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.