Lingerie Glossary

Lingerie is a term for women’s fashion undergarments. It derives from the French word ‘lin’ for linen.

Butterfly Jacquard Corset

While the term in the French language applies to all undergarments for either sex, in English it is applied only to those women’s undergarments designed to be visually appealing or erotic, typically incorporating materials such as Lycra, nylon, polyester, satin, lace and/or silk and not applied to functional cotton undergarments.

  • Babydoll, a short nightgown or negligee intended as nightwear for women.
  • Basque, a tight, form-fitting bodice or coat
  • Bedjacket, worn over a nightgown or negligee for warmth and modesty.
  • Blanket sleeper
  • Bloomers, underpants with short legs.
  • Bodystocking, a unitard.
  • Bodysuit, a leotard-like undergarment, usually skintight or formfitting.
  • Bodice, covers the body from the neck to the waist.
  • Boy shorts, a style of panties, so named for their resemblance to male shorts.
  • Brassiere
  • Bustier
  • Camisole, sleeveless and tight fitting, covering the top part of the body
  • Camiknickers, camisole and knickers joined as one garment
  • Cami Shorts
  • Cheeky, exposes the bottom part of the buttocks
  • Chemise
  • Corset by bone, a bodice worn to mold and shape the torso.
  • Corselet = Brassiere + Girdle
  • Corsage by elastic, covering the body from the neck to the waist, similar to a corset.
  • Drawers a pant-like garment worn during the 19th century for modesty and warmth. Some drawers were split-leg, in that the crotch seam was left open.
  • French maid, a form of ladies’ fantasywear
  • G-String/Thong, a narrow piece of cloth passes between the buttocks, and is attached to a band around the hips, worn as a bikini bottom or as underwear by both men and women.
  • Garter
  • Garter belt, used to keep stockings up
  • Girdle, resembles a tight pair of athletic shorts
  • Granny panties
  • Hosiery
  • Jersey nightshirt – A long, loose T-shirt made of cotton, polyester, nylon or diaphanous chiffon that can be worn like a Babydoll.
  • Knickers
  • Leotard
  • Merry widow
  • Naughty & Nice
  • Negligee
  • Nightgown or Nightie, a loosely hanging item of nightwear, may vary from hip-length (babydoll) to floor-length (peignoir).
  • Nightshirt
  • Panties
  • Peignoir
  • Petticoat
  • Pettipants
  • Robe
  • Slip (Full slip and Half slip / Underskirt)
  • Spanky-Pants, “Spankies” (color-coordinated underpants worn by cheerleaders)
  • Stockings
  • Stringbody
  • Suspender belt (British), aka Garter belt (US)
  • Tanga
  • Tap Pants
  • Teddy
  • Undergarment
  • Unitard One piece, skin tight garment

The lingerie industry has expanded in the 21st century with designs that double as outerwear. The French refer to this as ‘dessous-dessus’ which basically means innerwear as outerwear.

Rhinestone Studded Venice Underwear Set

The boutique Faire Frou Frou, which is an antiquated phrase meaning “show it off”, heralds this philosophy by categorizing lingerie as an accessory with details such as straps and lace trim that should be layered and shown as part of one’s outerwear.