Lingerie Terms

On Top

Balconette - The Balconette bra is similar to the demi-cup bra; however, it provides a bit more coverage and some find it more sexy. The center of the balconette bra is not as straight across the bust as the demi-cup and this helps provide shape and support.

Bustier - similar to a corset, but lighter in weight and without the heavy structure. Bustiers are usually shorter than corsets, ending at the waist, and are often worn on the outside rather than strictly as an undergarment.

Camisole or Cami - a short, sleeveless shirt, often with lace or embroidery. A cami is sometimes worn as an outer garment or under a suit jacket (a classic Hanky Panky example, left).

Corset - a close fitting, boned undergarment often tightened with laces. Most corsets extend from the breasts to the hips, and are constructed to enhance a woman's hourglass figure by cinching the waist, thereby enhancing the bust and hips. Corsets are often fitted with four or more adjustable garter straps to support the stockings of your choice.

Demi-cup - a demi-cup bra has less breast coverage than the full-cup and a shorter, shallower underwire. Generally, the top of a demi-cup is one inch, or less, above the nipple. Most demi-cups are designed with a slight tilt to push the breasts towards the center for more cleavage and remove breast tissue from under the arms. The demi-cup is a good choice for petite women who have issues with the poking of underwires. An example by Lejaby, seen right.

Full-cup - a full-cup bra covers the entire breast for full coverage and support. It helps keep the shape and fullness of the breast. Full-cup bras are ideal for larger-breasted and pregnant women (a Prima Donna example, seen left).

Push-up Bra - contrary to popular belief, a push-up bra is not simply a padded bra. The push-up bra typically has more padding in slightly different places giving more lift and cleavage to the bust, pushing the breasts towards the center. An example by Walcoal is seen right.

Shelf Bra - comes below the breast to just under the nipple. It's usually supported and structured through boning which helps in uplifting the breasts for added cleavage.

Teddy - an undergarment combining a camisole top and panties in one piece.

Underwire - a strip of flattened, steel (or other man-made material) wire sewn under the cups of the bra for added support. The three bras pictured above all use an underwire.

On the Bottom

Bikini-cut - bikinis-cut panties give full coverage in the back with leg openings that are cut above the thigh. Most bikinis sit about three inches below the natural waistline, although with the popularity of low-rise pants, some are now cut lower. String bikinis, as the name implies, are designed with thinner straps (strings) at the sides for a less-bulky fit under clothing.

Boyshorts - the boyshort is a full-coverage panty with a low-riding waistline and leg openings that rest just above the thigh. Because they sit so low on the waist, boy shorts can visually lengthen your torso. Well-fitting, curve-skimming boy shorts can also smooth lumps and bumps on the hip and upper thigh area. An example by Hanky Panky is seen, right.

G-String - a panty with a very thin (string like) band of fabric in the back.

Thong - a panty with a small strip or band of fabric in the back. Thongs have more material in the back than a G-string.

On the Legs

Denier - a thickness of a textile, generally used in reference to stockings. Specific denier numbers vary from brand to brand but a larger number (80+) indicate a more opaque stocking while a smaller number (20 and less) indicates a more sheer stocking.

Fence Net - a very large net design similar to that of a chain link fence, used for stockings. An example by Leg Avenue is seen right.

Fishnet - a smaller net design for stockings which is taken from the construction of a fisherman's net.

Garters - refers to the clips that attach to the top of thigh-high stockings. Generally, they are attached to an adjustable elastic strap, a garter strap, which is attached to the garment worn on the waist or body.

Garter Belt - garments made for the expressed purpose of holding up stockings. An example, in white, by Simone Perele is seen left.

Garter Hose - refers to stockings where a waist band, garter straps and stocking legs are permanently attached in one piece, simulating the use of a garter belt and stockings.

Stay Up (stay-ups) - thigh-high stockings that stay up without the need for garters, usually having a decorative, stretch lace top with a silicone band inside to help grip the leg.

Tights - These are pantyhose made of a heavier denier in opaque or semi-opaque materials. They are usually dyed in deep colors and are more sporty and durable than pantyhose.