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Home > Sizing Chart

Sizing Chart

Sizing for lingerie items differs from sizing for outerwear. Many lingerie items come in a one size fits most designation but don't confuse that with one size fits all. One size fits most simply means many women will fit into this size, but many will not. If you are not sure about your size, or the sizing of the garment please contact us and a helpful customers service representative will be glad to assist you.

Our Sizing Chart does not apply to costumes, leather, pvc or patent leather.
Please call or email with questions as costumes are not refundable.

Extra small costumes are for size 0/2 and up to 115 pounds. Extra small runs very small and keep in mind that in addition to that sizing the garments are cut small as they are sexy in nature. Thus the fit will be even smaller as they are intended to exhibit a woman's bust, legs and other body parts.

One size fits most, does not mean the garment fits everyone and a womans dimensions will be an additional factor such as whether she has a long waist, long legs, enhanced bust, extra weight about her midsection, back or thighs. Contact Flirty Lingerie with any questions.


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Please keep in mind that depending on your body shape, fitting some lingerie styles require knowing your bust, waist, height and weight for accurate sizing. One size fits most does not mean that it fits all heights and weights. Sizing for corsets and bustiers is done by 32, 34, 36 and so forth. Your cup size is not instrumental in sizing these garments. Some garments are meant to fit snugly, such as leather and pvc vinyl. Sexy costumes run small as a general rule, and we highly suggest contacting Flirty Lingerie before purchasing in order to get your correct size. Our customer service representatives are trained to assist you in determining your proper size, so please feel free to contact us for any questions you may have.

Trying to convert European sizing to American sizing? See below.

Shirley Of Hollywood Line Sizes
Size Bust Cup Waist Hips Equivalent Dress
Small 32-34 A-B 23-25 34-36 6-8
Medium 34-37 B-C 25½-28 36-39 10-12
Large 37-40 C-D 28-31 39-41 14
X-Large 39-42 D + 31-34 41-44 16-18

Plus Sizes
Size Bust Waist Hips Equivalent Dress
1X 39-42 31-34 42-44 16-18
2X 42-45 34-37 44-47 20-22
3X 45-48 37-40 47-50 22-24
4X 48-51 40-43 50-53 24-26

Men's Sizes
Size Waist
Small 28-30
Medium 32-34
Large 36-38
X-Large 38-40






Leather Size Chart

Bra Size Chart

S M L XL 1X 2X 3X
32C/34B 34C/36B 36C/38B 36D/38C 38D/40C 40D/42C 42D/44C

Women’s Size Chart

S M L XL 1X 2X 3X
Bust 34″ 36″ 38″ 40″ 43″ 46″ 49″
Waist 26″ 28″ 30″ 32″ 35″ 38″ 41″
Low Waist 28.5″ 30.5″ 32.5″ 34.5″ 37.75″ 40.75″ 43.75″
Hip 36″ 38″ 40″ 42″ 46″ 49″ 52″

Men’s Size Chart

S M L XL
Chest 38″ 40″ 42″ 44″
Waist 32″ 34″ 36″ 38″

One Size

One Size Runs from S-L range
One Size Plus Runs from XL-2X range
European Conversion Method:
Please take all measurements in centimeters and then divide by 2.54 which will give you the equivalent in inches. An example would be a waist size of 78.74 centimeters divided by 2.54 would equal a 31 inch waist.


Boots/Shoes Size Conversion Chart:

Ladies Euro: 35.5 36 37 37.5 38 38.5 39 40.5 41 42 42.5 43 43.5 44.5

Ladies UK: 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 9 9.5 10

Ladies US: 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 11 11.5 12

----- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Mens Euro: 40.5 41 42 42.5 43 44 44.5 45 46 46.5 47 47.5 48 49

Mens UK: 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12

Mens US: 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 13 13.5 14



Leather Size Chart Bra Size Chart S M L XL 1X 2X 3X 32C/34B 34C/36B 36C/38B 36D/38C 38D/40C 40D/42C 42D/44C

Womens Size Chart S M L XL 1X 2X 3X Bust 34 36 38 40 43 46 49 Waist 26 28 30 32 35 38 41 Low Waist 28.5 30.5 32.5 34.5 37.75 40.75 43.75 Hip 36 38 40 42 46 49 52

Mens Size Chart S M L XL Chest 38 40 42 44 Waist 32 34 36 38

One Size One Size Runs from S-L range











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Shapewear Sizing Guidelines:Courtesy of Vedette Shapewear.

Size guide: In order to select the right shape wear with the proper control for your body type, you will need to choose the right fit. To determine the perfect fit, we recommend that you take measurements using a standard measuring tape around you hips, waist, bra band, bra cup, or a combination of all measurements if you are interested in a full body shaper.

Measuring the hips: Measure around the fullest part of your hips, and make sure you are taking a snug, but not constrictive measurement. The measurig top should sit firmly flat against your skin. Add two inches to an even number, and 3 inches to an odd number to determine your band size.

Measuring the waist: Measure around your natural waist, a few inches above your belly button. Make sure to take a snug, but not constrictive measurement. This is your actual waist size.

Measuring Band Size: Measure around your rib cage, directly under your bust line. The measuring tape will to be tight and lay flat against your skin. Add 2 inches to an even number. Add 3 inches to an odd number to determine your band size.

Measuring Cup Size: For the cup size, you will need to measure horizontally across your back, and around the fullest part of your breast. Make sure to keep the measuring tape in a horizontal position, and round up to the nearest whole inch. Subract any difference from your cup size to determine your actual cup size.

