Home > Glossary

Glossary

The following glossary is laid out in alphabetical order. We hope you find it helpful. We will be updating it from time-to-time. In the meantime if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Adjustable Back: The back of a garment – usually, a bra that has multiple settings to allow for individual sizing preferences. Typically, adjustments are made with hook-and-eye closures.

Adjustable Shoulder Straps: Straps located on bras, shapewear, chemises, slips and other undergarments that allow for shortening or lengthening that provide wearer with the desired fit.

Air Bra: Bra that contains air-filled pads in the cups for a fuller natural shape.

Baby Doll: Woman's short nightgown sometimes with lace, ruffles, bows and ribbons, optionally with spaghetti straps. Sometimes Baby Dolls are made of sheer cloth, like chiffon.

Back Closure: Part of the bra that hooks together behind the back and consists of two or three rows of hook-and-eye clasps. Backless Bra: Style of bra that usually fastens low on the back so it can be worn with backless gowns.

Back Seams: Stitched seam running from heel to buttock on the back of stockings or shapewear designed to give the leg a sexy line and lean appearance.

Balconet or Balcony Bra: Bra styled to create a lifted, fuller round look with push-up features, wide straps and a low-cut décolletage.

Banded Underwire: A bra with a Banded Underwire has an extra piece of fabric below the underwire to give extra control.

Band-less Underwire: In a bra with a Band-less Underwire, the underwire is the bottom of the bra. This look is designed to be more natural.

Bikini: A women's panty or men's brief style cut in the shape of a swim bikini. They usually offer more coverage than a thong and less than a standard brief. Typically, this brief sits far below the navel and low on the hips but is slightly higher than a low-ride or hipster cut. The sides are usually high cut, occasionally with strings, or with thin widths of fabric that connect the front to the back.

Bodice: Garment made from stretchy opaque fabric, similar to that of a leotard, which covers the entire body from neck to ankle.

Boning: Originally, corsets and bustiers were given their structured form by stitching whalebone, or similar bone, into the garment. Today, similar yet less restrictive garments are structured with man-made "bones" as support. Boning creates a defined waistline and shapely torso. Boning is also used in some bras to achieve a certain shape and support.

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.

Bra Cup: The fabric that surrounds and supports the breasts. Bridal Lingerie: Type of bras, bustiers, corsets etc. characterized by sensual attributes (sheer fabric, decorative flourish, racy silhouette) that are worn on wedding nights or for similarly seductive situations.

Brief: Close fitting, knitted undergarment with an elastic waistband, with or without an overlapping fly front. Originally inspired by the brief swimsuits worn in the South of France in the 1930s.

Busk: A busk is the rigid element of the corset placed in the centre front. Its function is to keep the corset front upright. In the past busks were often carved and decorated, or inscribed with messages, and were popular gifts from men to their sweethearts.

Bustier: A bustier is a one-piece garment that uses flexible boning to give a desired shape. Its length varies, going from the bust, down to anywhere between the rib cage and the hips.

Camouflage: Inspired by military fatigues designed to help hide troupes in the jungle, camouflage is a random pattern usually consisting of earth tones and is sometimes used as a print on trendy undergarments.

Chantilly Lace: A delicate ornamental lace usually in black or white with an outlined design pattern. Typically floral, these designs are sometimes used to embellish women's underwear.

Charmeuse: A shiny, opaque fabric. Chiffon: An extremely light, thin and sheer fabric usually made of nylon, rayon or silk.

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

Contour Bra: A bra designed to help create a shapely silhouette. Typically padded, contour bras usually have underwires and provide shape and support. A Contour Bra also designed not to show, providing a natural look.

Corset: Type of tight-fitting, body-enhancing undergarment used for centuries by women to create an hour glass-shaped silhouette. Modern lingerie variations of the corset tend to be less restrictive and more comfortable.

Décolletage: A low neckline on a woman's garment.

Demi Bra: Low-cut bra designed to enhance the cleavage.

Demi Cups: The fabric triangle of the bra that covers the breast, designed proportionate to half a full cup, the demi typically runs straight across the breast just above the nipple and has a low center front.

Drip Dry: Allowing recently washed garments to dry naturally by lying flat or hanging. Most lingerie requires this method to retain structure and it is recommended that sun be avoided.

Elastane: A fabric designed with elasticity that adds stretch.

Elastic: A band of rubber or latex that has the property of high elasticity. Used for the waistband of certain styles of underwear.

Embossed: Embellished with a raised pattern created by pressure or embroidery - "brocaded silk", "embossed satin", "embossed leather", "raised needlework" etc. Embroidery: Decorative designs made from needlework or machines.

Fishnet: An open mesh fabric that has the appearance of netting and is often used to make stockings.

