Glossary of Lingerie Terms

 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N

O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W-Z


A

Air Padding
Air Padding is a type of padding which is usually removable, often used in a push-up or plunge bra. This type of padding has more lift than foam padding and is more lightweight.

B

Babydoll
A babydoll is similar to a slip, but it is usually much shorter and flares out from the waist. Most have empire waist, but this can vary.

Backseam
The backseam is the seam at the back of your hosiery.

Balconette
This bra style is lower cut, and it usually has wider set bra straps to create a squarer shape, which highlights and lifts your bust.

Ballet Back
This refers to the shape of where the straps meet at the back of the bra. Ballet-backed bras have a “U” shape in the back.

Band
The band is the piece that anchors the bra to the body. It is attached to the sides of the cups and usually fastens together in the back with a hook and eye closure.

Base
The base starts at the edge of the underwire and extends to the back of the bra.

Basque
A basque is a fitted garment, usually made of lace, that extends to the waistline or at times just above it. It has boning to shape the waist and garter straps to hold up stockings.

Bed Jacket
A bed jacket is a short jacket worn over a women’s nightgown or bed clothes.

Bikini
A bikini is a panty style that sits low on the hips with high cut legs. This style provides medium coverage, with more coverage than a thong and less coverage than briefs or hipsters.

Bloomers
Bloomers are loose-fitting, knee-length underpants for women to wear under skirts and dresses. This underwear was developed in the 19th century and continued to be popular until the 1930s.

Bodysuit
A bodysuit is a one-piece garment that covers the torso and crotch with a closure that is usually at the center gusset. This style can have a full back or thong as the panty.

Boyleg
A boyleg is a panty style that is cut like booty shorts, with little material covering the legs, but just enough to differentiate from a regular panty.

Bralette
A bralette is a decorative bra with no structure or wire and is usually made of lace, sheer, or non-sheer material.

Brazilian Panty
A Brazilian panty is a low-rise style with less coverage in the back than a bikini and more coverage in the back than a thong. This style has a “V” shape effect both in the back and the front of the panty.

Bullet Bra
A bullet bra is a bra that was popular in the 1940s and 1950s, characterized by the very pointed cups that stood out from the chest. This bra was made popular again in 1990 by pop icon, Madonna.

Bustier
A bustier is a form-fitting undergarment that pushes up the breasts and shapes the waist. A bustier usually ends at the waist.

C

Camiknickers
“Camiknickers” is an old-fashioned term for a teddy, a loosely fitting one-piece that is a combination of a camisole and a pair of knickers, panties, or bloomers. They are also called camibloomers and are often made of a sheer or lace material.

Camisole
A camisole is a sleeveless undershirt with spaghetti straps that can be worn layered underneath a top or worn alone.

Center Gore
The center gore is the fabric that connects your two bra cups together and typically rests on your sternum.

Chemise
A chemise is a loosely fitting undergarment or nightdress.

Contour Bra
This style is also called a T-shirt bra. The contour bra has lightly lined or padded cups that hold their shape even after being taken off.

Convertible Bra
This is a bra that can be worn many different ways, including as a racer back, narrow-positioned, as a halter, one-shouldered, or even strapless.

Cookie
A cookie is a piece of removable padding that can be used to enhance cleavage. Depending on the desired level of enhancement, a cookie can be made of or with foam, air, beading, oil, or gel.

Corselette
A corselette is a type of shapewear that is meant to flatten and smooth the stomach area. This shapewear has a “U” shape in the front, allowing you to wear your regular bra.

Corset
A corset is a structured garment meant to be tightened to manipulate the shape of the waist.

Crinoline
A crinoline is a structured, hooped petticoat meant to enhance the shape of a woman’s skirts.

Cup
The cup of the bra is the fabric that covers each individual breast.

D

Demi
Demi means “half” in French and refers to the low-cut cups of a bra, which make for a revealing neckline that helps create cleavage.

F

Fencenet
Fencenet refers to hosiery with large diamond-shaped patterns in the knit, resembling fencing. This style is similar to fishnet, but the shapes of the diamonds are larger.

Fishnet
Fishnet is a type of hosiery with small diamond-shaped patterns in its knit.

French-Cut
When underwear is French-cut, it is higher cut at the legs than regular underwear.

Front-Close Bra
A front-close bra has a closure in the front rather than a hook and eye closure in the back.

G

Garter
A garter is a strip of fabric, usually adorned with decorative lace or embroidery, used to hold up stockings. Garters are attached to garter belts, which keep the garters in place.

Garter Belt
A garter belt fastens around the body or below the hips and have garters which attach to stockings to keep them in place.

Girdle
A girdle is a form-fitting foundation garment meant to flatten and smooth the stomach and shape the hips.

G-String
G-strings have minimal coverage, with a “T” shape in the back. G-strings almost completely expose the back, with little coverage in the front, like a thong, but the band of the string is thinner, with even less coverage in the front and back.

