Photo: Courtesy of James Devaney / Contributor

Currently, when it’s hot, there is nothing more that I want than to be compacted into a tight-fitting, elastane-infused tank top that I can sweat and live my life in. And no, it’s not a camisole. The cami is the camisole’s spunky little sister. The camisole has more of an elegant ring to it, like you can imagine the piece coming with sort of a lace trim. But a cami? It cami is exactly how it is enunciated: simple, tight, and no-frills. The piece of clothing typically comes in a selection of primary colors. Sometimes they come with a bra in it, sometimes they don’t. There’s really nothing to the spaghetti strap piece, and that’s the point. It’s had a fashion moment, too. It “was the de-facto tank of the noughties, an era that keeps on rearing its maximalist head in today’s world.”

Part of revisiting my obsession with the clothing is that I really have become pared-back this summer with what I’m wearing. I’ve worn a rotation of white men’s Hanes tanks, but the cami gives me more of a barely-there kinskida-sexy feeling. It’s had a resurgence, too, thanks to the boom of shapewear. Currently, Kim Kardashian West, who has long been a cami-wearer, has a few cami-looking on her Skims site chicly titled as “Summer Sleep Tank.” It’s also the no-think basic that most people have in their wardrobes, and can be thrown on with anything. I can wear it with a skirt, I can wear it with shorts, and I can wear it with a pair of boyfriend jeans. A cami gives the wearer a cornucopia of styling options thanks to its simplicity.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Of course, the cami is heavily associated with a certain pop culture era. It was worn by teen girls and the staple choice of bubbly, sassy pop stars in the early 2000s, like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and on a more pared-back front, Posh Spice, who often wore cami dresses. Sometimes they would be bedazzled with that high-octane edge of the 2000s. During that time, it trickled down into mass market fashion and found itself on slews of teenage girls. The cami, especially when it came with an embedded bra, was a step into womanhood. And as someone who was a late-bloomer and very flat during the noughties, the tank was an integral part of how I reckoned with my chest sans bra. Now? I don’t have a desire to wear one with rhinestones, but the style is still my easy, breezy top drawer go-to; the uniform of babes with sad air conditioners but great taste.

Here, see the best camis to buy this summer

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