Flatlock Seams: Seams that are sewn flat for less bulk and less abrasion against the skin.

Frame: The frame of a bra holds the cups and sides together, and runs from the center of the bra, around the cups, and around to the sides.

Fly Front: An opening in the front of underwear. When used on men's boxers, the fly is a vertical, slightly overlapping opening in front, kept closed by buttons, snaps or simply by the overlapping design. When used on men's briefs, the fly is a vertical, slanted or even horizontal overlapping opening in front of the pouch, kept closed simply by the overlapping design.

Front Close: A type of bra closure that is usually hook, barrel or clasp that rests between the breasts in the center front.

Fully Padded Bra: A fully-padded bra is designed to give a smooth look, meaning it doesn't show any seams, and uses fiberfill or foam to enhance the size of small breasts by up to a full size.

G-String: A panty with a very thin (string-like) band of fabric in the back. Gown: A long dress or sleepwear item, usually floor or ankle length. Gusset: The triangular or rectangular usually cotton lining in the crotch area of the panty or shapewear.

Halter Neck: A dress, bra or undergarment style where the fabric wraps behind and around the neck for support. Halters may tie, clasp or be an uninterrupted piece of fabric that slides over the head.

High-Cut Panty: A panty cut high over the thigh and sides but with total back coverage.

Hipster: Type of panty or brief that is cut low in the front and back. This style of underwear was developed to be worn under low-rise jeans and trousers and also for those who wish to make their torso appear longer. See also Low-Rise.

Hook and Eye: A closure or fastener used to secure bras, corsets, some shapewear and other garments and which allows for adjustability. The fastener includes a small hook secured to one side of the garment that grasps a small partial oval secured to the other side.

Hook Back: A term for garment closures that secure in the back with one or multiple hooks. Hosiery: Socks, tights and stockings.

Interlock: The stitch variation of the rib stitch, which resembles two separate 1 x 1 ribbed fabrics that are interknitted. Plain (double knit) interlock stitch fabrics are thicker, heavier and more stable than single knit constructions.

Jacquard: Type of fabric weave that creates the effect of an intricate pattern or print. Jockstrap or Jock Strap: An elastic support for the male genitals, worn especially in athletic or other strenuous activity. Also called Athletic Underwear.

Kimono: A loose, light robe worn chiefly by women.

Knee-Highs: Short hosiery that comes up to just below the knee. Some are styled with elastic tops and stay up without the help of garters.

Lace Bra: Provocative style of bra made entirely or almost entirely of lace.

Lace Edging: A type of garment trim sometimes used in lingerie comprised of selvedge lace fabric that is applied to necklines, hems, straps etc. for a decorative flourish.

Lace-Up Back: A closure in the back of a garment, such as a bustier that is a fashionable adjustment device.

Lace-Up Front: A closure in the front of a garment, such as a bustier that is a fashionable adjustment device.

Lace-Up Side: A closure on the side or sides of a garment, such as a bustier that is a fashionable adjustment device.

Latex Rubber: Latex Rubber is a natural product produced from the rubber tree Hevea Brasiliensis. The liquid rubber is obtained by tapping the tree over a period of several years, a process which does not harm the tree. The resulting product is a natural material with outstanding strength and unique elastic properties. The material is environmentally friendly in that it bio-degrades completely, and the plantations used are completely renewable.

Latex Rubber Piping: A fine strip of rubber inserted into seams or garment edges as decorative detail and to add structure. Leather: Animal hide. Lycra: An extremely elastic fiber made of synthetic fiber, originally trademarked by DuPont, for an elastomeric effect.

Mesh: Type of fabric, often made of synthetic, that is full of small openings like a net. Used for lingerie/underwear as fabric for a full piece or as inserts for an effect that is intended to be either sensual or athletic, or both.

Modesty Panel: An adjustable piece of material behind the back lacing of a corset. Muscle Shirt: A sleeveless T-shirt, often close fitting, that shows off muscle development in the arms. Nightgown: A loose garment worn in bed by women and girls.

Novelty Underwear: Underwear item that has special, often light-hearted characteristics, i.e. shiny satin men's thongs or heart-print boxer shorts. Novelty Underwear is sometimes associated with Valentine's Day.

No-Wire Bra: Type of bra with no underwires designed for increased comfort. Some No-Wire bras give light to moderate support, for petite to average figures. Others furnish full support.

Nylon: A synthetic fiber that, along with polyester, made underwear fabrics user-friendlier by being easily washed and wrinkle-resistant.

Opaque: Material or fabric, which is impervious to light and cannot be seen through.

Padded Bras: Type of bra with padded fiberfill cups. Padding is designed to add size and definition for a well-proportioned look to smaller bust lines.