Sizing Tips for Shapewear Garments: We want to make sure your shape wear garments and hosiery fit you perfectly: follow these tips to make sure you are wearing the right compression type and size for your body. 1. Make sure that you feel comfortable: you should not have to suck in your stomach, or feel the garment pinching your skin in any way. 2. The shape wear should not move when you sit, stand, bend or walk around: it should stay firmly in place on your skin, and should not roll up or fold. 3. Your skin should not bulge in areas where the fabric meets your body. 4. Do not go down a size for better performance: if you need more control, select either a dual compression or strong compression garment to achieve the best effect. 5. You will not reduce your size with hosiery compression garments or light control shape wear, these are designed to provide support and comfort.

Sizing Tips for Buying Lingerie

 

Many women and most men don't have their sizes available when shopping for lingerie or other garments for that matter. The first rule when buying garments in a store is try it on. Of course, this is not possible when purchasing items over the web. This is why it is essential to have sizes available when ordering online. Flirty Lingerie has been online since 1999 and we know from experience that sizing is the number one issue when it comes to purchasing lingerie of any kind, whether it is for yourself or for your wife or girlfriend. We have a number of size charts available for you to get an idea of what size you are. Keep in mind that buying intimate apparel, lingerie, panties and bras requires a different approach to buying clothing. 

Know your size: Great, except many women and most men don't know the size when purchasing lingerie, or your size has changed since the last time you took measurements. Among other things, we at Flirty lingerie know that women don't check their sizes often. A lot of things are more important than checking bra, panty, hip and waist sizes. For that reason we offer some suggestions. 

1.    Before shopping online take a few minutes, that is all it will take, to take a few measurement. These few minutes will make your life a little easier down the road as it is frustrating making a purchase online and upon receiving it finding out it is the wrong size. 

2.    If you know your sizes such as bust, waist, hips, height and weight, then keep in mind that many lingerie items are sold as a "one size fits most", and it is important to know what this means, and if these sizes fit your frame. 

3.    Keep in mind some general rules that are size related. Teddies/Bodysuits/Body Stockings- Due to the fact that teddies extend from the neckline to the crotch, please be aware that if you are long waisted, the teddy must cut into your crotch or shoulders as it is too small. Women come in all shapes and sizes and one sizing dilemma is the short waisted versus long waisted  one. How do you know you are short or long waisted? Well, about the only way to know for sure is to try on any lingerie item or a one piece bathing suit. Does the bathing suit have to stretch to far to be comfortable? If so, you may be long waisted. If the item does not fit snugly, then you may be short waisted. Not a big deal, but you may want to avoid the teddy/bodysuit and body stocking items. 

4.    One size fits most does not mean one size fits all. Years ago manufacturers listed items as one size fits all. Well, guess what? No they don't. The manufacturers changed the sizing to one size fits most, but many persist in thinking it means one size fits all. Even a passing thought would tell you that it is impossible for any garment to fit every size regardless of height, weight and other measurements. So, beware of the one size fits most designation. Hosiery is one size fits most, for the most part. If you have slender legs, the pantyhose may bunch at the ankles, or knees. If you are tall, they may not make it past your lower thighs. Heavy? The hosiery may not fit well at all! So what to do? When buying from an online site, only trust those that have telephone or better yet, toll free numbers to answer your questions. Of course there are plus size one fits most designations, but no slender one size fits most. Call to clarify what you are purchasing!  At Flirty Lingerie we offer toll free customer service support seven days a week during working hours. We love to answer these questions as it helps to insure that you are buying the size that is right for you. 

5.    Do these items run small? Running small and being made to fit snugly aren't the same thing. Some items do run small like leather, vinyl and costumes. While others are meant to fit snugly, like panties, skirts, corsets and the like. What is the difference? Well, sexy lingerie is generally short, snug and body flattering. That is partly why it is sexy! Flirty Lingerie sells a lot of sexy costumes, and after seeing literally thousands of girls try them on- girls love to shop together and can't resist showing their girlfriends and boyfriends how the costume looks on- we have learned that these costumes are short and tight. This is why we often suggest girls purchase ruffle panties or boy shorts to go under those "oh so short" costumes. So are they running small or meant to fit snug and sexy? Regardless of who wins that argument, suffice it to say that, keep in mind how you want the garments to fit. Some women want a "show off the goods fit", while others want it to fit "right". These may not be the same thing. Panties should fit snug, not tight. Micro mini skirts should reveal your panties when you bend over, if you dare bend over. Again, Flirty Lingerie doesn't tell our customers how to look, we just love giving them the information to make that decision for themselves. Again, if you aren't sure, call us! Please! We will be glad to share our experience. Unfortunately, we don't guarantee sizing suggestions as too many variable like the "run small" vs. "snug and sexy" decisions that women make for themselves are beyond our control. Women and the men that buy sexy lingerie for women purchase intimate apparel for reasons that differ from buying outerwear. You may need to make a number of purchases before you become completely confident in purchasing sexy lingerie. 

