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 an in-built 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 camisoles for summer
Depending on where you are in the world, you may be looking for cool weather or warm weather options. For summer, choose breathable fabrics or lightweight fabrics.
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 (below) has a microfiber interior fleece to keep you cozy.
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.
Wendy @fashionoverfifty.wendy above shows how you could wear your silk camisole with a skirt for a night out. You could team the same outfit with sneakers for a more casual daytime look.
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 soft, casual option is to choose a jersey camisole, which would sit well under your winter knitwear.
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?
If you want to create smooth lines or you feel your bust could do with a little oomph, you could try a padded 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.
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.
Below is an evening camisole option for you featuring a cowl neck.
You could also look for a camisole featuring sequins for a special occasion, or to dress down with your denim.
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.
If you want a camisole to layer under a v-neck and you aren’t too concerned about covering your tummy as it will be under another top, you could look at a crop option.
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.
Jess @elegantlydressedandstylish above (read her style interview here) shows off a great look in which she creates a column of color with her black camisole and jeans, and then wears a long cardigan over the top. If you want to, this is a good technique for looking taller and slimmer.
A white camisole is always a classic option to wear under your shirts and sweaters, or with a pair of shorts for your vacation.
If you’re worried about your camisole showing under your clothing, choosing a neutral or nude shade can help. Look out for beiges and browns and choose a color close to your skin tone.
Red will always get you noticed. You could wear alone with a skirt or pants as evening wear, or layer under a blazer.
The long, lace-trim camisole (below) comes in pink or a good choice of colors and reviewers say it is perfect for layering.
If you’re looking for a softer alternative to black, navy is always a good option. A navy camisole would look lovely layered under a white blazer.
Gold is always a glamorous option for evening. I like how the gold camisole below is styled with wide-leg white pants.
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 wear your camisole
with a blazer
Karen @styledbykaren above shows off a classic, yet very modern look featuring a blazer, jeans and a camisole.
Karen Millen Compact Cotton Stretch Tailored Jacket – Treasure & Bond Lace Inset Camisole – PAIGE Laurel Canyon High Waist Bootcut Jeans – MUSSHOE Ballet Flat – Kurt Geiger London Round Shoreditch Small Crossbody Bag – BOCAR Statement Chunky Acrylic Necklace
With a cardigan
You could try a similar look to the one above, but swap the blazer for a cardigan for a more relaxed feel. I like the draped look of the cardigan below, which comes in a good choice of colors.
Lock and Love Draped Open Front Cardigan – Halogen Asymmetric Cowl Neck Tank – Madewell The Perfect Vintage Jean – Paul Green Leilani Peep Toe Sandal – Montana West Shoulder Bag Concealed Carry Purse – Kendra Scott Tassel Bolo Necklace
Under your dress or jumpsuit
If you have a dress or a jumpsuit that you feel is too low-cut for you to wear and feel confident, you could always choose a camisole with a pretty neckline to wear underneath.
under a sheer top
If you have a very sheer shirt or blouse, you may want more coverage than your bra will give. A camisole is the perfect solution.
Baum und Pferdgarten Maku Sheer Floral Blouse – rag & bone Michal Crop Scoop Neck Tank – KUT from the Kloth Donna Fab Ab High Waist Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans – Paul Green Leilani Peep Toe Sandal – Kurt Geiger London Round Shoreditch Small Crossbody Bag – JczR.Y Square Acrylic Dangle Earrings
With a shirt underneath
You could actually mix things up a bit with your layering and wear your camisole on top of your white shirt. This is a trend at the moment (as the 90s are back in style) and it’s a good way to define where your waist ends and your legs begin – making your legs look longer.
Caslon Cotton Button-Up Tunic Blouse – MakeMeChic Lace Trim Cami Crop Top – PAIGE Laurel Canyon High Waist Bootcut Jeans – DREAM PAIRS Chunk Low Heel Pump Sandal – Kurt Geiger London Round Shoreditch Small Crossbody Bag – JczR.Y Square Acrylic Dangle Earrings
under a ruana
Abi @stealmystyle40 above chooses a loose kimona/ruana to wear over her camisole and jeans.
This is also a good luck if you’re wearing shorts and a camisole on vacation but you’d like to cover up a little.
SweatyRocks Kimono – Treasure & Bond Lace Inset Camisole – PAIGE Laurel Canyon High Waist Bootcut Jeans – Stuart Weitzman Mirela Espadrille Wedge Sandal – Vintga Bamboo Bag – Kendra Scott Tassel Bolo Necklace
over a turtleneck
Again, another option where you can switch your outfit around. Wear your camisole over your turtleneck. For the best effect, choose tonal colors.
The Drop Natalie V-Neck Lace Trimmed Camisole Tank Top – OThread & Co. Half Sleeve Turtleneck T-Shirt – Madewell The Perfect Vintage Jean – DREAM PAIRS Chunk Low Heel Pump Sandal – Montana West Shoulder Bag Concealed Carry Purse – Kodewiet Vintage Pearl Earrings
with a skirt
For a dressy evening look, you could wear your camisole with a flowy skirt and blazer. Switch to a denim jacket or cardigan and flats for a daytime outfit.
Karen Millen Compact Cotton Stretch Tailored Jacket – The Drop Natalie V-Neck Lace Trimmed Camisole Tank Top – rag & bone Silk Skirt – Paul Green Leilani Peep Toe Sandal – Kurt Geiger London Round Shoreditch Small Crossbody Bag – Kodewiet Vintage Pearl Earrings
with your pajamas
A camisole top is a good choice when looking for summer pajamas. You’ll find more of the best pajamas for women over 40 in this article.
Your camisole capsule outfits all together
See below for the outfits I featured in this article all together, so you can think about how you could wear them and how you could mix and match to create different looks.
shop some of the items above here:
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
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Feature image by Jess @elegantlydressedandstylish
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