Saturday 1st October 2022
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GOACA wardrobe classics: camisoles

rebecca minkoff camisole

Back around 2003 or so, you couldn’t get me out of camisoles: I owned a drawer-full of them and wore them on their own, or—more commonly—with a blazer or cardigan. Lately I’ve been thinking about them again because I’ve acquired a few sheer tops that require them, but also because I feel as though I can still, just maybe, get away with wearing them layered with blazers and sweaters the way I used to. I don’t especially like cotton camis—too clingy—and prefer something a bit silkier. It just drapes better, especially if you’re wearing it under a top. This one, from  Rebecca Minkoff, isn’t left in too many sizes, but is so cute with the embroidered stars.

mango camisole

A well-priced orange option.

equipment camisole

More stars, from Equipment.

madewell camisole

Just a really sweet floral.

soprano camisole

I like the scalloping at the neckline here.

j crew camisole

Here’s a velvet peplum cami that looks really flattering.

elle camisole

I am a big fan of the color combination here.

vince camisole

I like the skinny, skinny straps on this (marked-down) option from Vince.

floreat camisole

I don’t like too too much lace on a cami, and think this one gets it just about exactly right.cami nyc camisole

A striped cami like this would look great peeking out from under a blazer.

cami nyc camisole

The blue on blue here is just gorgeous (here is a cheaper but similar option).

organic by John Patrick camisole

Somewhere in my apartment is this Organic by John Patrick cami, which I’d be wearing nonstop if I could find it, because it’s got a beautiful bias cut. And here is another very simply-cut black choice.

anine bing camisole

I like the clean lines on this pretty blue one from Anine Bing.

anthro camisole

Like I mentioned, I’m not a big fan of cotton camis, but I’ll make an exception for this one because the embroidery is so pretty.


Here is a post on my favorite lingerie resources.


Posted on February 21st, 2018 18 Comments

18 Responses

  1. Linda Boardman Kerr says:

    These are lovely, but there’s one problem: that of a bra. While I’m not humongous, my breasts do DROOP and it would not be a pretty silhouette. I’m not sure I like the idea of multiple straps showing either, and a strapless bra can make the shape of the breasts unnatural.

  2. Dana D says:

    These are all beautiful and my younger self would go down this road…

    and my 55-year-old breasts are still one of my best features, even after many, many months of nursing and many years, but I won’t be going without a bra anytime soon.

    (and the only strapless bras with a plunge are also torture chambers with wires…no thanks)

  3. KimFrance says:

    I totally wear bras with camis and don’t mind how it looks if the strap shows—I just try to choose a bra with a pretty and/or thin strap.

  4. c.w. says:

    I wear my cami’s with a bra. If worn under a thin shirt the straps don’t show. At least that’s been my experience. I also have a couple of cami’s with “shelf bras” so there’s no need for a bra––I’m rather flat chested so that helps with the “shelf bra” situation.

    Why is a “shelf bra” called a “shelf bra”––there’s no shelf––there’s no bra.

    And a completely off topic subject…back up everything on your computer. EVERYTHING!!! Yesterday I accidentally deleted 250 pages of my manuscript and it took from 10:11 a.m. till 6:30 p.m., three Apple techs, numerous downloads, restores and uploads to retrieve the deleted pages (plus some of what was done also caused my Word program to stop working completely). It was an effing nightmare. I’m seriously having computer ptsd. Thankfully, I have a back-up hard drive which saved the day.

    • Sammy says:

      Oh no! My sympathies, C.W. I did the very same thing to a research piece. It took a few tear-fueled hours for me to figure out how to restore it.

      Regarding Kim’s lost cami. I’ve often had clothing poached by the gremlins. How about a post on fav pieces that have just disappeared into the either?

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      That is HORRIBLE! I could almost hyperventilate just thinking about it. I’m so glad you were able to get it back, CW!

  5. maggie says:

    I remember back when there were so many camis in Lucky and I used to think DOES NOBODY ON THIS MAGAZINE UNDERSTAND THAT SOME OF US HAVE GIANT BOOBS? And then I’d just read Jean Godfrey-June and buy whatever she told me to.

    • Kim France says:

      Hilarious, Maggie. We didn’t understand.

    • Ella says:

      YES to this Maggie. Also, when you have to buy a larger size cami to accommodate aforementioned giant cans the garment scale is created for someone around 5’11” so the neckline falls somewhere around nipple level, unless you alter the straps.

      But why would I do that when I could just wear an actual top that is more flattering and covers my armpits? Meaning I don’t need to dry clean my jackets and sweaters as often because there is no deodorant transfer. Counterpoint – camis are terrible.


  6. Mary Alice says:

    I would give anything to be able to wear such pretty tops but it’s not an option to go without a bra, and the ones I have to wear do not have thin pretty straps. Also, the reality is, this is a look that’s elegant on a small breasted woman, but veers off into a different sort of territory past a certain bra size.
    I remember in high school being so jealous of my friends who could pull off tiny tight baby tees, halter tops and spaghetti straps. They looked so cute and I looked like…well, let’s just say it sent the wrong message if I tried to pull it off.

  7. Nancy Baten says:

    I always wear camisoles! There are so many elegant ones! And I like it when it shows a little.

  8. Gables girl says:

    I like camisoles under jackets or button down sweaters. I buy the cotton ones from Uniqlo and keep it basic. I do wear a 34DDD so fit is important.

  9. Evelyn says:

    I have a few silk camis that I wear with pajama pants to sleep in, or on weekends I sometimes wear one under a flannel shirt or sweatshirt around the house. I guess it feels like it adds little bit of chic into my life.

  10. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Camis are great, in theory. But when I buy them, they go unworn because I always opt for a white tee or bra-friendly tank.

  11. moi says:

    That striped one from Cami NYC is great! Everlane’s are very good, too.

  12. Darcy says:

    Underarms though. The deodorant, the perspiration…camisoles don’t protect one’s clothes at all. Particularly blazers/jackets—-great for a photo shoot but for real life, I just don’t follow. ?!