2016 Update: Check out our latest discussion on the best camisoles for workwear!
Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
For today’s Hunt, I thought I’d search for the perfect camisole. In my mind, here is what is a perfect camisole: It’s machine washable (and, usually, can be tumbled dry). It doesn’t roll up around your sides. For the office, in my mind the best camisole does not look like lingerie — the less lace and mesh, the better. It’s a solid color. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I hate the nude camisole for most office looks. And, I think, the best camisole serves the purpose that you want it to serve — for my busty self that usually means raising the neckline of blouses, sweaters, and dresses. I’ve also used camisoles over the years as a way to put a layer between myself and the sweater so I didn’t have to launder it so often — so high armholes can be helpful. My perfect camisole doesn’t have a “shelf bra” attached to it. — and for me, it is almost never a shaping camisole. (I’ve bought a number of brands through the years and have always been disappointed; I’d much rather wear a high-waisted shaper (like this or this) or even a bodysuit if I want to smooth out my midsection/back area.) And, of course, the perfect camisole is inexpensive — this is one of the few times where I would rather have 5-10 inexpensive camisoles to throw away at the first sign of wear, rather than to “invest” in a single, expensive piece. Readers, what do you look for in the perfect camisole? Which brands have you bought in the past; which have you bought recently? [Read more…]