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Lingerie Defintions

Sexy Belle05 December 2020

Lingerie Definitions

The variety of lingerie and lots of different names for the undergarments can get confusing and that’s why we thought it would be a good idea to cover some definitions. Also, with the large array of lingerie comes an array of common spelling mistakes that even here at Sexy Belle, we can sometimes fall foul of! Here’s a recap to get us on the right track when it comes to lingerie.

Lingerie (noun) - women’s underwear and nightclothes

Let’s start with the word Lingerie, due to the French origins it can often be misspelt as “lingere”, “lengire” or “lingerie”. However, the word lingerie derives from the French word “linge” which means washables or washable linen, as undergarments were initially made from linen before the introduction of cotton. Nowadays Lingerie is the keyword known around the world to represent types of women’s undergarments. The collective covers items such as bras, knickers, sleepwear etc. And due to the French origins and the culture of romance, the word lingerie often is linked to the sexier and erotic side of the undergarments industry.


Bra (noun) – an undergarment worn by women to support the breasts

Short for brassiere, bra dates back to ancient Greece however the modern bra, we know, and love came about in the 15th century. The simple three-lettered word doesn’t tend to catch us out, but the confusion comes in when you discuss the variety of styles. To quickly summarise:


Knickers (noun) – a women’s undergarment covering the lower part of the torso to the top of the thighs have two holes for the legs

There is such a variety of words used for something you cover your bottom half, from knickers, underpants, drawers and panties. The confusion comes from the array of styles of knickers, like bras, there are so many styles. It all depends on coverage, for full coverage you have your high-waisted briefs and shorty briefs. Then medium coverage you’ve got the Brazilian briefs like Pour Moi Muse Brazilian brief. And for minimal coverage, you have tanga briefs and thongs.


Camisole (noun) – a women’s loose-fitting undergarment for the upper body, typically held up by shoulder straps

Perfect for sexy nightwear a camisole or cami is a flowy strappy top often made from satin, nylon, silk or cotton. Here at Sexy Belle, you will find a lot of the camisoles will come in sets so you can get matching bottoms for a complete look.


Nightdress (noun) – a light, loose garment worn by a woman in bed

Since nightdress the term doesn’t really resonate sexy, there is now a variety of words for this nightwear such as nightie, nighty, nightgown, slip or negligee. The sexier styles include chemises and babydolls. A babydoll is a loose-fitting nightdress that tends to flow down from the cups to your upper thigh. Whereas a chemise is very similar but a bit longer and usually tight fitting.


Bodysuit (noun) – a close-fitting one-piece stretch garment for women

Different terms for bodysuits can get a little confusing as a slight difference will change the name of the style. A teddy, body and basque can all look very similar however there is a slight difference, a body is a tight-fitting one-piece such as the Bluebella Lydia Body. Whereas a teddy is a little naughtier, with looser and sheerer fabrics, like Dreamgirl White Lace Teddy. And finally, a basque combines the structure of a corset or bustier and the style of a one-piece bodysuit.


Corset (noun) – a woman’s tightly fitting undergarment extending from chest to the hips, worn to shape the figure

Dating back to the 1800s the corset is a well-known item but has been known under a variety of terms, such as girdle, garment, corselette, waspie, truss and bodice. The corset is commonly worn to shape your beautiful curves and has more recently become a garment to spice up the bedroom. Not to mention the variety of very similar styles to a corset – basques and bustier. For more information on corsets check out our recent blog – Buying Guide to Corsets and Basques.


We’ve summarised a lot of information in this blog and given you a whistle-stop tour of lingerie definitions so if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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