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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Cami Short for camisole, a cami is usually worn as a lingerie undergarment but can also be worn as a sexy top depending on the fabric.  See Camisole
Cami Bra, Camisole Bra A cami bra or camisole bra is not really a bra, but is a cross between a camisole and a bra, designed to look like a bra.
Cami Straps, Camisole Straps Camisole style straps are actually an extension of the cup or bodice, and give a smooth shoulder line.
Cami Top, Camisole Top Often made of micro-fiber, satin, lace or similar fabric, this camisole-looking shape wear gives a seamless, toned look under knits and other clingy fabrics. It gives very light control and is a perfect solution for sheer, form fitting tops, giving a near seamless look.
Camisole Originally created as an undergarment to wear under blouses, suits, etc. that covers from bust to waist. Camisoles are usually sleeveless and offer little if any breast support, though some styles now have a built in bra for additional support. Camisoles are now often worn as sexy tops.  It can be worn under sheer blouses or in place of a blouse. A camisole makes a great sexy lingerie gift since there is no sizing difficulty associated with it since it can be worn in many different ways.
Camouflage Fabric pattern inspired by military fatigues designed to help disguise military troupes, camouflage is a random pattern usually consisting of earth tones, although the popularity of this pattern has created camouflage in pinks, blues, etc and it is now sometimes used as a print on trendy undergarments.
Car Wash Skirt A skirt with multiple splits.
Catsuit A one piece, full body jumpsuit usually constructed out of stretchy, skin tight, sexy fabric such as Lycra, Spandex, or even PVC. Catsuits can also be sheer, sleeveless or come with a pantyhose footing or stirrups.
Center Gore The center gore is the piece of fabric, which connects the cups of a bra at the center front.
Chantilly Lace A delicate, ornamental lace usually made from an open, six-sided mesh background with floral designs, often in black or white with an outlined design pattern and used to embellish womens lingerie.
Charmeuse A satin finished silk fabric that is opaque (not sheer).  This term is often used interchangeably with “satin”

A straight-hanging short lingerie or lounge gown with thin straps on the shoulders used as sleepwear. A chemise usually extends down to the thigh in length. Panties and a robe are common matching items that are found with a chemise.

Chiffon An extremely light, thin and sheer fabric usually made of nylon, rayon or silk.
Choker, Collar A snug fitting necklace that fits the neck like a collar.  Chokers can be made of rhinestones, velvet, leather, etc.
Chopper Lace, Chopper Bar Lace

An open net lace background that has been embroidered with a slightly raised, shiny pattern.

Cincher A cincher, or waist cincher is an adjustable “mini corset” which usually fits around the torso, running from under the bust to the top of the hips with a lace-up back.
Clear Straps

Transparent straps on bras made from stretch synthetics worn with garments where strap invisibility is needed. Clear straps can be at the shoulders and also between the cups in order to accommodate plunging necklines.


The separation or hollow visible between a woman's breasts when a low-cut garment is worn.

Combed Cotton Type of extra-soft cotton. When cotton or another fabric is "combed" the shortest, additional fibers of a batch are removed. The result produces high-quality yarns with excellent strength and softness.
Comfort Straps

Various types of bra straps that are cushioned or constructed wider for more comfort around the shoulder area.

Contour Bra A bra designed to help create a shapely, pleasing outline. Typically padded, Contour bras are usually padded, have under wires and provide shape and support.
Contoured Fit The garment, whether it is clothing or underwear, is cut and sewn to the shape of the body or body part for a more comfortable fit.
Control Brief, Control Panty A panty shaped like a brief but designed to flatten the stomach, bottom or waist and give support.
Control Top Pantyhose with Spandex in the panty area for a soft girdle like or "control" effect.
Convertible Bra A bra that is designed with straps that may allow a variety of styles. The straps may be moved, removed and adjusted to create looks such as halter, strapless, crisscross or open back bra.
Corset Type of tight-fitting, body-enhancing undergarment used to create an hour glass-shaped figure shape. Today, corsets are more comfortable but are still usually boned and laced. It is designed to make women look slimmer by pulling in the waist and lifting the breasts.  Most corsets have lacing at the back, making the corset adjustable. Most corsets have garters for stockings and many have detachable garters.
Cowl A loose, draped neckline.
Crop Top A very short top that stretches just below the breasts.
Crochet Knit A large, open knit pattern that resembles crocheting.
Crotchless A slit or opening in the fabric covering the crotch area. Often, panties, pantyhose, bodysuits, and bodystockings are available with this convenience feature.
Crushed Velvet Velvet with a crinkly, wrinkly look; sometimes shiny or shimmers but not smooth.
Cuban Foot Hosiery with a contrasting colored sole (usually black) and tapered blocks at the ankle.
Culottes A wide leg version of a boy short.  Culottes can range in length from very short to mid thigh.  Beyond that length, culottes are often called gauchos or gaucho pants.
Cupless This can be either an article of clothing or lingerie with an open or cut out bodice, exposing the breasts


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.