Updated: MAY 23, 2015

Camisole is a term for a women’s lingerie garment. Camisoles are tops with thin, adjustable spaghetti straps. A camisole is similar to a chemise, but shorter in length. It may be loose or tight fitting. While most extend down to the hips, some are short enough to expose the midriff region and others fall as low as the pelvic area.

The camisole evolved from a garment called a corset cover, and it retains a feminine look not seen in similar garments like tank tops.

A camisole is known as a cami for short.

More About Camisole

Most camisoles are made from light fabrics such as nylon, satin, silk, cotton, spandex, or lycra. Many are trimmed in lace which helps enhance their aesthetic appeal and make them seem more modest when worn underneath low-cut blouses and dresses.

Traditional camisoles provide little support for the bust. Some women, especially those with large breasts, may prefer to wear a camisole over top of a brassiere. However, they can also be worn without this extra piece of lingerie. Camis developed in the late 80s had built-in underwire bras or other structures for added support, which do away with the need for a bra. Camisoles which have shaping features for the bust, torso, or waist are known as control camisoles.

While originally designed as an undergarment, some women now choose to wear camisoles as part of their outfits. A camisole is different from a babydoll, which is a garment that tends to have a looser fit. Like most items of female lingerie, camisoles are sometimes thought of as a fetish object. Those who fetishize camisoles may encourage their partners to wear them, or spend time looking at images of other women wearing camisoles.


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