6.    Don't be afraid of wearing plus size lingerie! Remember, sexy lingerie often fits snugly and sinfully short. You may not wear a large anywhere else, but Flirty Lingerie suggests you purchase a large or even an extra large or 1X. Why do we do that? Because sizing drifts some in lingerie dependant on such factors as how you want the lingerie item to fit. Example: Let's say you wear a size 34D bra. When sizing a corset you choose the first variable in your bra size- the 34- and ignore the cup size. So you would wear a size 34 corset- right? Maybe not. Lets say you had your breasts enhanced and your frame fit your breasts before the enhancement. So your waist and tummy are really that of a woman with 32B breasts, which was your bra size. Why would we suggest a size 32? Well, the corset would like fit your newly enhanced breasts, but the remainder of the corset that extends down to you waist would fit loosely, and perhaps not to your liking. See what we mean that sizing of intimate apparel needs to take into account your body type and other related variables. We often suggest that women consider a plus size garment, even though they are not otherwise plus size. Tall women, long waisted women, women who have had breast enhancements and other reasons are often good reasons to purchase plus size lingerie. On the other hand we also often suggest going down in size depending on how the woman wants to look and feel. When we know the purpose for which the garment will be used, dancers, theatre production, costume party, wanting to exaggerate bust and cleavage, we tailor our sizing and style suggestions. 

7.    Can my items be altered? We often get requests for alterations and unfortunately due to our volume we cannot offer those services. You don't really need a seamstress or a tailor to fix most lingerie garments as long as they are bigger than what you need. In other words, if the garment is too small, you are likely out of luck. Enlarging a garment is a minor to major production, while making it smaller is rather easy. Many of the professional dancers who frequent our retail store seek a seamstress, or more frequently a relative like a mom, aunt or friend who is familiar with a needle and thread to alter their garments. They want and need to see to it that their outfit or costume truly fits. Why can't you? You can, and likely you can do it yourself. Most sexy lingerie garments are simply sewn, with no pockets, zippers or other more complicated sewing configurations. Drawing in a seam is a simple matter of sewing the side seams and can be done in 15 minutes or less. Remember this when purchasing an item, as altering it to fit is not a major undertaking. 

8.  Men buying lingerie for women- Sizing suggestions. At Flirty Lingerie we encounter men who want to buy lingerie for the women in their lives and they are bewildered. If you cannot or do not want to get her sizes by asking her, or stealing a look in her lingerie drawer, here is a short suggestion list. Look in our Articles for more suggestions on how men can and should buy lingerie. When you call Flirty Lingerie and don't know her sizes you may try this old suggestion. While it is not exact, it gives us some idea of what sizes your girl wears: If your girls/wife's breasts are 2 half lemons= she is an A cup, 2 half oranges= she is a B cup, 2 half grapefruits= she is a C cup and she is 2 half melons= she is a D cup. Again, this is inexact. In our retail store men will often say to our sales associates " my girlfriend/wife's breasts are about your size". Since our sales associates are clothed at all times, and I couldn't tell you what type of bra she might be wearing, this is another inexact description. Nothing makes up for knowing her correct size, but any information is better than no information. 

Estimate as best you can her height, weight and other dimensions. We will often steer men and women with no to little sizing ideas away from items such as bras, corsets and leather to items that are more likely to fit such as babydoll, chemises and other items. Since lingerie often has a significant lycra spandex content, these are usually safe bets. Also, don't ignore sex toys and jewelry items that does not need sizes to purchase with confidence. 

9.    Buying sexy shoes. One of our hottest selling items are sexy sandals and platforms shoes and boots. All of our shoes and boots come in full sizes only, no half sizes, so purchase the next full size up if you usually purchase shoes in half sizes. Our shoes are refundable and exchangeable so not to worry. Also, you may want to go up in size if you are purchasing fetish shoes as the angle of your foot will make a larger size desirable. Be aware that when you are purchasing ankle and thigh high boots the foot size is one of two important sizes. The other is the calf or thigh circumference which is vital when purchasing boots, particularly thigh high boots. Many women who wear a particular size are completely unaware that their thighs are a factor as to whether the boots will fit. If you have thick thighs you may be unable to wear these boots comfortably unless the boots are stretched. 

10.    Leather and Vinyl sizing. If you have never worn leather or vinyl please keep in mind that these garments will stretch as you wear them. What goes on snugly at 7:00 pm may be embarrassingly baggy at 10:00 pm. So purchase them accordingly. Most women know that the jeans they put on while holding their stomachs in, will fit comfortably throughout the day. Leather and vinyl stretch more than most jeans, so sitting in a pair of leather pants, will likely result in looking like you are wearing a diaper in a couple of hours. This is partially what makes wearing leather so comfortable.





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Glossary of Lingerie Terms
Top

A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-R-S-T-U-V-W

Flirty Lingerie offers a guide to lingerie and sexy clothing terms that may help you in purchasing the items you desire. Some of the terms used within the lingerie and clothing industry are confusing and unique to the industry. If you still have questions or concers about these terms please let us know and we will do our best to answer these questions. 

