The wonderful world of lingerie covers a vast array of many and varied intimate apparel styles. This glossary of lingerie terms is here to help you distinguish between the various names using in the industry so you can be informed to find what you are looking for or know what you are being offered.
A babydoll is a short, loose-fitting form of negligee or nightgown featuring an empire waist (waist band just below the bust) and flared skirt, often made from sheer material and paired with matching panties or g-strings. Babydolls often have thin shoulder straps, lace, ruffles, ribbons or bows. The name may have been derived from the 1956 film “baby Doll” starring Carroll Baker.
A balconette style bra has minimal or 2/3 or 3/4 cups that form a horizontal line across the bust leaving the top portion exposed.
A bandeau bra is a strapless bra featuring a wider band around the bust.
A basque is a form of longline bra with a tight, form-fitting bodice extending down to the hips, with garter hooks along the lower edge. Often confused with a bustier or corset – unlike a buster, a basque is form-fitting, and unlike a corset which sits under the bust, a basque has a built in cupped bra. A Merrywidow is a form of basque.
Derived from traditional folk-dress, a bodice is a sleeveless low-cut garment worn on the upper body, and often fastened at the front by lacing, and similar to a corset but designed to be worn over other clothes, and often providing bust support.
A one-piece form-fitting undergarment similar to a bathing suit but often made from sheer stretch material. Worn to provide support and smooth the silhouette and often with snap closures at the gusset.
Bra is the short-form term for brassiere – a form-fitting undergarment designed to support the wearer’s breasts. Bras vary widely in design and purpose, from practical and functional, such as nursing bras and medical support bras, to those designed for more aesthetic or fashionable reasons. Some types of bras: Balconette Bra Bandeau Bra Bralette Demi … Continue reading Bra
A bralette is a type of soft, less structured bra which does not have adjustable straps, is generally slipped over the head, and comes in general sizes, S/M/L, rather than bra sizing.
A Brazilian panty is half-way between a panty and a thong having more back coverage than a thong but less than a panty, cut so that it follows the line of the bum cheeks but still with a full crotch.
A form-fitting corset-like garment that incorporates a bra and extends from from the bust to the hip, often trimmed with lace and with a hook and eyes or a lace-up closing, Bustiers may also have detachable garters, flexible boning, removable shoulder straps. Often worn under formal clothes such as a strapless gown to provide shape and support.
A brief is a panty providing full back and side coverage and with a waistband coming to just below or at the belly button.
A camisole is a light-control supportive shapewear top, often sleeveless, and worn under blouses, knitwear or dresses to give a seamless look.
A chemise is a knee length or shorter dress or slip having an A-line shapre fitting more tightly at the top and hanging loosely at the waist. Can be worn as underpinning or as nightwear or loungewear.
A waist cincher is a kind of combination of a corset and a suspender belt, worn high at the waist and is designed to slim the figure generally using a hook and eye closure.
A corset is a heavily boned support undergarment with hook and eye or lace-up connectors which can cover the bust or start below the bust, then called an underbust corset, and extends down to the waist or sometimes below the hips. Corsets work to constrict the waist. Some corsets also have garters attached at the … Continue reading Corset
This is a type of bra where the cup style does not have an upper half, so as not to cover the whole breast. Also known as a half cup bra. Worn under low cut dresses and tops, often the straps are also set further apart so as not to show under such garments.
A full cup bra has a cup style that covers almost all of the breast, providing more coverage than a demi-cup or half-cup and more support.
A G-string is a skimpier version of the thong, with minimal coverage at the front, the difference being there is no fabric triangle at the back, instead a simple string coming off the thin waistband, leaving the bottom fully exposed. Worn under tight fitting clothing to avoid panty lines showing.
This is a type of bra where the cup style does not have an upper half, so as not to cover the whole breast. Also known as a demi-cup bra. Worn under low cut dresses and tops, often the straps are also set further apart so as not to show under such garments.
A longline bra is a bra with panels that extend to the waist or sometimes longer for extra smoothing. Longline bras often add an element of shaping, similar to a corset.
American word for tights
Thongs are minimal coverage panties, similar to a g-string but with a small strip of “v” shaped fabric at the back to provide slightly more coverage but still leaving the bottom uncovered to avoid panty lines under tight garments.
A triangle bra is one with triangular shaped cups, most commonly unlined but sometimes lined or padded but generally never underwired. They offer support for smaller breasts.
An underwired bra uses a U-shaped wire or plastic in each cup that runs under the breast to provide lift, shape and support. Underwrired bras can have padded or soft cups.
A waspie is a short corset-like garment worn at the waist, and related to the waist clincher. Although derived from the 18th century bodice belt and 19th century belt corset, modern day waspies are not necessarily used to make the waist physically smaller, but are often decorative, resembling a suspender belt without garters.