Lingerie Glossary

A full list of lingerie terms and definitions.

Bra Terms

Adjustable shoulder straps:

Adjustable shoulder straps are straps that be extended or tightened. Fully adjustable straps can be completely loosened or tightened along the entire bra strap to fit various body types.

Balconette bras (also called balcony bras):

Balconette bras are for low cut, sexy looks featuring minimal cups that create a straight line across the bust.


Bands, or wings, are the part of the bra which provides most of the support. The bands attach to the cups and are typically connected in the back. The band should fit snug to the body.

Bandeau bras:

Bandeaus are simple bras made from bands of material around your chest, without wires or cups. Bandeau bras do not have back closures, making them ideal for back-revealing tops. Bandeau bras with a longer band below the bust are sometimes worn as crop tops.

Bralettes or Soft bras:

Soft bras are bras with no underwire. The entire piece is a soft fabric, making them very comfortable. Because of their comfort and no wires, soft bras are also a great option for post-operation and recovery.


A bustier is a corset style garment typically spanning from the bust to the navel. Many bustiers have underwire or boning for shape and support.

Convertible straps:

Convertible straps are straps which can be worn in different ways either by detaching and re-attaching the strap or a supplemental attachment. Some convertible bras allow for straps to be removed creating a fully strapless bra, criss-cross or halter.

Demi bras:

Demi bras are bras with smaller coverage cups, exposing a larger portion of the top of the bust. Demi bras or demi cup bras are ideal for a sexier look because they make breasts look fuller and larger. This is achieved by providing lift from below the bust (ideal for lost breast tissue). Demi bras offer sexiness without sacrificing comfort.

Molded padded cups:

Molded padded cups are shaped from either a single piece of fabric or layers of fabric, to accentuate the natural shape of the breast. Molded bras are seamless, non-padded and ideal for a smooth silhouette. Molded bras which have lining and can retain their shape on their own are often referred to as contour bras.

Molded non-padded cups:

Molded non-padded cups are shaped by pressing a heated bust form into the fabric to create a concave cup. This method provides a better fit and more support with no dart seam necessary.

Padded bras:

Padded bras are any bras that have a concealing lining or "padding". The thickness of the padding varies from lightly padded, breathable pads, and more shaping bras. Wear a padded bra for complete coverage, or for a comfortable, covered feel under shirts.

Plunge bras:

Plunge bras are bras with a plunging "V" neckline for a dramatic sexy look. Most plunge bras are lightly padded yet very revealing.

Push up bras:

Push up bras are underwire bras with push up padding, either in removable pads (cookies) or built in padding, to give a sexy boost.

Racerback bras:

Racerback bras, also known as T-back bras, are bras with the back straps in an "X" or T-shaped silhouette. They are also used for reconstruction post recovery use.

Shelf bras:

Shelf bras are underwire bras which are meant solely for supporting the breasts, not necessarily for covering. Shelf bras can have very minimal, or no cups, even leaving the nipple exposed. Shelf bras can be worn with or without another bra depending on the intended use of the support.

Strapless bras:

Strapless bras are underwire bras without straps or with straps that can be removed. For maximum support, use a strapless bra with a thicker band below the bust. These are frequently used under sleeveless bridal, prom and evening gowns.

Underwire bras:

Underwire bras are bras with a wire under the bust of each cup for extra support and shaping. Underwire bras can have soft or padded cups and come in various styles making them a versatile segment suitable for everyday wear.

Panty Terms


The bikini style panty offers moderate coverage, more than a thong but less than boyshorts. Bikinis typically sit low on the hips and have a high cut leg and cover the entire bottom.


Boyshorts, also known as hotpants, are full coverage panties. Some styles can be quite “cheekie”.


G-strings are a minimal variation of the thong and often offer a no VPL fit which make them ideal for tight clothing. Like a thong, a G-string has minimal coverage on the front, but unlike a thong, in the back, a G-string has a thin string completely exposing the bottom.

Italian thong:

An Italian thong is a thong in which the sides consist of "no show" side strings providing an ultimate no VPL look. This thong could be considered the cross between a conventional thong and a g-string.

Low rise panties:

Low rise panties are bottoms which sit low on the hips versus a high waisted panty.


A minikini is a variation of the thong, but with more comfort and coverage. This is a more typical Brazilian fit, shaping the rear into a heart shape, also known as the “Brazilian” or “tanga”. It has more coverage than a thong, but less coverage than a hotpant or bikini.


Shapewear refers to a type of garment that is tight fitting and "shapes" the body, either to achieve a certain silhouette or smooth the body. Wear shapewear to shape the tummy, legs or bust.


Thongs are a minimal coverage panty offering no VPL which is ideal for tight or clingy styles. Thongs offer more “coverage”, though still skimpy, than a g-string. Thongs leave the bottom uncovered for an ultra-sexy look. Wear a thong when you do not want panty lines to show under your tight or thin fabric pants, skirts and dresses. Thongs come in a variety of rises including low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise.


VPL is a lingerie term meaning "Visible Panty Line". Some panties are considered no VPL, while others are not meant to be concealed under thin fabrics.

Sleepwear Terms


A babydoll is a woman's sleepwear piece that can be worn as a short nightgown. Babydolls are typically characterized by a tighter fitting top and looser, flowing bottom to flatter a woman's waistline. Babydolls come in all types of fabrics from sheer mesh to cotton.

Bodysuit or teddies:

Bodysuits are form fitting undergarments which provide support to the breasts, from the torso and have snap button closures between the legs.


Boning is used by designers who wish to create shape, fit support, reinforcement and reduce wrinkling. Different types of materials are used as boning from steel to plastic depending on the strain that the garment will pose.


A chemise refers to a dress which fits more tightly at the tops and hangs loosely towards the waist.

Chemise dress:

A chemise dress is a style of chemise that is not transparent and is appropriate to wear inside or outside of the home.

Chevron lace:

Chevron lace is patterned in intricate, inverted "V" shapes.


Cookies are removable pads within the cup of a bra that can be taken out or left in based on the desired look and fit. Cookies are a great option for women with one breast larger than the other. In that case, you can use the cookie in the smaller cup and leave the other cup without a cookie pad.

Hook-and-eye back closure:

Hook and eye back closures are the hooks that fasten the band of the bra in the back. These can typically be adjusted to different levels of tightness for maximum support and comfort.

Lace galloons:

Lace galloons refer to intricate lace bands with scalloped edges on both sides. Galloon lace is typically used as a finishing touch on the tops, bras, corsets and other delicately designed apparel for an ultra-luxurious, polished look.

Lined gusset:

A lined gusset is a cotton fabric added to panties in order to ensure breath-ability and comfort throughout the day.

Scalloped edge:

A scalloped edge is an edge with a curved, wavelike shape.


Slips are typically worn under dresses or skirts to prevent clinging and create more, smoothed, polished look. However, slips can also be used in layering for pops of color or texture, lounging and as sleepwear depending on the fabric and transparency.

Slip dress:

Slips dresses are a style of slip that is not transparent and is appropriate to be worn for sleeping, lounging and layering.