BABYDOLL

A diminutive short gown, with or without matching bottoms, often made of sheer fabric with an empire waist and an A-line cut.

BACK SEAMS

Stockings with a seam running up the back of the leg for a more old-fashioned, and more seductive, look.

BIKINI

A panty whose waistband rests below the navel and on the hips. Usually has a high-cut leg line. The sides can vary from a string to a thicker side panel. Back coverage depends on the style of the bikini.

BODICE

The portion of a garment that covers the breasts.

BODYSTOCKING, OR CATSUIT

A full, body hugging one-piece outfit made of stretch material which may be sheer, lace, fishnet or opaque.

BODYSUIT

A one-piece top and bottom garment, usually with a snap crotch, that is similar to a leotard.

BONING

Rigid plastic strips sewn in shapewear to give structure, support and body contouring. It is usually vertical for tummy and waist support.

BOY SHORT

A panty style similar in shape to boys' underwear—but much more attractive for a sexy look with a tomboy twist.

BRALETTE

A bra-like top that lacks the usual supportive features (such as underwire) of a real bra. Best for the smaller-chested—or paired with a boy brief for bed.

BRAZILIAN BACK

A panty style that covers more of the cheeks than a thong, but less that a traditional full-back panty. Think of a Brazilian-style bikini revealing bronzed beach buns for a good idea of the cut.

BRIEF

A panty whose waistband rests at or just below the navel, provides full back coverage and may have a high-cut leg.

BUSTIER

A close-fitting garment extending from the bust to the waist, worn to support and sustain the shape. It is often stiffened with boning and, depending on the fabric, can be worn as an undergarment or outerwear—very Madonna

CAMISOLE

A sleeveless lingerie top that is fitted over the bust and ends at the waistline. They usually lack breast support although some modern styles now incorporate a shelf-bra. "Camis" can be combined with tap pants or shorts as loungewear, worn as an undershirt or exposed as outerwear.

CHANTILLY LACE

Delicate lace made from an open, six-sided mesh background with floral designs—and made famous by Elvis.

CHARMEUSE

A semi-lustrous satin weave which can be silk, polyester or rayon. It is shiny on one side, matte on the other—and feels luxurious on every side.

CHEMISE

The name given to the first undergarment ever worn by women. Originally designed to protect the skin from rough garments, it was later used for sleepwear. It is a loose-hanging short slip that has no waistline still worn for bedtime or as a lining under clothes. Nowadays, this item has come out of hiding and is often worn as an evening or summer dress—or over pants for a funkier look. Chemises are especially popular as gifts since they are easy to fit and flattering to most figures.

CHIFFON

A sheer fabric made with a simple weave of silk, polyester or other fiber.

CLEAR STRAPS

Straps made from a clear, see-through plastic that are designed to be nearly invisible when worn. Great under camisoles or strapless clothing.

CONTOUR BRA

A bra designed to give a shapely silhouette with lightly padded, fiberfill cups to add definition, give a smooth shape and eliminate any visible traces of nipples. Great under t-shirts.

CONTROL BRIEF

A panty shaped like a brief but designed to flatten the tummy and give support while providing a smooth silhouette. Some have an additional panel in the back to give a little lift to the derriere.

CONVERTIBLE

A bra that can be worn in six different configurations: conventional, halter, one-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, criss-crossed and strapless. Good for all occasions.

CORSET

A snug-fitting undergarment, usually stiffened with boning, that extends from the bust to below the hips, defining and maintaining a curvaceous shape. Usually garters are attached at its base. An essential element to wear under a wedding or evening gown—the celebs' red carpet secret for the perfect hourglass figure!

DEMI CUPS OR BALCONET

A bra or undergarment with a lower line that reveals the top portion of the breasts for that harlequin heaving-bosom look.

EMBROIDERY

Decorative designs sewn into fabric by hand or machine.

FISHNET

An open mesh fabric that looks like netting and is often used to make stockings—known for its sex appeal.

FOAM CUP

Padding in the cut made out of foam, which does not bunch up during washing and gives a smooth look to the cup.

FRENCH CUT

Also known as a high-cut brief. Ooh la la.

GARTER

Refers to (a) the strap hanging from a garter belt, corset or bustier to support stockings, and (b) an elastic leg band that is worn by brides on their wedding day.

GARTER BELT

A garment made of cloth or lace that snuggly sits upon or wraps around the waist and hips which holds stockings up with its attached garter extensions. For the full seduction ensemble.

GEORGETTE

Sheer crepe woven from hard twisted yarns/threads to produce a dull yet delicate pebbly surface. The pebbly weave of georgette gives transparency but has slightly more coverage than chiffon.

GOWN

A loose, dress-like garment with a hemline ranging from mid-calf to floor length. Used for sleepwear or worn out as an evening dress.

