Here you have it, a glossary of intimate lingerie terms and definitions to help you understand the terminology of the intimate apparel world. If you are a woman who wants to feel sexy, or a man who is shopping for intimate apparel, for that special someone in your life, in order to make her look sexy, you will need to know the terminology related with these sexy lingerie garments. To help you out, we have provided you with this list of exotic lingerie terms and definitions to keep you up to date with the world of intimates.
Babydolls Baby dolls are made of sheer fabric, and consist of shaped bra cups with an attached loose-fitting skirt that comes down to anywhere between the navel and the hips. They usually have matching panties.
Back Seams Back seams are the seams in the back of nylon stockings or pantyhose that were the standard when stockings were invented in 1940. Back-seamed stockings are a very provocative style that's returning to fashion.
Bikini Bikini refers to the style of panties, either men's or women's, that is low-cut and fits around the hips.
Bloomers Bloomers are loose trousers, with elastic at the bottom, formerly worn by women for cycling.
Bodice A bodice is the upper part of a woman's dress from the shoulders to the waist. Originally, bodice referred to a tight-fitting corset that was worn laced-up over a blouse.
Bodystocking A body stocking is a one-piece snug-fitting undergarment for women, usually made of nylon, that covers the whole torso.
Bodysuit A body suit is similar to a body stocking, and can be worn under regular clothing, or by itself.
Boning A strip of stiff material placed in certain areas of the garment to help structure a desired look or support. Seen in many bustier and bras.
Burn-Out A sheer opening woven into the material.
Bustier A bustier is a sleeveless woman's top, usually strapless, that hangs from under the breasts to the waist. sexy bustier can be worn as either evening wear, or as lingerie.
Back-Closure This term is used when describing how a bra closes. Traditionally, a back closure bra has two rows of hook and eye closures and three adjustments. Full figure and strapless bras usually have three rows of hook and eye closures as well as three adjustments.
Backless A bra designed with a low cut adjustable back band.
Balconette Another name for a demi cup bra. More often a balconette also includes a little padding to enhance bust size.
Basque A name given to any tight-fitting bodice garment worn by women.
Bikini A panty wearstyle whose waistband rests below the navel, and on the hips. Usually has a high-cut leg line. The sides can be anything from a string to a thicker side panel. Back coverage depends on the style of the bikini.
Body Briefer A shapewear style that looks like a one-piece bathing suit. It has a snap crotch (also called gusset closure) and a control panel at the tummy for support.
Boy Leg Brief Reminiscent of hot pants, this style brief has legs that come to the top of the thigh. The waist sits low on the hips, and the back has full coverage. It is usually seamed in the center front and back for definition. Worn under hip-hugger style bottoms or short skirts to give a smooth line from waist to hip.
Boy Short Resembling a short this panty is sometimes also called a culottes or hot pant. Offering full coverage in a modern silhouette, boy shorts are a perfect everyday alternative and offer comfortable coverage under skirts. They are also popular teamed up with a camisole and worn around as loungewear.
Bra The shortened word for brassiere. A woman's close-fitting undergarment which is worn to support and give contour to the breasts.
Bralette A bralette is an unlined, soft cup bra. It resembles a very short crop top. Bralettes are primarily used as a teen bra or sleep bra because they do not offer a significant amount of support.
Brief A panty whose waistband rests at or just below the navel, provides full back coverage, and may have a high-cut leg.
Bump Pad A pad that is built into the bottom of the cup to push the breast up and out.
Cami Top Made of microfiber, this camisole-looking shapewear gives a seamless, toned look under knits. It gives very light control and is a perfect solution for sheer, form-fitting tops in order to reveal the least amount of lines or seams.
Camisole A camisole is a woman's undergarment with shoulder straps, that covers the bust and hangs down to the waist, either tight-fitting or loose. It was originally designed as a cover for a corset.
Catsuit A full-body stocking. Generally long sleeved and made out of stretchy material.
Center Gore The center gore is the piece of fabric, which connects the cups of a bra at the center front.
Comfort Straps Comfort Straps are wider than average straps and are usually padded or lined. They help to more evenly distribute the weight of the breast, and thus increase the comfort of the wearer. Comfort straps are very helpful feature for any woman who has experienced shoulder pain due to her bra.
Contour Bra A contour bra has cups that hold their shape. The cups are always padded or lined and they have an underwire. Contour bras are similar to a molded bra, except molded bras may not have cups with padding or underwires. Contour bras are a perfect choice for any woman seeking a sculpted silhouette, as they offer a significant amount of coverage and control. A contour bra can also add definition (not size) to the breast, a smooth shape, and elimination of nipple contours. A good choice for in-between bra sizes, or a woman with uneven breasts.
