Big Bust Cleavage Control: Perfect Cami in an Imperfect World

In a perfect world, we’d only have camis in our drawers because we liked them, not because we needed them to make up for neckline fabric shortfalls. I realize that cleavage starting points aren’t standard for all women, but I’m pretty sure that the cleavage lines of only a tiny minority of women begin where designers want them to.

Being a holdout against forced camis, I implemented a wrap dress embargo for my closet that I only recently lifted because of how amazing I think Curvy Wordy looks in the dresses she reviews, camis and all. Unfortunately, as I begin again to wear dresses that require camis, I’m reminded of why I avoided them in the first place:

  • they’re hot (not in a sexy way);
  • I have to hoist them up at the neckline periodically;
  • they ride up my waist, making me feel frazzled when I want to feel calm and collected; and
  • they destroy the line of the neckline.

I’ve mentioned cami options on this blog before, but I haven’t been very interested in them since I try not to need them. Now that I need them, I was very interested when Erica wrote about Perfect Cami on her blog in October. I tweeted about her post and received a phone call from Ann, Perfect Cami’s founder. It was great talking to another entrepreneur, especially one like me (shameless self promotion) who (1) is very picky about the quality of fabric she uses; and (2) manufactures in the United States. She offered to send me a Perfect Cami to try, and even had a navy blue basic made just for me. As you may recall, I’m currently in my Navy Blue Dress Period.

Bottom line: I love it.

First, I wore it for a few hours with the Calvin Klein striped dress that I bought over the summer (no more diagonal profile).

Next, I wore it for our car trip down to  D.C., Thanksgiving dinner, and the long hike from the parking garage to our hotel last week.

Each time, I forgot that I had it on. No sliding neckline, no riding hemline. It’s practically weightless, although the fabric is definitely a good quality. It’s silky, stretchy and soft. They even send it in a little organza bag that I at first thought was only pretty packaging, but when I unpacked my suitcase, I realized it was a necessity to keep the velcro from catching on my other clothes. Note that it does NOT gather at the top like you see it doing on the model on the website’s basics page. It lies perfectly flat, probably because we have enough to fill it up.

Speaking of filling things up, I especially appreciate that the sizing chart specifies that a 34GG would wear an XL (that’s what I have), and a 36 FF would wear an L. Someone has been listening to her customers!

Are there any negatives? Just one and a half:

1. the plastic piece that adjusts for the width of your bra strap is a little bulky and occasionally dug into me. Since I’m always going to need the widest setting, I will try to remove it;

1.5. as you can see with my striped dress, the straight-across line of the Perfect Cami alters the scoop neckline of the dress, but that just can’t be helped. If I want a rounder neckline, I’ll have to wear a regular cami.

I’m tempted to consider the $26 price a negative, but that’s only in comparison to my $8 camis that slide down, ride up and add bulk–three problems that this product solves. Currently, Ann is offering a fall discount of 25%, so now would be a good time to stock up or buy them for your mom and sisters for Christmas.

Speaking of stocking up, I really, really, really wish the basic Perfect Camis came in a million colors. I would like more options than black and white, especially since camis can be a great way to put color next to my face when I’m stuck wearing a black tee shirt because all my lighter tops have stains. As a small manufacturer, I know how challenging it is to find companies that will sell small fabric quantities that are re-stockable or take small dye jobs for an affordable price, so my wish for Perfect Cami is that they sell so much of their product that they can begin to meet the minimums necessary to carry a ton of gorgeous colors. Until then, I may try to dye a few.

Finally, Ann also sent me two lace Perfect Camis, one in white and one in navy, which I unfortunately don’t have much use for. I took the navy lace to wear under my tee shirt last week, but my only goal is modesty, and it was too thin to accomplish that.

I do like what she’s doing with some of her sheer options, however. They almost make me want to have them in my drawer because I LIKE them, and not simply because I need to make up for a designer’s fabric shortfall.

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the review — it was inspiring. For example,I love the long-sleeved version of this dress, but I hate all the cami adjustments it requires. I will try to help Ann sell enough of her Perfect Camis that she can afford to expand her range of colors. 🙂

    P.S. Note to anyone else interested in buying a Perfect Cami: Erica’s review of the Perfect Cami has the perfect sizing guide.

    Ann’s sizing guide — S to XXL — corresponds to a limited range of cup sizes, as Erica notes. But Erica helpfully translates the cup sizes into full-bust measurements (e.g., S — 32-36, not S — 32-34 A/B).

  2. Darlene, you vibrant woman – the Calvin Klein dress. It’s a dress, not a tunic darling xxx Winter tights with boots or brogues and it’ll look amazing! But that type of cami, agree – it’s not always a necessity but often great just to smooth the silhoutte and prevent riding up. Camis defo aren’t always do to the imperfect cut for a busty figure.

    • Hmmm. I sort of like my jeans-and-skinny jeans combo, but I’ll probably like your suggestion even better. If you saw a longer dress that I tried recently w/ my new leggings, you would congratulate me on the improvement here!

      • with the leggings you got from Macys? Definately a great look. I do like a skinny jean combo with a tunic but the proportions are important so just think a shorter top proportionally compliments that look better. Lenghtwise meaning something that clearly covers the butt but is a bit short for a dress.

        • my sin being that I sometimes wear those more as a dress… trying to be careful with that these days, gets a bit tricky at work even if worn with woollen tights.

  3. I prefer full length camisoles.
    I found a great camisole – store brand Soho, store Myer (Australia). It looks small, but it stretches out to fit DD+ (and goes back to shape when taken off) and doesn’t ride up on the bottom. Can’t find a link on the store website right now.

    Also Commando has camisoles that stretch out to fit DD+.

    • I’ll have to look that up, Karen. Thanks for telling us about it. In the winter, I don’t mind a full-length cami, but the bottom riding up has been driving me crazy.

      One thought about the Perfect Cami–if I want to wear a buttoned cardigan as my main top, the Perfect Cami keeps it from getting too hot. And believe it or not, I have a cardigan I can button w/o gapping–but of course it’s XL.

  4. This reminds me of a similar product I saw on Etsy, called the T-Let, which is basically a cropped cami: http://www.etsy.com/listing/49185739/straight-neck-t-let-camisole-that-ends

    • Interesting! That one has straps, which is probably better if you want more of a scoop-neck cami. The advantage of the Perfect Cami is that by fastening around your bra strap, it eliminates any stretching down of the cami neckline, and it’s tailored to where your own cleavage begins.