We’ve complied a list of some of the terminology commonly used in lingerie/hosiery circles to help you sieve your way through anything new to you.
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Lingerie – BRAS & TOPS
A short nightgown stopping at the hip, often with a matching panty.
A garment that provides coverage from the bust to the panty areas, coming a variety of styles and features.
A tight-fitting crop top with thin straps (UK).
An unlined, non-moulded bra without wires or a clasp. (US) This definition is used when referring to lingerie.
The full term for ‘bra’.
The part of a garment that covers a woman’s breast – an important measurement for sizing for bras.
A top with or without a built-in bra. Usually an undergarment. Often with thin straps, similar to a singlet but often made from satin or with lace.
From the French ‘shirt’ – a loose, shirt-like nightgown that hangs straight/unfitted at the hips.
Padded bra inserts made from silicone (name comes from their resemblance).
The hollow between a woman’s breasts – usually when supported, especially as exposed by a low-cut garment. Can be enhanced due to wearing a push-up bra.
Created with seamless, pre-formed cups made from a foam or other lining that helps define and keep the cup’s shape.
Any item that can be changed to suit a different purpose. Used in relation to bra straps especially.
Padded bra inserts – often removable. Typical fillings can be liquid, air, silicone etc.
A style of bra cup that covers half the breast, designed to create a fuller cleavage.
Night/lounge wear worn over a nightdress and typically with arms & a tied waist.
A style of bra cup that completely covers the breast for full support.
Full Figure Bras
Bras designed for larger breasted women usually offering maximum support and comfort. Cup sizes starting at DD or above.
Full-figure/ Plus Size
Denoting or relating to clothes a size larger than those found in ‘standard’ ranges.
Some begin with sizes larger than 14; other with sizes 16-36+. Can also be described as sizes.
Gown/ Nightgown/ Nightdress/ Nightie
Clothing worn for sleep or loungewear. ‘Gown’ may also refer to a ‘dressing gown’
A style of top or bra that ties behind the neck and sometimes across the back. Arms, shoulders and back are normally bare.
Hook and Eye Closure
Small metal hooks and “eyes” or small loops used to join together an opening on a garment. Most standard bras use hook and eye closures. Typically designed in several rows so the wearer can choose the best fit.
A bra that extends down to the waist or hips. Usually with an extra wide band providing more support.
Traditionally Japanese – a loose outwear robe tied at the waist which falls to mid-thigh and typically with large arm openings.
Casual, comfortable clothing suitable for wearing around the house e.g. pyjama-style
From the French “neglected’ – a semi-transparent, long dressing gown which is made normally from a translucent, soft fabric.
Offers extra support and comfort during different pregnancy stages. Features include soft cotton lining, wider straps, extra size settings on the band, often not underwired.
Designed to reduces the appearance of the bust by up to one cup size.
Made with machine-molded cups and designed in the natural shape of a breast. Typically unwired/supported, creating a very rounded and symmetrical bust shape.
Post-natal bra with latch hooks on the straps to open the bra cup for ease of breastfeeding.
Created with (sometimes removable) inserts in the cups to lift and support the bust, creating a fuller look and providing extra comfort.
Ideal for low cut tops with their deep plunging design, revealing the top part of the breasts and lifting the bust for a fuller look. The straps tend to be set wider apart.
Made with a cup already shaped e.g. moulded, contour styles
For maximum cleavage. Breasts are pushed up and together, making the cup size seem larger. Usually achieved by means of removable inserts.
Typically a singlet, swimsuit, or bra where the shoulder straps lie or cross in between the shoulder blades.
Designed without any outward-facing cup seams or ridges to create a discreet look under tight-fitting clothes. There may be seams in other parts of the bra.
Wireless and extremely comfortable supportive bra. Championed by those experiencing post- surgical procedures, pregnancy and for larger breasts.
Soft Cup Bra
Without underwires resulting in a more comfortable fit. Often lined or padded for support and shape.
Super thin, minimal shoulder straps over otherwise bare skin.
Designed with extra built-in structures (wires, padding etc) to provide the needed amount of support during physical activity. May have a graded support level.
Without any shoulder straps, usually created with an alternative way to stay up.
A one-piece lingerie item that is a combination of a camisole and a pant.
Created to appear invisible under thin, sheer fabrics. Mostly seamless and made from micro-fiber with contoured cups.
Anything below the bust/breast.
The metal wire built into the bottom edging of bra cups to give shape and lift, offering extra support.
The general British term for singlet undergarment. Also a waistcoat.
Lingerie – BOTTOMS
A pant which rests on the hips and rising lower than the navel but not as high waisted as a full brief). With full back coverage.