Convertible A convertible bra has straps, which can be worn in six different configurations: conventional, halter, one-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, criss-crossed, and strapless.
Cookie A padded insert in the cup of a bra. Though usually made of fiberfill, it can also be made with water, oil or a gel. Cookies help to change the shape of the breast. They also help when one breast is smaller than the other. Placing a cookie in the bra cup of the smaller breast will give you a more even look.
Control Brief A panty shaped like a brief but designed to flatten the tummy and give support while providing a smooth silhouette.
Chantilly lace Chantilly lace is a floral pattern, sewn with thread and ribbon, on a net background. It's named after the northern French town of Chantilly, which was famous for lace and porcelain.
Culotte A wide leg version of a boy short.
Charmeuse A soft wool, cotton, silk, or rayon yarn with protruding pile.
Chemise A chemise is a loose-fitting dress that hangs straight down from the shoulders. It can be worn as an undergarment.
Chiffon Chiffon is a fine, almost transparent fabric of silk, nylon, or other such fabric.
Corset A corset is a foundation garment which is stiffened, usually with bone, possibly elasticized, and laced in the back. It's designed to lift and support the breasts, and reduce the size of the waist. It may also have attachments at the bottom to hold up stockings.
Corselet Also spelled corselet, it is a woman's support undergarment that combines a girdle with a bra.
Crop top A crop top is a top that comes down to just below the breasts.
Denier A denier is a unit of weight used to measure the fineness of silk and man-made fibers, especially when woven into women's tights.
Decollete A bra style with a very low-cut front panel to create a dramatic cleavage-enhancing look.
Demi Bra A demi cup (or demi) style bra means a contoured underwire design with a large portion of the upper half of the cup being cut away to expose the upper part of the breasts. The shoulder straps are also set farther apart (wide-set). These types of bras are worn when the top of a garment is cut low, wide or square. Men find this style of bra very attractive on women. Can also be called a balconette or a shelf bra.
Embroidery Embroidery is decorative needlework, usually done on loosely-woven fabric, in the form of a picture or pattern.
Foam Cup Padding in the cup of the bra is made of foam. Such padding does not bunch up during washing and gives a smooth look to the cup.
Foundations A pre-war term for shapewear, these undergarments were called foundations because of their similarity to concrete. Ladies who wore them were seen as "solid citizens" while those who refused came to be known as "loose women." Today's shapewear fits and feels like a second skin--coaxing your curves into their smoothest, sleekest, most naturally perfect state.
Fishnet Fishnet is an open-mesh fabric that looks like netting. It's usually associated with a provocative look.
French Cut Another name for high-cut brief.
Front Close A bra that closes in the center front with either a plastic barrel closure or a hook and eye closure. A good style for plunging or v-necklines.
Full Cup A full cup bras completely covers most of the breast, offering both more coverage and more support than a demi cup bra. A full cup bra will not cause a crease or indentation along the top of the breast.
Full Figure Women who wear bras sizes 32-36DD and 38-42C-DD and larger are classified as full figure women. Bras made in these sizes are usually designed to give additional support. Common features include padding, wider shoulder straps and triple hook and eye closures.
Full Support A bra with this characteristic will have banding under the cups, substantial side wings, and closures with two or more hooks.
Faux Imitation, such as faux silk or faux leather.
Fringe A decoration consisting of a row of hanging threads or strips.
Flutter A panty that is elastic on top and loose on the bottom.
Garter A garter is a band of elastic, worn around the leg to hold up a sock or stocking.
Garter Belt A garter belt is a belt that wraps around the waist, and has clasps that attach to stockings to hold them up.
G-String A bikini panty with virtually no back coverage. It consists of a small front panel held to the body entirely with strings. Worn to prevent panty lines under tight-fitting garments. Less coverage than a thong.
Gown A gown could be any of a number of women's outer garments, such as an elegant formal dress, or a dressing robe, that comes down all the way to the ankles.
Girdle The name given to any undergarment that is close fitting, often boned and usually elasticized, that extends from the waist to below the hips. With the new fabrics and construction techniques available, this word has become somewhat obsolete and has been replaced with the word shaper or shapewear.
Gusset Closure The name given to a hook and eye or snap crotch closure. Usually seen on body briefers or body suits.
Halter Top A halter top is a woman's top that goes behind the neck and across the back, with the arms, shoulders, and back left bare.
Hi Cut Brief Also known as a "French cut" brief, this panty is high-cut on the leg and sides yet offers full coverage in back.
Hi Cut Rio A panty style similar to the string bikini, but with moderate back coverage that looks more like a "v" instead of the "u" which is found in full coverage backs. Many times, the waistband in the high-cut Rio is nothing more than a 1" to 2" piece of elastic.
