The Hunt: Demi Camisoles

The Best Demi Camisoles | CorporetteSure, 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.

I’ve always been intrigued when, amidst a discussion of great camisoles or what to layer under wrap dresses, numerous readers have expressed their love for the demi camisole.  There are a number of companies making these things, and the general idea is the same: you get a bit of fabric to raise the neckline of your dress or blouse for modesty, you don’t have to deal with bunchy/extra fabric around your middle, and they can even be a great way to make regular shirts more friendly to nursing/pumping moms.  Some of the brands (such as HalfTee) even make half-shirts with sleeves, which I think would be great beneath silk/cashmere tops to to extend the time between laundering.  I’ve mostly heard of women wearing them on TOP of regular bras, but every woman is different.  I thought I’d round up a few — readers who swear by demi camisoles, which brands are your favorites?  Readers, do you prefer demi- or full camisoles?

Coobie BraletteCoobie is a brand that I first heard about when I was nursing — a lot of mothers seemed to like it to raise the neckline or even just wear around the house by itself.  I bought and returned the product, but admittedly was thinking of it more as a sleep bra than a demi camisole at the time (I also got one of the versions with removable pads, which I hated) — if I were to try it again I’d go for a wire-free, pad-free version and think of it only as an additional layer on top of a bra.  This wire-free cami bra is $16 at Bare Necessities (plus take an extra 25% off with code BNS25). Coobie One Size Black Wire-Free Half Camisole Bralette
Basic Halftee ModalHalfTee is a company that specializes in demi camisoles — they have 15 different styles of halftees, in addition to maternity-friendly styles, full-length styles, and kids’ styles.  The basic modal halftee (pictured; the modal tank is pictured at top) is $18.99; prices range from $16.99-$45.99. There may be a store near you; the site also offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee. The company is offering 20% off anything on the site to readers with coupon code corporette (expires 3/10/14). Basic Halftee Modal
Miss Oops Boob TubeThe bandeau style is something else to consider if you’re looking for a demi camisole — I’ve heard readers sing the praises of Miss Oops Boob Tube before, but many other brands make this style as well.  These are available at Amazon and for $14-$30. Miss Oops Boob Tube
Gap Racerback Pullover Bra Even though it’s marketed as a bra, I’ve heard readers swear by this racerback style from Gap as a great demi camisole.  They’re $21-$24.50 at (which is offering 30% off your purchase today with code EARLY). Gap Racerback Pullover Bra
Second Base JanetSecond Base definitely has some of the nicest looking demi styles (as well as tanks and cardigans) — but these are also more expensive than any of the other brands listed here, with prices ranging from $32 to $44 (with sale styles as low as $18). I’ve heard readers mention the Janet style (pictured), but they have a ton of styles in regular and plus sizes (some with sleeves). Second Base Janet

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  1. I like the idea of avoiding fabric bunching at the hipline, but I wear full camisoles to avoid my midriff or back being revealed upon stretching, bending over, or reaching. The demi looks great for a one-piece dress though.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      The only thing that I hate about a cami is the “shelf” it creates between the b00bs. Some tops (especially ones with a pleated/gathered neckline, it seems) are meant to kind of sit/flow into that “valley” between the b00bs, and a cami just totally messes that up. I have one cami that has ruching between the b00bs, and that tends to work a little better, so maybe the coobie one with the ruching would work.

      I’m definitely a neckline-raiser. I hate low cut, plus I just don’t have a long torso, so sometimes the shoulder-to-bottom-of-the-neck measurement is really long on me, whereas it would be normal on someone of normal height. Or at least without a freakishly short torso.

  2. I can’t believe there is actually a bra company called second base.

    I also don’t know how I feel about the half shirt. I’ve done something similar with a bandeau top but something about all the extra straps on top, I don’t like.

    • Great Cami’s! I have been LOOKEING for cami’s like this one, especieally now b/c I have been eateing alot to stay warm when I walk in with my Fitbit again! The cleaneing lady gave me back my fitbit, but it had some kind of tomatoe paste on it. I think she must have went to a PIZZA parlor weareing it and spilled sauce on it. I rinced it off so it is OK tho. YAY!

      The IRS guy is back again. He is lookeing at me differentley. I hope he does NOT have idea’s that we are now dateing b/c I bought his pasta primavera. FOOEY b/c that had to much garlic on it, and I think his breathe smelled funny all afternoon after the MOOMA. I also showed him some place’s in Midtown, includeing ST Pat’s, and the NYAC. His relatives used to own property in the city. I think I will ask my mom and Grandma Trudy about him b/c he claim’s to have come from the same place as our releatives.