A
Adjustable Back - The back of the lingerie garment has functionality that allows for a fit that may be adjusted accordingly.
Adjustable Garters- Garter is adjustable in length by elastic straps that attach to the stockings to hold them in place.
Adjustable shoulder straps- Shoulder straps can be shortened or lengthened to provide the best fit.
Animal Print - Leopard, tiger, or other animal pattern print printed onto the lingerie fabric.
Applique - A decoration, ornament created by cutting one piece of a material and applying it to the surface of another material. On lingerie appliques are made of lace, mesh and can feature beading, sequins or rhinestones.
Arm Socks- Arm Warmers - Gloves, similar to the leg warmers often worn by topless dancers or exotic dancers. Some styles are fingerless, while some have fingers that are cut off to the expose the woman's fingers. arm socks can be made from sheer mesh, fishnet and heavy knits.
Athletic Underwear - Athletic underwear can include but is not limited to panties, bras, shorts, tights and leggings. They are referred to as athletic underwear as they are generally worn during athletic or exercise activities. Some of the benefits of athletic underwear are that they compress the breasts to reduce jiggling and bouncing, wicking, to draw moisture away from the body during exertion. Usually very snug fitting, made of stretch lycra spandex.
Austrian Crystals - Often referred to as Rhinestones that are made of cut glass or crystal, as opposed to acrylic or plastic. Austrian crystals and rhinestones are made of cut glass and are considered superior in quality as they are regarded as having a more brilliant appearance. Swarovski crystals are a registered trademark, made only by the Swarovski company.><br> 

B

Babydoll - A sleeveless, loose fitting top or a bra with sheer material attached with lengths varying from just under the breasts to derriere. A babydoll usually comes with a matching G-string or panty. A garment usually consisting of formed cups with an attached, loose fitting skirt that falls anywhere between the belly button and the hips.
Back closure- Bras come with either front of back closure. Front closure often is available with racer back bras as back closures are diffucult to design. Back closures are typically hook and eye closures with either two or three rows of "eye" closures to enable the wearer to adjust the bra to her comfort.This term is used when describing how a bra closes.
Back seams- Stockings with a seam running up the back of the leg for those that like a more old fashioned (and sexy) look.
Backless- Often a bra, although also a top or dress leaving the back exposed. A backless bra is designed to have the closure closer to the waist thus allowing the wearer to wear a low cut top or dress without unsightly bra straps or a back closure.
Balconette- A balconette bra is another term for a shelf bra or demi cup bra. Does not offer the full coverage of the bust given by a full coverage bra.
Bandeau - A fancy name for a bra.
Basque - A name given to any tight-fitting bodice garment worn by women. Examples of basques include corselette and merrywidow.
Bikini - Popular panty style that rests between thongs and briefs. The waistband comes below the belly button and is cut high on the hips.
Bloomers - An old fashioned form of feminine underwear consisting of loose fitting trousers or shorts.
Boa - A long scarf made of feathers.
Bodice - That portion of the garment which covers the breasts. The upper part of a dress.
Body Briefer - Shape wear reminiscent of the girdle, now politically correctly referred to as shape wear. A full body briefer has lycra spandex to hold and shape the stomach, thighs, buttocks. The purpose of the garment is to give a smooth look designed to give a sleek, slimmer look.
Bodystocking - A bodystocking is a full body hugging one-piece outfit made of a stretch material. It may be sheer, lace, fishnet or opaque. Sometimes called a Catsuit. A close-fitting one-piece lingerie garment usually covering head to toe and often having sleeves.
Bodysuit - A close-fitting one-piece garment for the upper body. A one-piece top and bottom garment, usually with a snap crotch. Snug fitting one piece garment similar to a leotard.
Boning - Rigid plastic strips sewn in shape wear to give structure, support and body contouring. It is usually sewn in vertically for tummy and waist support. Its name comes from the fact that actual bones were originally used to give support.
Boxers - Men's underwear, although women love wearing boxers often as lounge wear or sleep wear due to it roomy design, and fashion colors and styles. Loose fitting under shorts. Undergarment which is loose fitting.
Boy briefs - A panty style similar in shape to boy's underwear.
Boy leg brief - So named due to their resemblance to men's briefs. The panty rests wide on the hips, usually, but not always has a full bottom, but often comes with thong backs. Popular as they resist giving the dreaded vpl or visible panty line.
Bra - Foundation garment or undergarment and is the shortened term for brassiere. Worn to support the breasts.
Bra Types: Demi-bra or shelf bra- Covers only the lower half of the breast and is used to give a lift to the breasts, but does not create cleavage! Great for low neckline clothes. The push-up bra lifts the breasts to create cleavage, and if it is a good bra, will also increase the cup size of your breasts by one letter, say from an A cup to a B cup.
Under wire bra C Underwire bra is a very general term meaning that the bra has metallic wiring in the lower rim to create support. This is a must for any support or push-up bra.
Bralette - A sexy bra-like top that lacks the usual supportive features (such as underwires) of a real bra.
Brazilian back- Tanga Panty - A panty style that covers more of the buttocks than a thong, but less than a traditional full-back panty.
Brief - A panty with wide cut legs, full back coverage. The brief is reminiscent of boys briefs, and are cute and sexy on a woman.
Brocade - Rich oriental fabric consisting of raised patterns, often in gold or silver.
Brushed back - A material backing made from brushed cotton often used in pajamas to give a warm, flannel feel against the skin.
Burnout - Alternating patterns of sheer and opaque fabric. Fabric design created with combination opaque and sheer pattern. Opaque and sheer alternating fabric. Used in lingerie.

