How to Wear a Camisole

Do's and Dont's for Styling This Feminine Top

Alicia Vikander attends The London Edition opening celebrating the September issue of W Magazine at The London Edition Hotel
Getty Images, David M. Benett / Contributor

The camisole, or cami as your mom might call it, is a versatile and essential part of any woman's wardrobe. The thin straps and simple design make it a basic piece with a lot of potential. Silk, loose-fitting camisoles make great going-out tops when paired with jeans or tucked into a skirt. A more fitted, cotton camisole is great for layering under sweaters and sweatshirts for a little added coverage (and some slimming potential!).

Because they are so skimpy by nature, we've broken down the most essential "Dos" and "Donts" for wearing a camisole. While they are particularly on-trend (just like slip dresses), they are a timeless layering piece and are unlikely to become unfashionable anytime soon. We love how they look tucked into a skirt (a la Alicia Vikander) or worn loose with your favorite boyfriend jeans and sneakers for a mix of masculine and feminine.

Tips for Wearing a Camisole


  • Layer a strapless, smooth-cupped bra underneath your camisole for a polished look. If you need added coverage or more support, look for a cami with a built-in shelf bra.
  • Wear a silk camisole under a blazer or cardigan at the office for a hint of feminine charm.
  • Tuck your camisole into a ladylike skirt for an outfit that's a mix of modern and sexy.
  • Style a lace-trimmed camisole on its own with something unexpected, like boyfriend jeans or wide-leg trousers — a contrast of feminine and masculine influences is always chic.
  • Embrace the lingerie and pajama dressing trend! Wear a silk camisole with a kimono or robe-style jacket and jeans for an of-the-moment outfit.
  • Err on the side of larger rather than smaller — a camisole with a more floaty, relaxed fit will ultimately be more flattering since you're showing a fair amount of skin around the chest and shoulders.


  • Pair your most fitted camisole with tight jeans — remember that opposites attract in fashion. This style of top will look better either tucked into an A-line skirt or layered under a jacket or cardigan.
  • Let it show if you're layering more than one camisole under a shirt or sweater — it looks sloppy and overly youthful.
  • Choose an overly-skimpy camisole if you are busty; instead opt for lace trims on a more substantial tank top like one with thick straps or a more conservative, straight-across neckline.
  • Forget to accessorize your neckline with layers of thin necklaces, a choker or statement necklace.
  • Wash your delicate camisoles in the washing machine — silk and crepe should be dry cleaned only to preserve the color, shape, and fit.