      He does like the way I “carry myself” whatever that mean’s. Myrna say’s he likes my T&A. Fooey, if that is true b/c I have not even kissed him and already he is undresseing me? FOOEY! What does the hive think about a guy talkeing like this when you have NOT even kissed him and he is imageining your tuchus and boobies just for his likeing. I say this is to early, but Myrna says this is fine. I would have liked for Myrna to be with me, but she could NOT make it, so I had to be alone with Benjamin. I hope I am not makeing a mistake but I told him I would consider goieng to DC when the Cherry Blossom’s are out. What would the hive do? I hope we are DONE with our audit by then. I did NOT tell the manageing partner b/c I do not want to get into troubel with him. Help! Men can be so dificult sometime’s!

    • Clementine :

      Seriously, what a ridiculous name for a company.

      So this is the adult version of wearing a white cotton sports bra over your regular bra under a shirt/dress… Huh.

      As a full-o-chest woman who has a small band size, I often do this when wearing a button up shirt to avoid the dreaded ‘chest gap’. Even with a correctly sized shirt, I’ve found that the ‘valley’ between the girls often results in some awkward moments.

    • cold in Chicago... :


      I use the dry cloths to dust my hardwood floors.
      I use an occasional wet cloth to scrub my kitchen/bathroom floors…. or even better/cheaper…

      I fill a bucket with Murphy’s oil soap, put part of an old T-shirt on my swiffer, and mop my floors with that after dusting.

      • The misplaced reply had me wondering how to use a swiffer cloth as a demi camisole for a moment… No offense meant OP, but I thought I’d share my LOL moment.

  3. TJ – Anybody here into meditation? I’m really inspired by the meditation before and after pictures and the glow that people seem to have after a month. Is there any book rec or a website I could use to guide me as I’m a beginner in this area? Thanks!

    • Interested in this too. Right now I am toying with the SimplyBeing app. Yes, I realize how strange it is to use my smartphone to unplug

    • I just started taking a once-a-week beginner’s meditation class and we’re following the basic structure of the book Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg, which is a 28 day program. I actually checked out the audio version of the book and like it because Sharon actually leads you through a sample meditation each week. (Something that couldn’t be accomplished with a text).

    • “How to Meditate” by Pema Chödrön

    • Anon Associate :

      There’s a podcast I like called “Meditation Oasis”. It’s free and has a variety of meditations for different uses (i.e., there’s one to help you fall asleep, and another for when you’re sick, etc.)

  4. Ciao, pues :

    Cleaning TJ: mops

    this is a strange question but what kind of mop do you use for daily cleaning? i grew up with my mom (who placed a premium on cleanliness– much more so than I do) using a traditional cotton string mop to mop the floors in our house. i think they do a great job, but are really burdensome to wrangle– to soak, to wring out, to maneuver, to rinse, to dry– and i’m looking to make the switch to something more user friendly. i’m averse to sponges in general because i think they spread bacteria (an opinion based on nothing apart from my having inherited it from the aforementioned clean mom) but is this the way to go? We have wood floors that are partially covered with area rugs.

    • I have used sponge mops for 25 years or so, and sponges in my kitchen, with no major illness outbreaks in my family. According to the people who installed our hardwood floors, you should use very little water on them anyway, and dry them more or less immediately. I found a good way to do this is use a damp sponge mop and dry with a dry sponge mop wrapped in a cloth rag.

      • I think there are ways to sanitize sponges if you are still paranoid. A kitchen sponge can supposedly be sanitized in the microwave, and I’m sure you can soak the sponge mop in Lysol if it makes you feel better.

    • I really like the Bona Spray Mop system. No strong scent, non-toxic, and good for the floor. We have a several of the micro-fiber pads and just toss them in the wash after mopping. Just don’t use fabric softener on them. Also, my toddler loves to mop with this and it’s easy to use.

      • lucy stone :

        We have this and love it too. We don’t mop as often as we should, but it works well and is greener than other alternatives.

    • I had this mop:

      It lasted about 3 years and then unfortunately broke, but I plan on replacing it. I love the removable, washable pads. The bottle that lets you use your own cleaning solution. The handiness of having it ready to go at any time in the closet. I hate mopping, and this mop made it so, so much easier.

      • I love this mop! Except I’ve purchased, and broken, it three times. After the third time, I went back to swiffer. Now looking for something more durable and economical.

      • Anonymous :

        I have it too. Mine has lasted 3 years and is still going strong.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I use a swiffer wet jet for this purpose – I feel like it’s user friendly and sanitary

    • Terry cloth covers (removable and washable) on a flat headed mop.