Bustier - A bosom-to-hip corset-style garment, usually trimmed in lavish lace. Additional features may include detachable garters, flexible boning, optional shoulder straps, and a lace-up closing. A bra that extends beneath the breasts to the waist to provide additional support, control and sex appeal. A tight-fitting often strapless top worn as a brassiere or outer garment. A tightly fitted top. Some have removable garters (to wear with Stockings). Some come with G-String, thong or panty.
Bustiers - (1) The beautiful body-contouring bustier is a decorated bra that extends down the torso. Flattering to many figures, they provide breast support while smoothing and shaping the waist. Worn with garters and stockings they make a complete outfit. Use your imagination to accessorize with gloves and heels. (2) The bustier is a bra that extends to the waist. Bustiers come in various types, including brasselettes, bustier tops, and camisettes. A bustier provides bust support, and may also smooth or shape the waist. Often worn with garters and stockings. Bustiers gained in popularity in the 1980s as outwear due to a popular female singer. (3) Also called corsets. All these terms refer to a bra that extends to the waist area and sometimes a little lower. Made to be used to push-up the breasts and to tighten the waist so as to create an "hour glass" shape. Garters extend from the waist area for stockings. Some styles are not sheer and may be worn out under a blazer. The best bustiers are the ones that give you the most options: removable straps garters and push-up pads. The hourglass shape is accomplished with boning or ribbing vertically in the material.
Button Front - Where the garment may be buttoned up or unbuttoned from the front.

C


Cami Top - Originate from the latin term "camisa" or shirt, is a snug fitting top. Can be worn under sheer tops, or under a jacket. As lingerie can be matched with panties or boy shorts.
Camisole - A short lingerie top, fitted over the bust, and ends at the waistline. Originally were used to cover the tops of corsets. Often worn visibly under an open jacket or blouse, or worn under wool garments to protect the skin. A short top usually offering little support for the breasts. A woman's sleeveless undergarment, now usually worn under a sheer blouse. Camisoles are usually combined with tap pant shorts as a matching set. Both can be used as undergarments or to wear exposed as outerwear.
Catsuit - A full-body stocking. Generally long sleeved and made out of stretchy material. A catsuit is a full bodystocking made of stretch material and may be either sheer, lace, fishnet or opaque. Some come with a pantyhose footing or stirrups.
Chantilly Lace- Delicate lace made from an open, six-sided mesh background with floral designs.
Charmeuse - Satin(fabric) - A lightweight silk, or silk-like fabric of French origin. It is often preferred over silk because it is machine washable and easier to care for. Can be used interchangeably with the term Satin.
Chemise - Historically refers to a garment worn under outergarments. Has been referred to as a smock or a shift. Today it is interchangably as a dress, or lingerie in stretch fabrics.
Chenille - A soft wool, cotton, silk, or rayon yarn with protruding pile. Chenille fabric used in lingerie is an imitation of chenille yarn. The fabric has patterns of soft, protuding loops of fiber that look and feel similar to the chenille yarn used to make sweaters, throw pillows, blankets and other such items.
Chiffon -(fabric)- A sheer fabric made with a simple weave of silk, polyester or other fiber. A lightweight, sheer fabric. A sheer lightweight fabric especially of silk.
Choker - A snug fitting necklace.
Chopper bar lace - An open net lace background that has been embroidered with a slightly raised, shiny pattern. A slightly raised, embroidered shiny pattern with an open net lace background.
Cincher(Waist) - An adjustable back to waist lace-up tightly fitted top.
Clear straps - Straps made from a clear, see-through plastic, that are designed to be nearly invisible when worn, generally bra straps.

Cleavage- the separation or hollow space visible between a woman's breasts when a low cut garment is worn.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Contour bra -This bra type includes lightly padded fiberfill cups to add definition to the breast, a smooth shape, and elimination of nipple contours.
Control brief - A control panty with a high lycra spandex content meant to pull in the stomach, giving a sleek and slender look and feel.
Convertible Bra - A convertible bra has straps which can be detached and rearranged in different ways depending on the garment worn: conventional back closure, halter style, off-the-shoulder, criss-cross in back, one-shoulder and strapless.
Cookie-The name given to the removable pad in a padded bra.
Corsage - A floral fashion accessory.
Corselet - Also spelled corselette, it is a woman's support undergarment that combines a girdle with a bra.
Corset - A woman's support undergarment that is boned and close fitting. It is almost always hooked and laced. It begins either above or just below the bust and extends down to the waist or below the hips. Usually garters are attached at its base. A snug fitting garment designed to cinch the waist and lift the breasts. Lacing in the back allows the corset to be adjusted for comfort. A woman's close-fitting boned supporting undergarment that is often hooked and laced and that extends from above or beneath the bust or from the waist to below the hips and has garters attached.
Cowl - A loose, draped neckline.
Criss-cross straps - Straps which cross in the back. A strapping that crosses in the back and can be used with bras, or other lingerie or outer wear garments.
Crochet knit - A large, open knit pattern that resembles crocheting.
Crop top - A very short top extending to just below the breasts.
Crotchless - A convenient slit or opening in the fabric covering the crotch area. A style where no fabric covers the crotch area. As in crotchless panties, teddies, bodysuits and bodystockings, among others.

D


Demi cup - A demi cup, balconette or shelf bra has an underwire design with a portion of the upper half of the cup removed to expose the upper part of the bust. Generally, the shoulder straps are also set farther apart.Meant to give greater cleavage, and can be worn with low cut garments providing spill out cleavage.
Demi cups - Demi cups, or half cups, have a lower line which reveals more of the upper breasts.
Denier - A unit of fineness of silk, rayon, or nylon yarn. Denier increases as the thickness of the fiber increases. Denier is a unit of measure that denotes the thickness of the fiber used in a garment. 15 denier fabric is very thin and transparent.
Dot net - Sheer net fabric decorated with evenly spaced opaque dots.
Dotted swiss - Evenly spaced raised dots on sheer material.
Drawstring waist - A string or strip of fabric sewn into the band which draws the waist up for a snug fit and is then tied into a bow.