Panty: A general term for women's undergarments. Panties come in a variety of styles but are specific to coverage of the female region. Pantyhose: Nylon, silk or other material that stretches to fit next to skin and covers legs from hip to toe, or with open foot.

Pasties: Decorative covering for the nipple with tassels. Burlesque performers often wear pasties.

Piping: A twisted cord covered with a biased-cut fabric that is inserted into seams or garment edges as decorative detail and to add structure.

Pull-On Bra: Type of bra made of stretchy material designed to be pulled on and are devoid of hook and eye closures.

Push-Up Bra: A Push-Up Bra uses padding and wires to push the breasts up, thus enhancing the cleavage and giving a fuller look.

Rayon: Type of bra named after racing swimsuits that also have straps meeting in a V shape on the back between the shoulder blades. This bra style is designed to be worn with sleeveless tops, and also prevents straps from slipping off the shoulders.

Reinforced: The stress areas such as the toe or panty portion, which have been strengthened with yarns of heavier denier.

Rings and Slides: Rings and slides are the mechanisms used to adjust the length of the straps and may be placed in the front or in the back of the bra, depending on how smooth a look is desired.

Robe: A long, loose-flowing outer garment.

Satin: A smooth fabric of silk or rayon, which has a glossy face and a dull back. Seamless Bra: A seamless bra uses a single piece of fabric for the cups, so there's no stitching on the cups, giving a bra-less look. Sheer: Thin, fine and transparent fabric.

Sheer-To-The-Waist: Pantyhose without visible panty line or reinforcement in the panty portion. It is an all-sheer garment from waist to toe.

Shelf Bra: Same as Demi Bra.

Shimmer: Reflective finish on fabric, usually satin, that creates a subtle shine effect.

Silk: Fine lustrous fiber composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons, especially the strong, elastic, fibrous secretion of silkworms used to make thread and fabric. Silk fabric is sometimes used for men and women's underwear.

Stockings: Hosiery styled from above the knee or mid-thigh to toe. Stretch Lace: Lace designed with stretch ability to create form fit.

Strapless Bra: A strapless bra has no shoulder straps, and is especially designed for wear with evening gowns and other sleeveless wear.

String Bikini: A bikini panty with high cut leg line, thin string sides and full back coverage.

Tailored: Garments designed to have the appearance of being custom fit and cut. Typically fitted to the body.

Tanga: A lingerie pant style that has thin straps across the hips. Similar to a boy short but slightly higher in the waist and lower in the leg.

Thigh-Highs: Stockings that just reach the thigh and are held up by elastomer bands.

Thong: An underwear style for both men and women with a thin fabric back that rests between the buttocks.

Thong Back: Term defining the back of a panty denoting the thin strip of material resting between the buttocks and exposing most or all of this area.

Thong Panty: A panty with a thin fabric back that rests between the buttocks, exposing the area.

Tie Back: A type of closure involving ties or laces that ties or fastens in the back. Tie Belt: The sash or fabric used to tie a robe or Kimono that holds it closed.

Tie Front: A type of closure involving ties or laces that fastens in the front.

Tights: A heavy, opaque one-piece garment from hip to toe worn with leotards for dance, exercise, etc. It is usually made with 40-denier yarn and over and is sometimes made of yarn other than nylon.

Trunk: Style of men's underwear whose silhouette imitates a classic square-cut swimsuit. The legs of a Trunk are slightly shorter than those of a Boxer Brief.

T-Shirt: A knitted undershirt with short sleeves, usually a crew neck, although sometimes produced with a V-neck.

Underwear: Clothing or an article of clothing worn next to the skin and under other clothing. Examples of underwear include: briefs, boxers, panties, bras etc.

Unmentionable: Term, used as a noun, to indicate an undergarment. Use arose in the Victorian era at the close of the 19th century when it was considered improper to mention the name of an undergarment by its actual name in public.

Vent: Predetermined slit, especially on the legs of boxer shorts, that provides more freedom of movement.

V-Neck: Neckline on a t-shirt that dips into a "V" in the front.

Velcro: Closure consisting of a piece of fabric of small hooks that sticks to a corresponding fabric of small loops.

Velvet: A cotton, silk or nylon fabric with a dense soft and usually lustrous pile and plain underside. Viscose: A type of rayon with a soft and silky feel made from a cellulose solution.

Welt: The top of a stocking. Often decorative is made from a heaver knit than the rest of the stocking.

Zip or Zipper: A type of closure and fastener consisting of two rows of interlocking metal or plastic teeth with an attached pull-tab to open and close the fastener.

Zipper Front: Garment with zip closure that opens and closes in the front.