Camisoles: Create Your Own Simple Yet Elegant Camisole Looks

What defines a camisole?

Making its debut into ladies’ fashion in the late 19th century, the camisole or cami has since become a wardrobe staple. Not to be confused with tank tops, camisoles traditionally have thinner straps and can be made from a variety of fabrics, which are:

  • Polyester
  • Satin
  • Velvet
  • Cotton-lycra blend (for stretch)
  • Silk

The straps on camisoles are often adjustable. They usually make use of the same sliders found on bra straps. Camisoles can be loosely shaped or have a snug fit depending on their design. They are designed to fit the waist, but can also be of varying lengths in the torso, from cropped to hip-length designs. Also, they can have built-in bras, which means you don’t need to wear a separate bra underneath. Thus, resulting in a more streamlined appearance. Wearing camisole as undergarment is also an option to consider for its light and comfortable feel.

Where can you wear camisoles?

Camisoles are only suitable to be worn in countries with free standards of dress due to modesty issues. They are more popular in warmer climates countries, because of their lack of sleeves and often flowing design. In general, the camisole is a casual garment, but there are some exceptions. They are attractive to wear in corporate settings, but only as part of a pant or skirt suit. Camisoles are also a popular choice for evening wear, but fashion etiquette dictates that the fabric should be silky and possibly embellished. Camisoles are often worn as sleepwear because of their level of comfort or as everyday layering pieces because of their versatility.

Best things about camisoles

If you’re a fan of wearing the odd statement necklace, you’ll love camis. Because of their simple, open necklines, they make the perfect top to show off a beautiful necklace.
If you own a camisole or two, you’ll never find yourself saying ‘I have nothing to wear’. This is because they are just so versatile and flattering, you’ll always be able to come up with an outfit that makes you happy.

Let’s have a look at the many ways camisoles can be styled:


A camisole can help your corporate wear looks more feminine. Jewel tones often make the best choice for the office. They would usually be a looser flattering cut, rather than form-fitting. For a professional look, camisoles should be worn with a pant suit or skirt suit. Your jacket would need to remain on throughout the day as bare shoulders are usually a no-no in an office environment. In that circumstance, you can wear a separate bra because your jacket will always cover the straps.


Modesty layering

A camisole is ideal to wear under a low-cut wrap dress or low-cut sweater. In this case, the point of the cami is to be visible. Therefore, nude is a poor choice of colour. Black often looks the best, or wear a coordinating colour. Make sure you are not relying on the cami to resolve a garment that doesn’t fit properly. It is one thing to provide some modesty, and another when the garment is a poor fit, to begin with.

A traditional way to wear the camisole is teamed with a cardigan in the same or complementing colour. This can be more flattering than a cami/sweater combination while still keeping you warm.

Under a sheer top

For increased modesty under a sheer top, try wearing a camisole in a coordinating colour. Alternatively, black, white and nude camis make solid investments as these colours often look best under sheer garments. It’s best to wear a cami of thin fabric that is form-fitting but not too tight. It will help to streamline your appearance with that extra layer of fabric. Additionally, a cami with a built-in bra is a good idea in this circumstance for the same reason. It is important to make sure your camisole is not longer than your blouse. It is not a good look to have it hanging out the bottom or visible when you raise your arms.

Night out

Pair a pleated camisole or button-front camisole with a stylish midi skirt, clutch and metallic sandals. It’s often best to tuck your cami in when wearing a skirt. Otherwise, you will have a shapeless look. Alternatively, team it with tailored black pants and sky-high heels for simple elegance.

Cami as outerwear

If you want something different with your favourite cami, try using it as outerwear. Try wearing a cute velvet camisole over a tee and team with jeans or a mini skirt. For an interesting contrast, wear a cami over a striped tee. It’s important when attempting this look to make sure your cami isn’t too tight and your tee isn’t too loose. Otherwise, it just won’t work. You can make this look appears different in so many ways. If you live somewhere a little chillier, then a turtleneck worn under a camisole can look pretty and keep you warm. Maintain a laidback look with ripped jeans.

There is not only shirt you can layer a cami over. You can layer it over a dress instead. This look works best with a dress that doesn’t have a full skirt. Try it with a form-fitting maxi in a dark colour. This is an innovative way to style a sheer or lace camisole.


Wear a shaped but flowing camisole with jeans for casual chic. Throw over a jacket if it’s going to get chilly and wear sneakers for laidback cool. The ideal cami for this look is one with contrasting lace. Try white or nude pink with black lace.

Boho chic

Wearing a camisole with a maxi skirt gives you instant bohemian appeal. Try using a blend of textures. A stretch cotton cami with a silky maxi looks beautiful. Alternatively, experiment a form-fitting cami under a kimono with jeans. It’s a relaxed look, and you can add some playful prints and colours with the kimono.

Evening wear

Complement a draped silk camisole with a maxi skirt of either semi-sheer or similar silky fabric. Matching jewel tones are best or try a pale rose coloured cami with a white skirt for elegant romance.

Going it alone, or layering it up … what’s your favourite way to style a camisole?