E


Embroidery - Decorative designs sewn into fabric by hand or machine. The art or process of forming decorative designs with hand or machine needlework.
Eyelash lace - A lace garment where the edges have strands resembling eyelashes. Lace garment with strands at the edges that resemble eyelashes.

F


Fascination lace - Mesh lace with shiny embroidered floral pattern.
Faux - Imitation, as in faux leopard, faux silk or faux leather.
Faux Fur - Fake fur that is man made and not taken from an animal.
Faux Leather - Fake leather that is man made and not taken from an animal.
Fence Net - A large, thin open net. As in fence net stockings and other lingerie items.
Fiberfill - Generic term for man-made fibers used as padding.
Fishnet - A coarse open-mesh fabric, often seen in fishnet stockings, noted for its sex appeal, sexy style. Open mesh resembling a fishnet, often seen in fishnet stockings.
Fit and Flair - A dress style characterized by a form fitting top which flairs out towards the hem line, often resulting in pleats (folds).
Flocking - Decoration made from very short velvety fiber.
Flounce - A piece of material gathered and attached at one side, such as a large ruffle.
Flutter - A panty style with a strip of fabric around the sides that is elastic on top, but loose on the bottom.
Foam cup - Padding in the cup of the bra is made of foam which results in the bra being padded for added bust size.
Foundations - Old school term used to describe the undergarment worn by women. Foundations were bras, girdles, keeping her from bouncing and giggling.
French cut - Panty hose with sewn in decorative panty.
French net - Very coarse, six sided open mesh fabric.
Fringe - Decorative thin strips or strings, usually hanging from the hem line.
Full cups - Cups which completely cradle and support the breasts as opposed to other cup styles which offer less coverage and support.

G


Galloon - A narrow band of fabric or trim made of lace, metallic thread or embroidery. Garter - A suspender strap with a fastener attached to a girdle or belt to hold up stockings. An elastic leg band originally designed to hold up stockings but now just used for added sex appeal. Originally a band worn to hold up a stocking or sock.
Garter belt - A belt worn around the waist with straps, called garters, that clasp onto stockings to keep them from falling down. Usually the back of the garter is adjustable to fit different waist sizes and the garter straps can be adjusted for length. A type of waist belt with straps dangling down that clasp onto stockings to hold them in place. Usually adjustable for different waist sizes.. Garters are the elastic straps that clip onto the stocking which are attached to the bottom of a bustier, garter belt or the legs of a teddiette. Not to be confused with a leg garter, that is a lacey band worn around the thigh area. Note, some stockings have an elastic band in them at the top, and are designed to stay up by themselves. Georgette - Sheer crepe woven from hard-twisted yarns/threads to produce a dull pebbly surface.
Girdle - Foundation support for the waist, hips and back. Available in panty, long leg, open bottom and high waist versions, zippered and not.
Gown - (1) A long dress usually extending to the ankles. A loose dress type garment extending close to the ankles. Gown types include baby dolls, negligees, nightdresses, and peignoirs. Used for night or lounge wear. Often made of silk, cotton, or polyester, and sometimes includes adjustable shoulder straps. Sometimes worn with matching outer robe. (2) Used for sleep or loungewear, gowns are generally longer than other types of sleepwear with a hemline ranging from mid-calf to floor length. A gown worn with a matching outer robe is a Peignoir Set. (3) (or Night Gown) Used for night or lounge wear, extends down to the mid-calf or longer. Often made of silk, cotton, silk or polyester can also be used for sleepwear. A negligee is also a gown. G-string - A bikini panty with virtually no back coverage. It consists of a small front panel held to the body entirely with strings. Worn to prevent panty lines under tight-fitting garments. Less coverage than a thong. A strip of cloth passed between the legs and supported by a waist cord that is worn for a sexy appeal. A panty consisting of a triangular patch of fabric connected with thin, elastic straps in back and around the waist completely exposing the buttocks. G-string back Only a thin piece of elastic is used in the back and around the waist, exposing all of the buttocks.

G-String Panty- Descriptive terms defining the back end style of panties- specific to g-string or thong underwear where the entire buttocks are exposed. 

H


Halter (neckline) - Sleeveless, with fabric extending from back of garment, and meeting behind the neck. Usually, a V front. Sleeveless, with fabric extending from the front of the garment, and meeting behind the neck. Usually a V-front with an open back. Accentuate the bust, tummy and shoulders.
Halter neck - Garment wraps around the neck for support and, optionally, may be tied behind the neck (halter tie) or include a clasp (halter closure).
Halter top - A short top held up at the neck usually exposing the shoulders and upper back. Short top that exposes upper back and shoulders.
High-cut brief - Brief style panty with high cut legs and full back coverage.


His and hers Item includes something to wear for both the man and the woman.
Hook back - Garment closes in back with one or more hooks. A type of fastening at the back of a garment with one or more hooks.
Hook front - Garment closes in front with one or more hooks. A type of fastening at the front of a garment with one or more hooks.
Hook side - Garment closes on the side with one or more hooks.
Hosiery Types - Control top pantyhose: provides shaping support in the panty section.
Fishnet hose- Generally, a diamond pattern in loose weave. French or lace pantyhose: A lace panty is sewn into the pantyhose.
Lace top stockings - a lace band at the top of the stockings replaces the plain welt.
Suspender hose- A section of the hose is cut out to simulate the look of stockings and a garter belt, and often worn with panties.
Stockings. Pantyhose: Panties built into stockings, (technically speaking) they are simply very convenient to wear, as they stay up pretty well on their own (panties are worn underneath the pantyhose.
Suspender pantyhose- Will be open pantyhose in the front and rear areas, creating a garter belt look.
Stockings - Hosiery that need support from a garter belt to hold them up.
Thigh highs, Knee-highs, and Anklets - Are all basically stockings that usually have a little lace or lace trim, and most are self-supporting (stay up on their own), while some thigh-highs need a garter belt or bustier or corset with garters attached.
Hot Pants- Very short pants.

