The Clothing, Lingerie and Apparel Dictionary

Clothing: a covering designed to be worn on a person's body

Lingerie: women's underwear, nightclothes, and intimate apparel

Apparel: Clothing, especially outer garments or attire

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Baby Doll, Babydoll, Babydoll Lingerie Woman's lingerie that is usually a short nightgown or lounge gown with formed cups and a loose fitting skirt.  Baby dolls sometimes come with matching panties.  Baby dolls are often trimmed with lace, ruffles, bows and ribbons, optionally with spaghetti straps. Baby Dolls are often made of sheer cloth, like chiffon or sheer mesh. Makes a great womens lingerie gift.
Back Closure This term is used when describing how a bra closes. Traditionally, a back closure bra has two rows of hook and eye closures and three adjustments. Full figure and strapless bras usually have three rows of hook and eye closures as well as three adjustments.
Back Seams Stockings with a seam running up the back of the leg for those that like a more old fashioned, sexy look.
Backless Bra A bra designed with a low cut adjustable back band
Balconette Bra Another name for a demi cup bra. More often a balconette style bra also includes a little padding to enhance bust size.
Banded Under wire A bra with a banded under wire has an extra piece of fabric below the under wire to give extra control
Band-less Under wire In a bra with a band-less under wire, the under wire is the bottom of the bra. This look is designed to be more natural

A name given to any tight-fitting bodice garment worn by women. Examples of a basque include a corset, corselette and merry widow.

Bikini A very brief, close-fitting two-piece bathing suit or swimsuit worn by women or a very brief, close-fitting bathing suit or swimsuit worn by men.
Bikini Panty A panty style whose waistband rests below the navel, and on the hips. Usually has a high-cut leg line. The sides can be anything from a string to a thicker side panel. Back coverage depends on the style of the bikini. Bikinis are a super comfortable medium coverage silhouette that won’t show thru under heavier fabrics like denim or wool.
Bloomers An old fashioned form of feminine underwear consisting of loose fitting pants or shorts.
Boa, Feather Boa A long scarf made of feathers.
Bodice The upper sleeveless part of a dress or other type of clothing that covers the breasts.
Body Briefer A shape wear style that looks like a one-piece bathing suit. It has a snap crotch (also called gusset closure) and a control panel at the tummy for support.
Body Stocking, Bodystocking Snug fitting hosiery that offers coverage from the neck or upper body down to the ankles or toes. Hosiery or a tight-fitting garment of stretchy material that covers the body from the shoulders to the thighs (and may have long sleeves or legs reaching down to the ankles).
Body Suit, Bodysuit A form-fitting plus size lingerie garment, which combines the panties and the top. It can be worn with a skirt or slacks as well as in the bedroom and usually goes up to plus sizes. Snug fitting one-piece garment similar to a leotard with legs but may or may not have sleeves.
Bolero Coat A loose fitting, waist length coat or jacket that is open at the front.  Cropped styles are now very popular as well as styles that are made to fit tightly.
Boned, Boning A strip of stiff material is placed in certain areas of the bustier or bra to help structure a desired look or support. Rigid supports sewn vertically into a bustier or corset that help to maintain a slim, shapely look about the torso. Originally made from bone (hence it's name), but now made of plastic.
Boy Leg Brief Like hot pants, this style of brief has legs that come down to the top of the thigh. The waist sits low on the hips, and the back has full coverage. It is usually seamed in the center front and back for definition. Worn under hip-hugger style bottoms or short skirts to give a smooth line from waist to hip.
Booty Shorts Extremely short shorts which often show some cheek. Also referred to as hot pants or short shorts.
Boy Shorts A women's panty style similar in shape to boy's underwear
Bra The shortened word for brassiere. A woman's close-fitting foundation garment women consisting of shoulder straps, two cups, a center panel, an under bust band, sides, and a back which is worn to support and give contour to the breasts. Bra types are quite varied, depending on style, function, and materials. Styles include front-closure, back-closure, strapless, convertible, push-up, demi-bra, full-cup, three-quarters cup, half-cup, long line, under wire, padded, triangle, soft-cup, shelf-bra, and T-shirt
Bra Cup The fabric in a bra that surrounds and supports the breasts.
Bra Size A bra size is made up of a number (in inches), determined by measuring around the body over the largest portion of the breasts (e.g. 34, 36, 38, etc.); and a letter, determined by measuring under the breasts, then calculating the difference between the two numbers (e.g. B, C, D, etc.). Examples of bra sizes would be 34B, 36C (the average size), 38D, etc. There are a few manufacturers that make bras up to a J cup.  Beyond this cup size, bras usually have to be specially made.
Bra Types, Types of Bras There are numerous bra styles but these are the most common:

Demi-bra or shelf bra: Covers the lower portion of the breast. Use with low necklines.

Full support bras are a type of bra that usually has an under wire or plastic boning holding them up. They can be worn by women of any breast size, and are specially suited for those with larger cup sizes.

Push-up bra: Lifts the breasts to create cleavage.

Under wire bra: Metal wires in the lower edges of the bra cups support the bust.

Bralette A sexy bra-like top that lacks the usual support features of a real bra.  A bralette is an unlined, soft cup bra. It resembles a very short crop top. A bralette is primarily used as a teen bra or sleep bra because they do not offer a significant amount of support.
Brassiere Long form of Bra, a woman's undergarment worn to support and give contour to the breasts.
Brazilian Back A panty style that covers more of the buttocks than a thong, but less than a traditional fullback panty. A triangular back that covers slightly more of the buttocks than a thong, but much less than a full back panty.
Bridal Lingerie Type of bras, bustiers, corsets etc. characterized by sensual attributes (sheer fabric, decorative flourish, racy or risqué) that are worn on wedding nights or for similarly seductive situations.
Briefs Womens underwear where the top of the panty is at the waist, similar to small shorts.
Brocade Rich oriental fabric consisting of raised patterns, often in gold or silver. Rich fabric with a raised pattern
Brushed Back A material backing made from brushed cotton often used in pajamas to give a warm, flannel feel against the skin
Burn Out Alternating patterns of sheer and opaque fabric. A design on fabric, such as velvet, that exposes the sheer, underside material. Similar in appearance to flocking.
Bust Shaper Type of shape wear designed to hold a woman's bust in particular form.

A bra style top that usually goes all the way to the waist but may be cropped or go to the hips. A bustier may have shoulder straps or be strapless. Bustiers may or may not have supportive boning and detachable garters. The purpose of a bustier is to provide a sexy top with bust support and shape to the waist. Sizes are usually based on the women's bra size.




Contact us at: Please let us know of any lingerie or clothing names, terms, and phrases that we have missed.  We also want any special laundry hints and your tricks for dealing with difficult stains.  We are trying to make this Lingerie Dictionary a complete as possible and your suggestions are always welcome.