      • This. It’s all about the Sh-Mop. My family has been using this for like 20 years now. (wow, I’m old)

    • kjoirishlastname :

      For daily cleaning, our nanny just sweeps. Weekly, she uses the EuroFlex Monster steam mop. We did a lot of research on steam mops, and chose this one as it DOES get the water hot enough to sanitize. Some of the other mops (like the shark) requires you to keep the mop in place for like 2 minutes, in order for it to sanitize. It is safe for use on hardwood, and I even go so far as to steam-mop our kitchen table sometimes. It really does do a good job of cleaning/getting up sticky stuff. But, you have to have a fairly dirt-free floor to start with. Pads are machine-washable. It also came with basically a plastic guard that allows you to steam over carpet stains. It works moderately. Not as well as a true carpet cleaner, but in absence, it does the job pretty well.

      In the middle of the season of muddy dog feet, I picked up some swiffer wet pads for our swiffer, which I assume will probably be used pretty frequently.

      For heavy scrubbing, I have a Libman sponge mop and either Method or Murphy’s and water.

    • iRobot. Changed my life. It’s not a mop per se but has been a blessing in disguise. I program it to clean up the floors (I have hardwood + area rugs here and there) every day after I leave and I come back to a clean place.

      • Since moving into a place with no carpet whatsoever, I’ve been seriously thinking about this. Do you just have a Roomba or a Scooba?

    • ex enviro :

      I have hardwoods and I clean with dry rags and Bona spray on my hands and knees. For me, it’s a quicker and deeper clean than a flat head mop with the washable terry/towel covers (which I’ve used). Vacuuming, spraying, and scrubbing takes about half an hour max (I have a 400 sq. ft. apartment). I spot clean with a damp sponge and a clean towel.

  5. Just want to point out the 4-in-a-row red clothing pieces! Was that on purpose?

  6. I use a Gap camisole-style bra for this, but not the Racerback pictured above — the Pullover Bra:

  7. give me the slip :

    I need to invest in some slips–both half and full. I don’t want to spend a ton of money, but I do realize that I’m looking at about $30 per piece minimum here. The purpose of these items for me is pretty much exclusively for tights/unlined dresses/skirts. I don’t have much call to wear one otherwise. That is to say, I probably wouldn’t wear one in the summer.

    Do you have one/brands that you love? Where did you get it? What do you love about it? What don’t you like about it (or others you’ve tried)

    • I’m a big fan of the ones from the gap. Kohls is also worth a look.

    • You can get decent half-slips for less than $30 (probably much less) at Target and Kohls.

  8. If dressing for work were a college course, this post/class would be called “Demi Camis: Advanced D!ckie’s for Modern Women” or something like that.

    I’ll take the whole shirt, thanks.

    • greengoddess :

      Yes – they are totally dickies, but they are also life-changers. I no longer have bunched up fabric around my waist or need to figure out how to tuck a camisole neatly into Spanx. Before I discovered demi camis I would often tuck my camis into my underwear, which was always a total fail. And in the summer, not having an extra full layer of clothing is nice as well.

    • hoola hoopa :

      LOL! Well put.

      Bravo to whomever came up with the much more appealing “demi cami,” but in my mind this will always be a collarless d1ckie.

  9. I have both the Boob Tube and the Second Base “Janet.” I’m a busty gal (32DDD), and neither work for me – they just don’t cover enough ground, so to speak.

    I’m curious about the HalfTees – anyone with a similar size tried these?

    • Here are some google reviews for Halftee. They are on HSN and were on ShopNBC for 2 years as well. By far the best layering shirt on the market, just read all the reviews. People are freaking over them.

      Google reviews:

      400 different customer reviews on HT:

  10. Down East Basics has demi tees. Love them.

  11. Maybe it’s because I’m not quite an A-cup, but it never crossed my mind to wear a bra under those. I like the Gap racerback style but use it as a lower-impact sports bra or in the weekend – for work I prefer bras with padding and some structure/definition to counterbalance my curvy hips (I have 35″ hips vs. a rather small upper body with 31″ bust and 24″ waist, so I really need help to look more balanced). Also, a lot of tops are not flattering at all on a flat chest.

  12. MissDisplaced :

    If you are fuller figured and/or dislike the “shelf” or “uniboob” a camisoles can give you might prefer something called the camisole bra. Like a regular bra with shaping and separation, but with a bit of lace or other material in the middle for extra coverage under low cut dresses or blouses.