Hi Waisted Brief Shapewear with a brief panty and a high waist to give shaping and support to the waistline.
Hipster A mid coverage panty, which rests lower on the hip than a brief. the rise is shorter, so the waistline of the hipster is well below the navel. A hipster is a perfect solution for wearing under low cut jeans.
Inner Sling Inner slings are a support feature. They are also known as support panels. An inner sling can be a curved strip of fabric which follows the natural curve of the bra similar to an underwire, except soft. This fabric is rigid and sewn inside the cup to provide additional support. An inner sling can also go around the entire breast circumference, or just be panels on the sides of the breast.
Interlining A padding, or stiffening fabric, either sewn to the wrong side of the lining or the inner side of the outer shell fabric. The interlining is used primarily to provide warmth.
Jacquard A fabric of intricate weave or pattern.
Long line A long line bustier goes further down than a normal one, usually as far as the hips.
Lurex A trademark used for metallic yarn or thread.
Light Support A bra frame style featuring cutaway wings with little or no banding under the cups.
Lined Cup A bra with a lining in the cup. This lining gives additional support and added opaqueness to the cup.
Long Leg A type of shapewear with a brief top and half legs that give support and control down the thighs. Usually a "leg gripper" is sewn along the leg ends to keep the leg from curling up.
Long Line A midriff-slimming bra with to-the-waist panels for extra smoothing. This can offer the shaping of a corset.
Low Rise The rise is the measurement between the waistband and the first horizontal seam of a panty. The average brief or panty has a 9" rise. A low rise is when the rise measurement is 7" or less.
Maternity Bra A bra designed for women who are pregnant. May or may not have a design feature for easy access breast-feeding.
Merrywidow Another type of corset. It is often strapless and comes to a point in the center front. It can also come with detachable garters to wear with stockings.
Micro Fiber Very fine Nylon or Polyester filaments that, when woven, produce light soft and breathable fabrics ensuring comfort and durability.
Mesh A woven knit, or knotted material of open texture with evenly spaced holes.
Minimizer A minimizer bra is designed to de-emphasize a full bustline. Worn by large-busted women (size C and larger), such bras reduce the bustline while at the same time giving a smooth natural look. Most minimizers on the market are made of strong micro fiber. A well-fitting minimizer will not give you a "uni-boob" look.
Molded Molded bras have cups which are machine molded. The cups are shaped to give the breast a natural look. Molded bras are usually unlined and may be either soft cup or underwire. They are seamless to create a smooth silhouette, unless overlaid with lace.
Multiway A multiway bra has straps, which can be worn in six different configurations: conventional, halter, one-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, criss-crossed, and strapless.
Netting A net fabric with which to cover or enclose. See through cloth that is made of very fine threads woven together so that there are small evenly spaced holes between them.
Negligee A negligee is a sheer nightdress with lace trim, usually designed to be revealing.
Nursing Bra A bra with specially designed cups that open to allow access to a baby for nursing.
Pantyhose Pantyhose, or tights, is hosiery that goes from the waist all the way down to, and including, the toes.
Peignoir A peignoir is a woman's dressing gown.
Patent Leather Leather with a hard smooth glossy surface.
Piping Piping is a thin strip of decoratively-covered cord or material, used to edge hems.
Poly A polymerized plastic or something made of this, especially a polyester fiber, fabric, or garment.
Push Up A bra with additional padding at the bottom portion of the cup to lift the breasts in order to give the illusion of greater breast size. The padding, if removable, is known as a "cookie."
Padded A bra with padded fiberfill cups. The padding adds size and definition to give a well-proportioned look to smaller bustlines.
Panty liner A panty liner is any undergarment that begins at the waist and extends down past the mid-calf. A panty liner can be pantaloon-like and worn as a slip for unlined pants, or it can be form-fitting to slim and smooth the legs. Can also be called an underliner.
Plunge A plunge bra is designed to reveal more breast for a sexier look. Plunge bras create the appearance of increased cleavage because of their deep (plunging) front silhouette, angled cups and thin center gore. Plunge bras differ from push-up bras in that they are not heavily padded.
Robe A robe is a loose flowing garment worn as a dressing gown or bathrobe.
Racer Back This bra is named after racing swimsuits that also have straps meeting in a "V" shape on the back between the shoulder blades. This bra style is an excellent solution for sleeveless tops. It also prevents straps from slipping off the shoulders.
Ribbed Vertical ridges in a garment.
Rayon Any of a group of smooth textile fibers made from regenerated cellulose by extrusion through minute holes.
Rise The rise is the measurement between the waistband and the first horizontal seam of a panty. The average brief or panty has a 9" rise. A low rise is when the rise measurement is 7" or less.
