The camisole-also referred to as the chemise, tanks, vests or cami-top is still a popular and sexy lingerie item today. Together with slips and half-slips it remains an essential part of any woman's wardrobe.
Camisoles or chemises made a come back in the eighties when a nostalgic desire for lingerie came into fashion and was popularised by Madonna's daring sexual style.
Paired with slinky skirts as evening tops and tailored with woven fabrics, silky slips or satin camisoles were worn under suits. Elegant short slips and embroidered long camisoles were all in abundance.
The resurgence of this lingerie continued into the 1990s as designers sent models down the catwalk in slip dresses, and recording stars such as Courtney Love paraded about town in torn camisoles and satin slips. Victorias Secret's the US mail order company filled their catalogue with lacy, silky, and sheer versions of teddies - a camisole and panty combined - and myriad of exotic and erotic underwear items.
Essentially the camisole is a sleeveless and sheer undergarment, also worn as an alternative to a blouse. The cami-top on the other hand is a look-alike shapewear piece that gives a seamless and toned look to tight fitting outer garments. The Slip, by contrast is a full-length undergarment for dresses that is suspended from the shoulders by straps and often worn under sheer dresses to reduce transparency. Many camisoles today come with matching thongs or panties.
Generally made from silk or satin with lace trimming, charmeuse is another popular choice of fabric for camisoles and slips as well as cotton and lycra, although satin slips still remain ever popular.
by Janet Reger