 

I


Inner cap - A lining inside of a wig that prevents tangling and if adjustable, allows the wig to fit virtually any size head.
Iridescent - Fabric which appears to change color or sparkle as it moves. Having or exhibiting iridescence . Fabric that appears to change color when moving.

J


Jacquard - (1) Fabric with a design woven into it rather than printed on it. A fabric of intricate variegated weave or pattern. A type of fabric known by its intricate type of weave. (2) Fabric characterized by an intricate weave or pattern. Originally named after French inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard who invented a loom capable of producing this fabric. Fabrics that have designs woven into them rather than printed.

K


Keyhole - An oval-shaped opening.
Keyhole (neckline)- Material forms a high neckline with a teardrop hole in the front, usually very near the top of the fabric.
Kick pleat -An inverted pleat, often used at the bottom of a skirt to give it more breadth.
Kimono - A long robe with wide sleeves traditionally worn with a broad sash as an outer garment a loose dressing gown or jacket. A long, loose, wide-sleeved Japanese robe, traditionally worn as an outer garment, fastened at the waist with a broad sash.

L


Lace-up Back - Garment laces up in the back for decoration and/or for an adjustable fit.
Lace-up Front - Garment laces up in the front for decoration and/or for an adjustable fit.
Lace-up side - Garment laces up the side for decoration and/or for an adjustable fit.
Leather - Cowhide.
Lined crotch - An extra panel of fabric sewn into the crotch for added comfort.
Lingerie - Women's sexy underwear. Or known simply for very sexy lingerie.
Lining - An extra layer of fabric sewn into the inside of a garment for added comfort or modesty.
Long line - A bustier that extends further down, usually to the hips.
Lurex - Fabric created from a trademarked metallic thread.
Lycra (fabric) - Dupont's trademark for a type of spandex. A spandex synthetic fiber. Lycra is very stretchy and is used in tight, body hugging garments like catsuits and sexy dresses.

M


Marabou - A soft feathery fluffy material prepared from feathers or the coverts of marabous and used especially for trimming women's hats or clothes. A time-honored design of lingerie. Soft feathery fluffy material prepared from turkey feathers or the coverts of marabous and used especially for trimming women's hats or clothes.
Maternity bra - A bra designed for women who are pregnant. May or may not have a design feature for easy access breast-feeding.
Matte - Smooth, even, non-glossy look.
Merry widow - Another type of corset. It is often strapless and comes to a point in the center front. It can also come with detachable garters to wear with stockings.
Mesh - A woven knit, or knotted material of open texture with evenly spaced small openings.
Mesh/Net - A knit or woven fabric consisting of small, evenly spaced holes.
Microfiber - An extremely fine synthetic fiber usually woven into soft, light weight, washable, breathable fabrics.
Minimizer - A minimizer bra is designed to de-emphasize a full bustline. Worn by large-chested women, such bras reduce the bustline while at the same time giving a smooth natural look.
Miniskirt - A very short skirt with a hemline that can extend anywhere from just below the buttocks (micromini) to mid-thigh.

N


Netting - (Net) A fabric consisting of a uniform open mesh made by weaving, twisting, knotting, and crocheting.
Nightdress - See Gown.
Nursing bra - A bra with specially designed cups that open to allow access to a baby for nursing.

O


OBG - Open bottom girdle.
Opaque - Neither transparent nor translucent, opaque means "blocking the passage of light," and refers to a material than cannot be seen through. It is the opposite of sheer.
Open bottom girdle - Basically a girdle with an open crotch. Provides more coverage than a garter belt for wearing stockings. Usually measured by waist size and length (e.g., 34 inch by 15 inch). With 4 or 6 garter straps; 6 provides better stocking support. Look for adjustable metal garter clasps.
Open Bust - A style that has no coverage in the breast area. Open tip, has no coverage in the nipple area, however still has a cup.
Open bust/tip - Little or no coverage is provided over the breasts. In general, open bust means there is no cup whatsoever while open tip usually means there is a cup, but with an opening over the nipple area.
Open rear - No fabric or elastic covers the area between the buttocks.

