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What is a Camisole? (Styles and Usages)

Learn more about exactly what is a camisole, all about the different styles, and how to wear a cami as an undergarment or as a date night accessory.

Whether your dressing up for a date night or a night out with the girls, a camisole is a great way of layering shirts to avoid embarrassing lighting and feel more confident in your clothing choice. There are actually many ways to use camisoles, but before we discuss types and styles, we should first start with, exactly what is a camisole?

A camisole is a loose fitting sleeveless undergarment for the upper body. These garments feature both spaghetti straps as well as wider straps that cover the bra straps. Camisoles are commonly worn by women of all ages because they are stylish and comfortable.

What is The History of a Camisole?

It’s important to understand the history of the camisole and where it originated. Some historians agree that the word camisole has French and Spanish roots and is likely borrowed from the Latin word, camisia, translated as shirt or nightgown. Chemises, another term for nightgowns, were worn centuries ago by both men and women as undergarments.

As fashion evolved, and technological advances like furnaces entered our lives, chemises that usually covered women’s corsets were replaced by another style of clothing…the camisole. Camisoles have become wardrobe staples for women and are worn both as romantic lingerie and everyday wear.

The Evolution of The Camisole

The fashion industry loves to experiment with fashion ideas and design new trends. Creative designers are pros at finding new forward-thinking ways to wear traditional clothing. For example, finding multiple uses for one garment like a camisole, for a variety of occasions is often the case. Camisoles worn for formal evening wear could be called a spaghetti top and the same camisoles worn with jogger shorts are referred to as exercise shirts.

In addition, camisoles are frequently worn underneath an outer garment like sleeved jackets and other outerwear depending on the weather and occasion. Designers suggest styling tips that become today’s trends. Camisoles are very versatile and whether they are loose fitting or tight fitting, worn with the right garment will create the right outfit for any occasion.

Common Terms For Today’s Camisoles

Camisoles’ humble beginnings as underwear worn by both men and women is no longer the case. A camisole is now accepted as an everyday essential item of clothing every woman should love and wear. A camisole is worn alone or with other clothing and the terminology reflects how it is worn. Common terms for camisoles are spaghetti tops, deep necks, scoop neck, noodle straps, exercise shirts, and cami for short.

Let’s discuss the many types of camisoles and different strap styles.

Cotton Camisoles

Soft cotton camisoles are very popular because they are soft and comfortable against the skin. Since cotton is a breathable fabric soft cotton camisoles are perfect for wearing in warm weather. No matter your bust size, or breast form, loose-fitting cotton camisoles look as great underneath a t shirt as they do underneath a silk blouse. White camisoles with wider straps are the most popular for today’s busy on-the-go woman.

Lace Camisoles

A lace camisole provides an elegant, elevated sense of style. Whether the lace trimmings are on a tight fitting tank or a loose fitting style with inbuilt cups, lace camisoles add a romantic touch to an outfit. They are beautifully designed to cover the entire upper torso or crafted with a shorter peek-a-boo, take a look at the entire pelvic region vibe. Straps and strap styles of lace camisoles vary in fabric and width.

Bra Camisoles

This two-in-one genius invention is a bra and camisole combination. The bra is conveniently built into the cami and is perfect for all breast sizes. The straps are usually wide offering additional support and comfort. Many feature soft cotton and offer more of a tank top styling. A white camisole makes the most sense when worn underneath another garment. Some women enjoy wearing their bra camisole as a shirt, while others combine it with other clothing, sometimes wearing multiple tank tops for drama and style.

Silk Camisoles

Silk is an extremely feminine material. Just like soft cotton, silk is cool and smooth when touching the skin. Silk camisoles are typically worn as nightgowns, sexy lingerie, or pajamas. Some forward-thinking fashionistas wear their silk camis during the day underneath a top or dressy t shirt for a chic, on-trend look.

Shape Wear Camisoles

 Shapewear has taken on a whole new meaning since the girdles and corsets of yesteryear. Brands like Spanx embraced technology and fabric advances to create shapewear that is both comfortable and beautiful. Shapewear camisoles are intended to flatter your figure while offering a slimming effect. Today, women of all different bra sizes and breast forms can enjoy the amazing results of wearing both camisoles and shapewear.

Camisole Tops

This camisole is referred to as a Cami top and is worn by a younger-aged fashionista. They have a supportive bra insert, are commonly designed with soft cotton, and are figure-flattering. Most Camisole tops feature deep necks, scoop necks, different strap styles, and a casual, youthful design. Camisole tops can be worn alone, with a sweater, jacket, or layered with tops.

How Do You Wear A Camisole?

The sky is the limit when it comes to wearing a camisole. The bottom line is there is no wrong way, only your way. Consider a camisole the foundation of your outfit and work your way around it. Here are some ways to wear a camisole.

Date Night Flair

Ready to hit the town with a romantic interest? Style your silk or lace cami with a pair of your favorite loose fit jeans and a casual jacket. Pop on a pair of big hoop earrings, layered necklaces, and a chunky bracelet. This look will look just as great with a pair of leather sneaks or a pair of ankle boots.

Casual Wear

A workday that never ends calls for a longer soft cotton tank top that looks as good as it feels. Go for a bold color or pretty floral design and pair it with a pair of black comfortable leggings that move when you move. Even skirts work with a longer cami. Elevate the look with a coordinating silk hair scarf, diamond studs. Less is more to get you through a long day so a pair of ballet flats is the only other thing you’ll need.

Transform A Skirt into A Dress

Get double duty out of a skirt, thanks to your beloved spaghetti top camisole. If one of your camis is the same color as your favorite skirt, wear them together to create a monochromatic dress mirage! A pair of long bead earrings and a vintage broach is the perfect pairing for this classic look. Pop on outerwear depending on the weather.

Outing With The Girls

Wearing your favorite loose-fitting camisole with a scoop neck for an outing with the girls is always in style. Select a white, black camisole with lace trimmings, pop on a denim jacket and a mini skirt, and put on your dancing shoes. It’s 5:00 somewhere and when you are with your best friends comfort and casual is always at the top of the agenda. Cheers!

Exercise In Style

Whether you jog outside, take a spin class or take a leisurely hike, a body hugging camisole with a built-in push up bra is the perfect way to support your breasts. Pop on your jogging pants, walking sneakers, and a baseball cap and you’re not only ready to exercise in style, but you’re also dressed to impress for everyday errands and picking up the kids thanks to the brilliantly, versatile camisole.