G-STRING

Designed to prevent the dreaded panty lines, this panty has no back coverage—the sides and back are made of thin strips of fabric.

GUSSET

The triangle or rectangle-shaped lining often made of cotton in the crotch area of a panty.

HIGH-CUT BRIEF/FRENCH CUT

This panty is high-cut on the leg and sides yet offers full coverage in the back.

HOT PANTS

Shorts or panties that fall just above or at the bottom of the cheeks. Similar to short shorts.

KIMONO

A Japanese-inspired robe that is typically loose, has wide sleeves, wraps in the front and is held closed by a sash. Traditionally floor length, it comes in shorter styles.

MATTE

Something that looks smooth, flat and non-shiny or glossy.

MESH

A woven knit, or knotted material of open texture, with small, evenly-spaced holes.

MICROFIBER

Ultra-fine man-made fiber, usually woven into soft, lightweight, washable, breathable fibers making undergarments feel silk and mold well to the body.

MINIMIZER

A minimizer bra is designed to de-emphasize a full bust line. These bras reduce the projection of a bust while providing a smooth, natural look.

MOLDED CUP

A metal cup over which fabric is heat transferred. It's cut and sewn into a bra and can be very thin and barely visible. Molded cups don't increase size but they do create a rounder-looking, more symmetrical bust line. They are ideal for wearing underneath t-shirts and other tight-fitting garments.

NEGLIGEE

A nightgown or undergarment made of thin, usually sheer fabric.

NYLON

First produced in 1938, nylon was the first completely synthetic fiber ever developed. Known for its high strength and excellent resilience, nylon has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility.

OPAQUE

Neither transparent nor translucent, opaque means "blocking the passage of light" and refers to material that cannot be seen through.

PADDED PUSH-UP

Extra padding added on the bottom and sides of bra cups to give extra cleavage.

PEIGNOIR

A sleepwear set that includes a long or short gown with a matching robe. Its French origin refers to the gowns women wore while combing the hair.

POLYESTER

A manufactured fiber introduced in the early 1950's, it is second only to cotton in worldwide use. Its ability to stretch and resist wrinkling makes it a popular fabric for lingerie. Today's polyesters have been improved upon and are usually made of a weave that allows air to circulate and has low absorbency which allows the fiber to dry quickly.

RAYON

A synthetic fabric with a luxurious, silk-like feel. Rayon is comfortable against the skin, absorbs moisture and does not trap heat against the body.

RIBBED

Fabric with grooves, usually vertical, made into a design that is form fitting.

ROBE

A long, loose-fitting or flowing outer garment or cover-up.

SATIN

A shiny woven fabric made from silk or rayon with a glossy finish and dull backing.

SARONG

A long strip of cloth wrapped around the body that is worn as a skirt, dress or tied around as a top.

SCALLOP EDGES

A pattern similar to scallops (or shells) on decorative fabric used to trim the edge or hem of garments.

SEAMLESS

An item manufactured without seams providing a smooth, clean finish for underneath t-shirts and other tight-fitting clothing.

SHAWL

A wide scarf worn around the shoulders.

SHELF BRA

A built-in, hidden bra for support and coverage.

SILK KNIT

Silk fabric that stretches and clings to the body.

SLIT

A long, narrow cut or opening in a garment.

SOFT CUP BRA

A bra without underwires or structured cups that gives light support.

SPANDEX

An elastic fiber woven into various blends to create stretchable fabrics made for body-hugging garments.

STAY UPS

Stockings that have a rubber grip inside to stop them from slipping down the leg.

STOCKINGS

Nylon or silk leggings that reach mid-thigh and have traditionally been held up with garters before pantyhose were invented. Today, stockings and garters are worn to tempt, seduce and enhance fantasy play.

STRAPLESS

A garment without shoulder straps. A strapless bra is usually lined with silicone which adheres to the skin and helps keep the bra from slipping.

STRETCH LACE

Lace which stretches for better fit and more comfort.

TANK TOP

A sleeveless garment with a scoop-or V-neck.

TAP PANT

A playful panty styled like short shorts with a small flair at the hem. Think of the shorts worn by tap dancers of days gone by.

TEDDY

An all-in-one camisole and panty or tap pant combo that is similar to a bodysuit, usually with a thong back.

THONG

A panty style that leaves the buttocks exposed in order to prevent visible panty lines. Many women assume they are uncomfortable because they haven't tried wearing them. Advantages of wearing a thong are no unsightly panty lines showing under clothing, no uncomfortable wedgies or bunching of material caused by friction between outerwear and underwear as you move and a longer leg look. Thongs take a little getting used to—like wearing a new ring on your finger—but once mastered, the wearer may never want to wear anything else.

UNDERWIRE

Thin wires sewn into the base of a bra cup giving support and adding extra lift that provides great definition for full-busted women.