Following our articles on bras for big busted women and bras for small busted women, I have now also updated this article on camisoles.
Camisoles are one of the best wardrobe essentials for women over 40 and in this article we will show you some of the best camisoles as reviewed by readers.
The benefits of camisoles
The benefits of wearing a camisole are plentiful:
- They can create a flattering layer underneath tops;
- they help with tops that are too low-cut;
- they can create a smoother line underneath clothing by camouflaging bra straps, and minimizing any bumps or bulges and help camouflage your belly;
- and if you select a cami with slimming features, it can be a functional piece of shape wear to whittle a bit off of your middle too.
How to select and wear a camisole
The use of your camisole is different depending on your body shape.
If you have a larger bust
If you have a large bust, you might prefer a camisole without a shelf bra so that you can wear your own bra underneath.
Select one of the camis with wider straps that are designed to fully cover up bra straps.
You can also select a camisole with built-in molded cups or underwires.
Camisole with wide straps
You may like to wear a bra with this camisole: check out the best bras for large breasts.
If you are smaller chested
If you have a smaller bust you can choose a camisole with a shelf bra or inbuilt bra.
Some in shelf bras have wider elastic and offer more support than others, so check the thickness and amount of elastic if you need more support.
You can also select a seamless cami to wear with your own bra as well to either add additional padding or support or to make your bust look bigger.
Best camisole without bra
Best camisole with shelf bra
Want more tips on how to dress for a small best? Check out our recommendations for small busted women and the best bras to buy.
The best fabrics for camisoles
Camisoles come in all kinds of different fabrics from nylon, to cotton, to silk. Many have a combination of these fabrics.
I personally only wear camisoles in natural fabrics as they do a better job and keeping me comfortable and keeping me either cool or warm.
Cotton is still one of the best fabrics around. It keeps you cool in summer and it feels soft to the skin.
Very popular are the Hanro V-neck camisoles. They are more expensive than most of the camisoles featured on this page as the quality is superb. They are made of mercerized cotton.
The modern production method for mercerised cotton, also known as “pearl” or “pearle” cotton, gives cotton thread a sodium hydroxide bath that is then neutralized with an acid bath. This treatment increases lustre, strength, affinity to dye, and resistance to mildew.
Best cotton camisole
Micromodal has become a popular fabric for camisoles too. This fabric is created from Beach Tree Pulp. It’s finely knit and feels silky giving them a luxurious and super comfortable feel on your body.
The fabric comes in 3 different versions: modal, micromodal and ultra luxe. In the micromodal variety the ground fibre is a bit fiber which allows for a higher concentration of it in the final product without adding extra weight. This makes it feel even more silky. Ultra lux uses a finer knit version which gives it a more airy feel.
Very popular is the Jockey modal camisole that comes in many different colors.
Silk camisoles are perfect to layer under evening dresses or your best jackets and cardigans. They can be shown to the world or worn underneath your clothes. Eileen Fisher is known for its beautiful silk camisoles that will last you for a long time.
Eileen Fisher silk camisole
Best warm camisoles for winter
In winter you may like to get a camisole that keeps your body warm so you can wear more fancy layers on top. I really like the camisoles from Uniqlo that come in a variety of colors. They come with or without built in bra.
Camisole for winter
Camisoles with in-built bra
If you need more support than a shelf bra but you don’t want to wear a bra underneath your cami you can consider a camisole with an in built bra.
camisole with built in bra
Camisoles with a high neckline
As many women use camisoles to layer under their low cut tops, camisoles with a high neckline are in higher demand than I think brands realise.
A few ladies mentioned that they resort to wearing their camisoles back to front which is of course one solution, but ideally you will get a camisole with a high neckline.
This camisole has a higher neckline and comes in a variety of colors.
Long camisoles versus short camisoles
Most camisoles tend to be quite short but long camisoles can be useful too. They can be used as layering pieces or be comfortable as loungewear.
You can layer your longer camisoles with a short cropped top like this one or with a longer cardi or jacket.
Here’s a list of some favorite camisole brands we’ve assembled from our 40+ Style readers.
- Eileen Fisher
- Stella Carakasi – This is the brand I’m wearing in the image at the top. They have long camisoles and short camisoles
Shaping and slimming Camisoles
Shaping camisoles combine a cami with shapewear that can smooth your waistline and tummy area.
Shaping camisoles range from minimum to firm control.
Choose a minimum firmness for everyday wear underneath pants and jeans. You can wear the firmer control with skirts and dresses or any outfits where you need a little extra support.
Slimming camisole – lightest level of control
If you prefer to be comfortable but still want to smooth your mid section of light level of control shaper may be a good option for you.
Slimming camisoles with firmer support
If you want more smoothing and shaping then this compression tank top may be your best choice. They are a little bit harder to put on but will smooth you out even more.
Belly shaper camisole
If you have a bigger bust you may prefer a camisole shaper that allows you to wear your own bra. This type of shaper is popular with some of my friends.
For more advice on wearing shapewear, check our article Shapewear, do women over 40 need it?
How to care for your camisoles
Most camisoles get their stretch from a combination of nylon and elastane which can be damaged by hot water. So handwash in cold water or wash them in your washing machine in a mesh lingerie bag.
Don’t put them in the dryer, instead lay flat or hang to dry, they’ll keep their shape and stretchiness, and last much longer.
Do you use a camisole? Which are your favorites? Add them to the comment section (and feel free to share links to specific products)
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