piece, a Naarm-based family business I adore. I love their stuff because it’s all so customisable and you can wear each piece in whatever way you feel the most comfy in.

Definitely need to cop my own with summer approaching. I styled it with my housemate’s skirt and my Ma’s thigh-high boots, which I begged her to let me have. There’s something so fun about pulling an outfit together from somebody’s else’s wardrobe and making it your own!

@your.never.girlfriend

Emma Cutri, co-founder of Sister Studios

This is my all-time fave boob tube. We made them about five years ago for Sister Studios from deadstock fabric we found at a fabric store in Sunshine. It’s nude and sexy and always makes me feel great when I put it on. It works perfectly with all styles of denim and is the top I always go to when I can’t find anything to wear.

@emmacutetree

Rahma Mohamed, model and Error 404’s co-creative director

This Isabel Marant boob tube dress has become a fast favourite in my wardrobe. Especially because I am on holiday at the moment! It’s difficult for me to travel without packing my whole wardrobe so it’s been great seeing how I can style this dress in multiple ways and still feel fresh.

I brought this dress vintage and it’s remained timeless. I’ve worn it on its own, with a shirt on top for a casual look, out to dinner with accessories and as a top with pants.

@rahmsmohamed

Lydia Crist, fashion stylist assistant

I’m a huge boob tube advocate. This one I’m wearing is Maison Margiela – it belonged to my mum in the early 2000s. Here I have styled it with a pair of loose vintage Issey Miyake pants. I love it because it’s one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. It’s light enough to throw on alone in warm weather but loose enough to layer on top of a turtle neck or shirt in the winter.

I often style it with low waisted bottoms because not only do I feel like Carrie Bradshaw, but it makes the whole outfit look low-slung, which I love. Plus, it is has a grip band on the inside so I can do all kinds of activities without worrying about a major wardrobe mishap.

@lydiacrist__

Morgan Munday, Nagnata’s Digital Content Producer

This little beauty is by the Spanish brand Gimaguas. I love the way their designs cross-pollinate between artistic and hot girl summer. I love the knitted texture and unexpected colour combination. It’s super versatile because of the knit fabric and I can bunch it up shorter to wear it more cropped or extend it longer with lower waist pants and skirts and show off the cute frilly edge detail.

It’s also got a removable single spaghetti strap which you can add to transition it into a one-shoulder – genius! I usually wear it with different shades of blue denim (shorts, pants or skirts) and a platform sandal or it’s pretty fresh with white pants and a woven straw slide too! I like to mix it up either adding my colourful beaded necklaces or keeping it plain.

@morganmunday

Arielle Richards, journalist and content creator

I’m more than a little biased when it comes to boob tubes – the Sexiaz Lingerie ruched crop designed by my mumma is simply the best boob tube ever made!!! It’s so versatile and I’ve been experimenting with different ways to wear it. I love to layer my black one over more feminine pieces, like this costume dress.

Here the ruched crop works to sharpen my silhouette and modernise the somewhat frivolous dress, similar to layering a corset or cinch but without the hard-out cottagecore Edwardian/milkmaid effect.

@rari.ferrarri

Annie Enoka, founder and designer of Anni Enoka

I love this boob tube because of its bold colour, print and its versatility. It’s the perfect statement piece for summer! This boob tube is actually a beautiful Louis Vuitton scarf I bought from Goodbyes. I’m currently wearing it over this bright green bikini top.

I like to style it over a bikini top because it feels more comfortable but it still looks cute from the back. I can’t wait to glam this look up with jewellery. There’s something about wearing a boob tube with layered gold chains that reminds me of a hot girl summer!

@annienoka_

Mahalia Chang, Head of Digital Content and Growth at Vogue

When I was younger, I always thought the boob tube was the boldest of bold looks – reserved only for models and Gwen Stefani at the VMAs. But I’ve realised, given the right boob tube, anyone can partake.

For me, a plain black ribbed top (Bassike’s version is on repeat for me) tucked into dress pants with a low heel and a bun is perfect for work outings. On the (more fun) flip side, a silky scarf tied convincingly with a pair of jeans or structured work pants toes the line nicely. Breezy, versatile and Stefani-approved – what’s not to love?

@mahaliachang

To learn about the history of the boob tube, head here.

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