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, as well as some of my own favorites.
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 can 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.
- You can wear as underwear, nightwear, or choose a camisole to wear as part of your outfit.
How to select and wear a camisole
The use of your camisole is different depending on your body shape. Let’s take a look at some of the women’s capsules you may want to choose.
Everyday essentials camisoles
If you’re going to be wearing your camisole everyday – perhaps because the weather is cooling down where you are and you want an extra layer – then you may want to choose a pack of everyday essentials camisoles to make sure you have plenty for the whole week.
Camisole with wide straps
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 rather than one with thin straps which will mean your bra straps are on display.
You can also select a camisole with built-in molded cups or underwires.
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 (if you want it to).
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.
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. The camisole from Icebreaker (below) is made from a blend of merino wool and nylon for extra warmth.
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.
The Felina camisole (below) is made from organic cotton colored with natural plant dyes. You can choose from a gray slate color or a sky blue.
Modal or bamboo
Micromodal has become a popular fabric for camisoles. 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.
The long-length camisoles below are a mix of bamboo rayon for softness, and spandex to give them a bit of stretch.
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.
A soft, casual option is to choose a jersey camisole, which would sit well under your winter knitwear.
Satin refers to the weave of the fabric, rather than the fabric itself, so it can be made from different materials, or a mix of fabrics. It’s a good choice if you prefer a finish with a bit of sheen to it.
A lace camisole would look lovely for nightwear with your pajama bottoms. Or you could wear under a blazer, or leave a little lace showing under your winter knitwear.
Also take a look at the best pajamas for women over 40.
Lace trim camisole
For a more subtle lace effect, you could choose a cami with a little lace trim around the arms and neckline.
Styles of camisoles
Now that you’re thinking about what material you would like your camisole to be made from, how about the style of your camisole?
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.
If you want to create smooth lines or you feel your bust could do with a little oomph, you could try a padded camisole.
Camisole 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.
A v-neck camisole is a classic shape that you can wear as underwear, or you could layer under a top or blazer.
Camisoles as evening wear
Because 1990s trends are back in style at the moment, you’ll see there are lots of camisole styles designed to be worn for evening or with your daywear, rather than as underwear.
Chet (above) wears her lace-trim camisole with jeans.
Below are some evening camisole options for you featuring a cowl neck and sequins.
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.
The color of your camisole will depend on your own personal preference, whether you are wearing your camisole as underwear or outerwear, and whether you would like your camisole to blend in with the rest of your outfit or stand out.
Below are some of the most popular options to choose.
Or if you can’t decide which color
If you don’t want to choose just one color, or you want to add multiple camisoles to your closet, you could choose a set of camisoles that come in a variety of shades.
Slimming and shapewear 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.
Here’s a list of some favorite camisole brands we’ve assembled from our 40+ Style readers.
Do you use a camisole? Which are your favorites? Add them to the comment section (and feel free to share links to specific products)
- Shapewear: Do Women (Over 40) Need It?
- Best Bras For Large Breasts: Bras Which Are Supportive AND Stylish
- The Best Bras For Small Bust Sizes AND What To Wear If You Have Smaller Breasts
Feature image by Chet
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