Sheer Very thin, delicate, transparent or see through.
Satin Satin is a fabric made of silk, rayon, or other such material, that's closely woven to give a smooth glossy appearance.
Silk Silk is a thread or fiber made from the very fine, soft, lustrous fiber that's produced by a silkworm to make its cocoon.
Slit A narrow cut in the fabric usually made for ease of movements or sex appeal.
Shape Enhancer A shapewear garment that controls the tummy, and shapes the waist and sides. It commonly has hook and eyes at the waist, and usually has boning to keep the waist from rolling. Can also be called a waist nipper.
Strapless An underwire bra with wide sides, no straps or removable straps, and a triple hook back. Many times silicone is stitched to the upper and lower edges of the bra to keep it secure on the body. Mostly worn with strapless tops, evening gowns or with tops where a normal bra would show.
Spandex/Lycra Spandex, or lycra, are man-made fabrics that are strong and durable while still remaining light and elastic. They're also water- and oil-resistant.
Seamed Any bra that has seams running though the cup. A seamed bra tends to give more support than a seamless bra because seams determine the cup's exact shape and size. The best supporting bra has seamed cups and made in 3 pieces.
Seamless A bra with cups that have been molded into a permanent shape and fit. This bra gives a smooth and almost transparent look under clothing. They are particularly suitable under revealing and tight-fitting tops.
Stretch Bras made with Lycra fabric, which lends a smooth, sleek look as well as freedom in movement, comfort and fit.
Support Panel A support panel is another name for an Inner sling. An inner sling can be a curved strip of fabric which follows the natural curve of the bra similar to an underwire, except soft. This fabric is rigid and sewn inside the cup to provide additional support. An inner sling can also go around the entire breast circumference, or just be panels on the sides of the breast.
Silicone Cup Bra Cups that contain silicone padding instead of fiber padding.
Shelf Bra Another name for a demi bra.
Soft Cup A bra with a molded cup and no underwire or padding. This lack of structure makes it very comfortable to wear. Most popular with A and B cup sized women.
Sports Bra A support bra worn during exercise that minimizes breast bouncing. Its design includes wider straps, and broader cup coverage.
String Bikini A bikini panty with high cut leg line, thin string sides and full back coverage.
Tanga A Tanga is between a bikini and a thong. A Tanga has narrower back coverage than a traditional panty, but is not as narrow as a thong. A Tanga is a more common silhouette in Europe. They are also a comfortable transition from a bikini before attempting a thong.
Tank Top A tank top is a sleeveless upper garment with wide shoulder straps and a low neck.
T Shirt Bra Designed to appear invisible under form fitting clothing. T-shirt bras are always seamless, have contour cups, and have no lace or ornamentation.
Teddy A teddy is a woman's one-piece undergarment, consisting of a chemise and panties combined.
Teddiette A teddiette is a type of teddy with detachable garters.
Thong A thong is a thin strip of leather or other material. As an item of lingerie, thong underwear and panties are made for both men and women, and consist of a thin narrow strip at the back.
Tricot A plain wrap-knitted fabric like of nylon, wool, rayon, silk, or cotton with a close in elastic knit.
Triangle Bra A triangle bra has triangle shaped cups, which offer the perfect amount of coverage/support for petite to average figures. Triangle bras may be padded or lined but generally do not have underwires. Most have thin straps. the bottom of the bra is many times gathered along a draw string like base.
Tap Pant A panty styled like short shorts with a small flair at the hem. Frequently sold with coordinating bra or camisole. May be worn as a slip for shorter skirt styles.
Thongboy Features the comfort of a brief with the benefits of a thong. A thongboy provides coverage over the top back cheeks, but quickly reduces to a thong style when going through the crotch. Think of the thongboy as a boyshort with a thong back panel.
Tummy Shaper A panty shaped like a brief but designed to flatten the tummy and give support while providing a smooth silhouette.
Underliner An underliner is any undergarment that begins at the waist and extends down past the mid-calf. An underliner can be pantaloon-like and worn as a slip for unlined pants, or it can be form-fitting to slim and smooth the legs. Can also be called a pantyliner.
Underwire Underwired refers to bras that have wire sewn into the fabric, running under the breasts, to lift and support them.
Velvet Velvet is a fabric made of silk, cotton, nylon, or other such material, that has a thick, close, soft pile, producing a fell of luxury.
Waist Nipper Waist nippers offer firm control of the waist and tummy. They are a boned garment that starts under the bust and goes down to the waist or over the hips. Generally it closes in front with hooks. It is the perfect shapewear item for a woman seeking to create an hourglass figure under slim fitting clothing.
Wide Away A bra style with widely-spaced shoulder straps to accommodate a boatneck or wide squared neckline.