Guěpière
A guěpière is a fitted garment that extends down to the hips and has attached garters. It has boning to shape the body and is usually made of lace. A guěpière is a lot like a basque besides its length.

Gusset
The gusset is the extra fabric lining at the crotch of the panty, meant to reinforce hygiene and prevent infection.

H

High-Rise
High-rise panties’ waistbands are worn at the natural waist or right below the belly button.

Hipster
Hipsters are panties that sit low on the hips like a bikini but offer slightly more coverage in the front and back. Hipsters can also be called boyshorts, girlshorts, or boxers.

Hook and Eye
A hook and eye is a lingerie closure that has metal hooks and loops which fasten to each other, usually in the back. This closure connects the bra together.

Hosiery
Hosiery refers to garments worn on the legs and feet. This includes leggings, tights, pantyhose, stockings, socks, etc.

L

Leotard Back
A leotard back has a “U” shape in the back and is also called a ballet back.

Longline Bra
A longline bra has an extra inch of material below the bust.

Longline Corset
A longline corset is longer than a regular corset and usually ends over the hips.

Low-Back Bra
A low-back bra has a lower back than a traditional bra, which allows you to wear tops and dresses with open or revealing backs.

Low-Rise
A low-rise panty’s waistband hits below the hipbone.

M

Medium Rise
A medium rise panty’s waistband hits at or just above the hipbone.

Memory Foam
Memory foam is a type of material used in bras that reacts to your body heat in order to mold to the shape of your breast, creating a smooth, seamless look under your clothes. Once this material is removed from your body, it will return to its original shape.

Microfiber
Microfiber is a thin, synthetic material that is soft to the touch and is popular to use in lingerie and sleepwear.

Midi-Slip
A midi-slip is a slip that is mid-length, and usually ends just below the knee.

Minimizer
A minimizer bra gives the appearance of a smaller bustline.

N

Narrow Strap Position
The narrow strap position is when your straps are on the inner most setting of your bra. This will create a slight “V” shape effect in the back and prevent your bra straps from slipping.

Negligee
Negligee simply means “nightgown” and is sometimes referred to as a slip or even a babydoll.

P

Panniers
Panniers are stiff, side hoops meant to increase the width of a lady’s skirt.

Pantyhose
Pantyhose are hosiery that start from your toes and stop at your waist. They are made from a thinner material than tights and usually come in neutral colors.

Petticoat
A petticoat is a light, loose type of undergarment worn under a skirt or dress that hangs from the waist, meant to shape a woman’s skirts to be more voluminous.

Plunge Bra
A plunge bra is low-cut, with a “V” shape at the neckline. This bra style is designed to enhance cleavage.

Push-Up Bra
A push-up bra has padding in the cups to lift and enhance the wearers cleavage and bustline.

R

Racerback
A racerback has straps in a “V” shape in the back to allow for a wider range of movement in the arms and to prevent your bra straps from slipping.

S

Slip
A slip is an undergarment worn underneath a dress or full skirt in order to protect your outerwear from perspiration and help your dress or skirt hang properly.

Stockings
Stockings are hosiery that starts from your toes and end at your mid-thigh. Stockings need to be held up by garters, as they will not stay up on their own.

Straight Back
A straight back bra has a completely horizontal band on the body.

Suspender Belt
"Suspender belt” is the British English term for garter belt, which fastens around the body or around the hips with attached garters to keep your stockings in place.

T

Tanga
Tangas have a “V” shape effect and are usually low-rise. Tangas have more coverage than a thong and less coverage than a bikini.

Teddy
A teddy is a loose-fitting, often sheer or lace one-piece that is a combination of a camisole and a pair of panties.

Thigh-Highs
Thigh-highs are hosiery that start from your toes and end at your mid-thigh. Thigh-highs have silicone bands that help them stay in place on their own without the need of a garter belt.

Thong
A thong has minimal coverage, with a “T” shape effect in the back. The back is almost completely exposed, like a G-string, but the band is thicker in the back and the triangle in the front has a little more coverage.

Tights
Tights are hosiery that start at the toes and go all the way up to the waist. Tights are usually made of a thicker material than pantyhose and come in a wider range of colors and patterns.

T-Shirt Bra
T-shirt bras have smooth, seamless cups that will not show any lines under your shirt. A T-shirt bra is also known as an “everyday bra”.

U

Underbust Corset
An underbust corset covers, shapes, and manages only the lower half of the torso and underneath the breasts.

Underwire
Underwire is a wire material that is used in bras to reinforce support for the breasts. Underwire is found underneath the base of each cup.

W

Waist Trainer
A waist trainer is an undergarment made of thick fabric and metal boning, meant to shape and conform the waist to become smaller and narrower.

Waspie
A waspie is also known as a waist cincher. It covers just the waist in order to shape and define it.

Wing
The wing anchors the bra to the body, is attached to the sides of the cups, and typically fastens in the back in a hook and eye closure. The wing is also called the band.

Wireless Bra
A wireless bra provides support and lift for the breasts without using underwire.

Read About the History of Lingerie