The camisole of the past is nothing that it is today. In fact, the entire concept and use of the garment is completely different. The camisole used to be a cover for the corset. This was designed to protect the corset from any foreign materials and other soil from getting into the fabrics. It also would hide the boning and lacing of the corset and give a smoother look. The styles were sleeveless or short sleeved. Mostly there were sleeveless camisoles because women wore a short or long sleeved chemise on underneath the corset and camisole. This was not a sexy type of item. It was designed for hygiene and function. Over the years, once the bra came out, corsets and chemises were no longer as widely used. The camisole was used over the bra to make sure that you could not see the lines though on the clothing. This was the older version of the non-visible bra line.
The design was simple and short and only went down to the waist area. The length is probably the only thing the camisole of yesterday has with the camisole today. The older camisoles had casing around the waist where it was tied in the front. Many time one to two rows of lace were added on to hind the casing. Usually there was a 'V' shaped interfacing yoke at the bottom that was hemmed. Depending on the era would dictate the type of sleeves on the garment. The older it is the more likely it was sleeveless. Later when bras were invented the short-sleeved camisole was designed. The material used was cotton or a cotton blend. You wanted a garment that could absorb moisture and soiling, yet still breathe. The designs began to change as the fabric technology improved. As underwear became more modernized and many of the under garments of the past began to fade. Many of these styles were transformed into a different line of marketing. Most chemises, corsets, and camisoles now became lingerie.
The simple corset-covering camisole is now a thing of the past. Unless you run into one in a vintage clothing shop or make one yourself you will no longer find that old design. Now what you can expect to find will be in the intimate apparel part of the department store or in a lingerie shop. This is now a tiny little top with or with out stitching under the bust that come right above the hips. It usually has thin or spaghetti straps that are adjustable. This little top also usually comes with its own little pair of shorts. This is a far cry to what it was decades and centuries ago. If you get lucky the better ones also come with a short sexy robe. Camisoles today are worn in several ways. They can be worn as lingerie, pajamas, or even a shirt. They have become a multi-purpose article of clothing in today's world.
Today the camisole is available in a multitude of fabric and colors. Cotton and cotton blends are still very popular especially as pajamas. These styles can have embroidery or mini ruffles around the neck, waistline, and the top and legs of the shorts. Every conceivable color can be imagined. This is the garment you would were under your clothes or to bed. Then there are the silk, satin, and synthetic blended camisoles that are soft on the skin and to the touch. These styles can be just as they are or adorned with lace or full ruffles. Many of these types are not only worn as intimate apparel and/or pajamas but also as tops with a pair of slacks, jeans, or skirt. Many women will still wear these under their clothing, as well. Truly these camisoles are made to be looked at and admired. The shorts are made to match and flare out slightly on the hips to create a sexy slim look. The last style and the most popular for intimacy is the sheer mesh or all lace camisoles. These are meant to be used as intimate apparel and under garments only. These are completely see through. Only the boldest of ladies would wear this as a top with a bra for that daring look when going out on the town. If you dare to wear your camisole like that you are bound to turn some heads for sure
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