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The Best Layering Cami For Fall [7 Tested / Compared]

August 15, 2019


Erin Schrader

cardigan [size down, wearing in XS] // scalloped cami [size up] // booties [true to size]

The Great Layering Cami

If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly on the hunt for a great cami that can be layered under cardigans and jackets all year long. As odd as it sounds, I often find it difficult to find one that I really like and can turn to time and time again. After I purchased more than I care to admit in the open sweaters and blazers department from the Anniversary Sale, I went on the hunt for the perfect layering cami. Because I was going to be purchasing several to try, I figured why not bring my results to the blog? Introducing, our first official layering cami product comparison post! Consider this your official guide for layering must-haves for fall.

For all other product comparisons, check out this section on our blog!

Meet the Layering Cami Lineup:

Before we jump into the results, let’s meet the camis that found their way into this comparison. We chose 7 of the top rated and well-known brands to test and try. Here they are!

How I Tested & Rated The Layering Camis

After ordering all of the above, I tried every one on and then spent time evaluating the below categories and giving each category a 1-5 score [1 being the worst, 5 being the best] and then took the scores to bring you an average for each cami. As you’ll see below I’m highlighting my top 3 and then the others I didn’t love as much. Here were the rated categories:

  1. Sheerness – Can you see through the cami at all? Because we tested shades of white, this was an important one for us!
  2. Overall Fit – How does the cami fit in the body? Is it boxy, too long, not long enough, show too much cleavage, not enough cleavage, etc.
  3. Appearance – How does the cami look? Does it lend itself well to looking good with most sweaters, blazers and jackets?

The Results – My Favorite Three

  1. At the top of the list, my go-to for years, the Express Downtown Cami. Fit Tip: Size down if in between, I wear in small but could do in XS.

While it doesn’t have adjustable straps like most of the others, it is fully lined making it not sheer at all and it does have a pretty silky, almost dressy material and look to it. I love that it has a double V in the front and back [should you decide to wear it alone] and the length for me at 5’4 is perfect. The only thing to watch out for with this one is that it can expose some cleavage so if you aren’t okay with that, you may want to stick with one that has adjustable straps. I will add that I have owned this cami for years and have had excellent luck with holding up well with wear. I wash on delicate and air dry which is what I would recommend for all of the camis here today! Overall, I don’t think you can go wrong with this one!

2. Next up, the J.Crew Factory Scalloped Cami Top. Fit Tip: Size up one, it is tighter in the chest region. Wearing here in a size 4.Several of us on the LIY team have and love this cami. Aside from the adorable scallop detail, it does offer adjustable straps, ranks very well on the sheerness scale thanks to being lined and has a nice length to it. As you can see in the photos at the top of the post, it looks oh so cute with open sweaters and for the price, you honestly can’t beat it. 

3. Next up, if you’re looking for a little dressier / edgier option, I really loved this 1.STATE Chiffon Inset Camisole. Fit Tip: True to size, wearing in small. I think this is a great take on a cami for girls night or date night. The lace mesh inset gives it a little edge and spunk compared to some of the others [hello moto jacket friendly]. It is fully lined, has adjustable straps and runs on the longer side for you taller girls. 

The Average and In Between

4. A New Day Crepe Cami Fit Tip: True to size, wearing in small. As soon as I put this one on, I could tell it was a little lesser quality than the ones that came before it. However, for the lower price, it is an easy every day option that works! It does offer my favorite trait in a cami – adjustable straps and it is lined [although felt considerably thinner than some of the others], however, it did run a little on the shorter side [petites, this could be a great option for you!] Overall, not bad but not my favorite. 

5. Next up we have the LOFT Covered Button Strappy Cami. Fit Tip: True to size, wearing in small. While I love the front button detail, the panel behind the buttons moves around which means you’re chest area is exposed and shows off the ladies a bit. Additionally, the straps weren’t adjustable, however I did like the daintiness to the straps and the racerback detail. As you can see, this one does run on the longer side so if you are tall, this could work for you – just beware of the button panel. 

My Least Favorites of the Lineup

6. Gap V-Neck Cami in Modal Crepe Fit Tip: True to size, wearing in small. 
The fabric on this one was quite different than the others. It almost felt like linen which made me feeling like it would wrinkle so easily with wear. The straps are adjustable which is good, however, the fit was boxier than most which wasn’t my favorite and the neckline seemed matronly and just not my preference. 

7. Last but not least, the Amazion option, this Dohia Women’s Summer Chiffon Layered Cami. Fit Tip: True to size, wearing in small. While this cami does have a lining to it, it still felt a little on the sheer side and overall, just not the best quality. It does not offer adjustable straps and the scoop neck seemed awfully wide and a little low giving it a low score on overall appearance and fit. 

Do you have a tried and true favorite layering cami?! If it’s one we didn’t try, do tell — I’m all ears!

For your pinning pleasure…

share this with your best girlfriends:

  1. Paula Wagner says:

    Hi Erin! Any chance you can look at layering tops that don’t require you to wear a strapless bra?

  2. Hannah says:

    Is the scalloped j crew one color called marine salt? It looks off white on the website and yours looks more of a true white. Thanks!

  3. Keri Scarff says:

    What is your favorite thing to wear under these cami’s.
    Looking for the best petal type adhesive. Have had the unfortunate event of them falling off!

  4. Sarah says:

    What’s your go-to bra to wear with camis?

  5. I love those jcrew camis. I have that color and black.

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