A pant resembling a small pair of shorts providing full rear coverage and worn low on the waist.
A British general term for ‘pants’. This cut provides the most all-over pant coverage. High-rising waistband.
A pant that typically sits lower on the hips and has a looser fit on the bottom than a pair of briefs – less ’rounded’.
A band worn around the leg to keep a stocking or sock up.
Bridal garters have become a tradition and are often blue. They originally symbolised a woman’s virginity.
Garter Belt/Garters (US)/ Suspender Belt (Aus/UK)
Worn around the waist and clipped or ‘binded’ to the top of stockings to keep them held up.
A pant with a small front panel, string back and sides, less than 2cm width. Good for no VPL. The G-string provides less coverage than a basic ‘thong’ back.
Any style of pant connected by strings at the sides.
A pant consisting of small front and back panels connected by strings at the sides
The British term for ‘G-String’. A pant consisting of small front and back panels (more side and back coverage than a G-string)
‘Visible Pant. Line’ – Underpants outline seen through too tight clothing.
Bodysuit/ body briefer/ body girdle
A shaping garment that provides coverage from the bust to the bottom area, sometimes providing uniform smoothness. Large variety of styles.
A strapless shaping top garment that pushes up the breasts and often shapes the waist.
A full-body garment covering the torso and legs, sometimes the arms.
A shaping camisole with or without built-in bra, provide moderate midsection control. They help create a smooth, bulk-free undergarment
A slip worn as an undergarment to provide light shape control of the hips and thighs for a smoother outline.
A highly structured, form-fitted support garment that extends from the bust to the hip. Many include flexible boning throughout the body for extra shaping, have lace-up detailing and are secured in the back with a full-length rows of hooks and eyes or lace.
Corselet/Corselette/Open Bottom Briefer/ Girdle Dress
Dress-style shapewear derived from the combining of the bra and the girdle. Usually with garter straps.
A supportive undergarment designed to help shape/smooth the figure.
Classic style shapewear that is prominently extra firm and provides support from the waist to the knee.
Long pants which offer a smooth look and control over the entire region of coverage.
A slimming and smoothing bra that helps shape the chest and waistline. Similar to a bustier but normally with straps and can also extend further to the hips.
A low-rise panty that sits on the hip.
A panty that sits lower on the waist. It’s an ideal cut underneath any navel-revealing styles.
Long Leg Brief
Thigh shaping pant that ends around the mid-calf.
High-waisted shaper pant which provides support and control for the tummy and rear.
Waist Cincher/ Nipper
A girdle-style garment worn on the torso only and designed to create an hourglass shape under slim fitting clothing. Ideal for over- proportioned waist.
HOSIERY & LEG WEAR
A unit of weight per length, used to describe the fineness of certain fibres such as nylon. Hosiery manufacturers use a product’s denier to describe their fineness/sheerness. The lower the denier number, the finer the material; The higher the denier number, the more opaque the material is.
Imitation leather-like fabric.
Hold Ups/ Stay Ups
Stockings with an elasticised band with an internal silicone strip at the top of the thigh, designed to hold up stockings without the use of a suspender belt.
Rubber-based fabric with firm control.
A synthetic (polyether-polyuria copolymer) fibre known for its exceptional elasticity and used in hosiery since the 1950’s.”Spandex” is the trademark of the fibre owned and invented by DuPont.
Material made from extra-fine manmade fibres giving their items a superior smooth and soft texture and gentle drape. Super comfortable to wear it hugs closely to the shape of the body.
Old-fashioned name for stockings. Stockings were originally made from 100% nylon.
Refers in this case to material which is impenetrable to light i.e.
the legs cannot be seen through it (as opposed to sheer material). Leggings higher in denier, are typically opaque, while pantyhose are sheer.
A garment, typically made of translucent nylon or silk, that fits closely over the foot, is thigh length and is held up by suspenders. May also refer to Hold-Ups.
One-piece garment for the lower part of the body and the legs made of a stretchy material (typically nylon with elastane mix)
US term for Hold-Ups
a) British term for Pantyhose – confusing yes! (UK)
b) A thick pair of pantyhose with an opaque denier. (Aus/US/UK)
A teardrop-shaped hole in a garment.
Material sewn into the inside of a garment for added structure and comfort against the skin. Lining in bras adds extra support and creates a background for lacy or sheer fabrics.
A decorative design created by a series of demi-circles, often seen ion lace and edging.
Made with no seams, resulting in all-over smoothness.
A decorative design caused when fabric is gathered into lines.
We’ll keep adding move to this blog…any recommendations please let us know!