In recent years, camisole sets have dramatically grown in popularity. Part of this growth is due to a new trend in wearing the camisole top as plus size corset . Camisole sets have a long and varied history, which overlaps at times with the history of other types of sexy lingerie. Provided here is an overview of the history of camisole sets.


Besides loincloths, chemises are perhaps the oldest known form of underwear for both men and women. Historically, chemises were long, simple pieces that were worn underneath the clothes of both men and women, beginning in the medieval era. Although chemises never really disappeared until the early 20th century, changing fashions required variants on the chemise to be created. Perhaps the biggest changes in the history of lingerie occurred with the rise of the corset.

Of Corsets and Camisoles

Corsetry began in the Renaissance period, when straight, boyish figures went out of fashion and décolletage became the new ideal. Corsets of this era were fairly rudimentary and fit easily underneath the chemises of the time. As corsetry became more elaborate and dress styles changed, however, it was necessary to find a garment that would hide the corset without adding unwanted bulk. The solution was the camisole. Camisole sets, however, were far in the future.

By the Victorian era, a tiny waist and large bosom were considered the height of fashion. This effect was achieved through the tightlacing of heavy corsets. However, traditional chemises were quite long, effectively hiding the corset but adding the illusion of weight. The new camisoles, by contrast, were short and light. They easily hid corsets but were not bulky. Camisoles quickly joined chemises as must-have fashion items. As modern panties had not yet been invented, however, camisole sets were not yet available.


Thanks to the increasing athleticism of young women at the turn of the 20th century, bloomers became extremely popular. Meanwhile, corsets were no longer in fashion due to mounting concerns over possible health risks. In this climate, the teddy was born. Teddies could be considered the earliest example of camisole sets. At that time, teddies were one-piece garments featuring a camisole attached to a pair of baggy shorts.

The 1920s

The flapper era of the 1920s was a time for increased liberation for many women. This era marks the beginning of the sexy lingerie age. As teddies became shorter, tighter and sexier, some designers experimented with separating the two pieces. This was the beginning of modern camisole sets.

The 1930s to the 1980s

Sexy lingerie styles gradually became progressively more risqué, particularly during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. However, it was the heady aftermath of the sexual revolution that would dramatically change lingerie styles forever.

The 1980s

Stars like Madonna ushered in a new trend – underwear as outerwear. For the first time, lingerie came out of the bedroom and onto the world stage. This underwear as outerwear trend set the stage for the camisole sets of today.

Modern Camisole Sets

Today, camisoles are a basic staple in the wardrobes of females from teens to adults. Camisole tops and matching panties are generally sold as camisole sets. The panties may remain hidden, but increasingly, the tops are designed to be worn as outerwear. A typical camisole top serves multiple functions. It can be worn alone with jeans or a skirt. It can provide an interesting layered effect when worn under a sheer top of a contrasting colour. It can also provide an important layer when dressing for cold weather.



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