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Ask Belle: Camisole Suggestions

Hi Belle,

I’ve recently purchased a few different semi-sheer blouses, and I need camisoles to wear underneath them.  I’ve been wearing thick cotton Old Navy tank tops as camisoles for years, but they add too much bulk to my midsection, don’t tuck in well, and aren’t very pretty.  I’m looking for the grown-up version; thin, pretty, and versatile (i.e. white, black, nude).  Affordable would be a big plus; I’m not one to spend a lot on undergarments.

Thank you! Holly

For a basic, smooth camisole, I like the Shimera camis from Nordstrom.  They come in spaghetti straps and a version with wider straps.  They come in more than a half-dozen colors, and they’re long enough to tuck into skirts or pants and lay flat.  They also wear like iron.

You’re looking for something pretty and lacy.  Maidenform offers a lace trim camisole that smoothes and slims.  Express makes a lace trim camisole that comes in a lot of bright colors.  Frankly, the best place to go looking for these things is the intimates section of Macy’s or JCPenney.  They cater to an older crowd that still cares about modesty, so they have lots of camis, slips, and shapewear in stock.

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  1. Joules (@stylebyjoules) says:

    If you’re having trouble finding camis that are small enough in the waistline, try H&M. I find a lot of camis to be a bit too baggy, but H&M has tons of sizes and I can always find one that fits nice and snug.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  2. Lisette says:

    I love several camisoles that I found from TJ Maxx from Cynthia Rowley. I have a few in nude that were very thin and looked invisible under my sheer blouses. It is hit or miss but it may be worth a quick trip!

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  3. Helena says:

    Nordstrom doesn’t appear to carry the Shimera camisoles anymore, Belle.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  4. LYF108 says:

    I stock up on Loft camis when they are on sale. They are smooth and wear nice.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  5. lesliejeannene says:

    I’ve had luck with Ann Taylor seamless camisoles as well.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  6. Valerie says:

    I’m a big fan of Zara camisoles- just the right amount of stretch and they fit nicely under other shirts (and only $10 each).

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  7. Erica says:

    I wear camis almost every day because I just love sheer shirts. For years I’ve been buying the $2 ones at Forever 21. I buy several every year and keep them in constant rotation. They’re very simple, cheap, lay flat, etc. And you can’t beat the price! Unless you’re looking for spanx, I have no idea why anyone would pay more than $5 for simple cami.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
    • AlannaT says:

      Just wanted to second the super cheap Forever 21 camisoles. I wear them almost everyday, and they don’t come with the annoying built-in bra.

      January 20, 2015/Reply
  8. Maggie says:

    I have a long torso and finding good camis has always been a struggle. I discovered Target’s maternity camisoles with my first pregnancy and have never looked back. They’re so stretchy and wear perfectly smooth, pregnant or not.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  9. LAURA says:

    Check out the paper tin Jockey polyester camis available at Belk, and other department stores. They run about $12.00, available in many colors and prints. Machine washable, last forever. Many times the have the matching no-line pantiesif you’re interested in that,

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  10. Pam says:

    Have relied for years on the ann Taylor ones. They come in neutrals but also lots of colors. Last a very long time. Have had some probably 10 years, still look good with gentle wash.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  11. Jamie says:

    Any recommendations for silk camis? I have one from J Crew that I love but it’s from a few years ago and I’ve heard that quality is no longer there.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  12. Amanda says:

    Uniqlo Airism — super light and ~$10 a pop. Lots of strap and sleeve styles.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
    • Katherine says:

      came in here to leave this recommendation. Uniqlo can’t be beat for their undergarments. (plus, regular shipping is like 1 day to DC!)

      January 21, 2015/Reply
  13. LAURA says:

    Check out the paper thin Jockey polyester camis available at Belk, and other department stores. They run about $12.00, available in many colors and prints. Machine washable, last forever. Many times they have the matching no-line panties if you’re interested in that

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  14. Jenn says:

    I love camis from Forever 21. They are so cheap that it doesn’t hurt to replace. I love stocking up on them in different colors, or I have plenty of black and white ones on hand.

    A Petite Treat

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  15. Fi says:

    I love Uniqlo camisoles with the built-in bra cups. They’re super comfortable and come in a wide range of colours, as well as black, white and nude. They make them in different materials – airism (a light, smoother version for summer), heattech (a warm version for winter) and a regular cotton one. I have so many of them and totally stock up on them when they’re on sale.

    January 21, 2015/Reply
  16. ~M says:

    I strongly recommend Adea. They have great silky tops that can go under almost anything. They do run a bit big. (

    January 21, 2015/Reply
  17. Jessica says:

    Any recommendations for something with sleeves under sheer shirts?

    January 21, 2015/Reply
    • Amanda says:

      I’m sounding like a broken record on this post, but Uniqlo is your answer! They have short- and long-sleeved styles, depending on the season.

      January 23, 2015/Reply
  18. PD says:

    The seamless tanks from The Limited are excellent and decently long. They fit nicely under dress clothes and do not roll up for me. Come in a variety of colors:

    January 22, 2015/Reply
  19. Lindsey says:

    So I have a question – do you try to match the color of the blouse with the cami, or are you pretty safe with a white or nude and black under most everything? I never know and just default to those 2 options.

    January 25, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I usually wear a flesh-toned color. The only time I wear black is under black.

      January 25, 2015/Reply