P


Padded cups - Cups that contain padding, sometimes removable, for those with smaller breasts that might not otherwise fill out the cups.
Padded Push-Up - Extra padding added on bottom and sides of each cup. This also helps achieve extra cleavage.
Panne velvet - Velvet which has been flattened in one direction.
Panties:
Bikini- Top of the panty is below the waist.
Briefs - Top of the panty is at the waist.
French-cut - leg opening extends higher than normal.
G-String - The rear panel is very small, though usually larger than a thong.
String bikini - A narrow strip of fabric or elastic joints the front and rear panels.
Tap pants - Shorts with loose fitting legs, generally rides higher on the sides.
Thong - minimal coverage on the rear, usually a string or narrow band of material or elastic.
Tights - panties made of stretch fabric, may include attached leg.
Pantigirdle - Heavier foundation in the form of a panty with a closed crotch. Leg length varies from high cut (essentially for tummy control) to long leg for added thigh support.
Pantliner - A pantliner is any undergarment that begins at the waist and extends down past the mid-calf. A pantliner can be pantaloon-like and worn as a slip for unlined pants, or it can be form-fitting to slim and smooth the legs. Can also be called an underliner. Panty- Ladies undergarment/underpants.
Panty Styles: Bikini: A low-cut panty with full coverage both front and back.
Briefs: Panties with a higher waist line than the bikini, usually resting at the waist.
French-cut - Higher cut leg openings which tend to elongate the legs' appearance.
G-string - Panty with a triangular front panel and almost no coverage in the back, usually a narrow band of fabric or elastic.
String Bikini - Front and rear panels still offer full coverage but are joined with a narrow strip of fabric or elastic.
Tap Pants - Shorts with loose fitting legs and a hemline slightly higher on the sides.
Thong - Similar to a G-string, a panty with a triangular front panel and a very small rear panel which is only slightly larger than a G-string.
Pantyhose - See Hosiery. A one-piece undergarment for women that consists of hosiery made with a panty-style top and extending from toe to waist. Close fitting hosiery offering coverage from toes to waist.
Patent leather -Real or synthetic leather with a smooth, shiny surface on one side. Leather with a hard smooth glossy surface.
Peek-a-boo - A style with a small opening or slit that partially exposes the breasts or nipple.
Peek-a-boo cups - Cups with a slit or other opening that partially exposes the breasts or nipples.
Peignoir - A sleepwear set which includes a long or short gown and matching robe. Its French origin "peignouer" refers to the gown a woman wore while combing her hair. A woman's loose fitting dressing gown. A negligee or dressing gown. See Gown. Sleepwear, sometimes worn with matching robe.
Piping - A decorative cord sewn along the edges of a garment.
Plunge - A plunge bra is designed to reveal more breast for a sexier look.
Plunge cups - Cups that are cut to form a v-shape, thus revealing more cleavage than a bra with full cups.
Poly - A polymerized plastic or something made of this especially : a polyester fiber, fabric, or garment
Polyester - (fiber/fabric) - A synthetic fabric popular for lingerie because of its wrinkle resistance and ability to stretch. Today's polyesters have been improved upon and are usually made of a weave that allows air to circulate.
Pouch - A man's g-string.
Princess line - Visible seams which resemble an hourglass shape for a figure flattering look.
Princess Line Seaming - Close-fitting and usually with gores (a tapering or triangular piece as of cloth in a skirt ) from neck to flaring hem line.
Push-up - A bra with additional padding at the bottom portion of the cup to lift the breasts in order to give the illusion of greater breast size. The padding, if removable, is known as a "cookie."
Push-up cups - Cups containing padding, sometimes removable, designed to push the breasts up to create a more flattering cleavage.

R


Rayon - (fiber/fabric) - A synthetic fabric with a luxurious silk-like feel. Rayon is less expensive than silk, comfortable against the skin, absorbs moisture and does not trap heat against the body. Any of a group of smooth textile fibers made from regenerated cellulose by extrusion through minute holes: a rayon yarn, thread, or fabric.
Regal lace - While it sounds like lace fit for a queen, in reality, this is just a particular pattern of lace that was arbitrarily given the name Regal by the fabric manufacturer.
Removable garters - Elastic straps which attach to stockings to hold them up, but which can be removed if stockings won't be used.
Removable pads - Pads which can be removed from the cups, if desired.
Ribbed Fabric - with grooves or vertical ribs made into a design that is form fitting. Fabric with raised vertical 'ribs' usually made into form fitting designs. Vertical ridges in a garment.
Robe - A long loose flowing outer garment. A loose fitting coverup.

S


Sarong - A loose garment made of a long strip of cloth wrapped around the body that is worn as a skirt or dress A loose-fitting skirt-like garment, formed by wrapping a strip of clothing around the lower part of the body.
Satin - (1) A woven fabric used for lingerie and sheets because of it's lustrous finish and sensual feel. A particular type of shiny, woven fabric. A smooth fabric, as of silk or rayon, woven with a glossy face and a dull back. A woven fabric that often has a highly lustrous finish on one side, and matte finish on the other. May consist of a wide variety of fibers.
Scallop - A curved border on the edge of fabric or lace.
Scallop -Border is curved on fabric or lace. Ornamental.
Scallop edges - A decorative fabric edge shaped similar to a line of scallops (or shells) lined up edge to edge.
Scoop (neckline) - U-shaped curve at the neckline. May be a variety of sizes or depths.
Seamed - Any bra that has seams running though the cup. A seamed bra tends to give more support than a seamless bra.
Seamless - (1) A bra with cups that have been molded into a permanent shape and fit. This bra gives a smooth and almost transparent look under clothing. They are particularly suitable under revealing and tight-fitting tops. (2) An item manufactured without seams. Seams can be a source of discomfort, so a seamless item will tend to be more comfortable versus a similar item made with seams.
Sequins - Small plates of shining metal or plastic used for ornamentation especially on clothing. Small shiny discs used to reflect light and add interest to a garment.
Shape Enhancer - A shapewear garment that controls the tummy, and shapes the waist and sides. It commonly has hook and eyes at the waist, and usually has boning to keep the waist from rolling. Can also be called a wais nipper.
Shawl - A wide scarf worn about the shoulders.
Sheer - A thin, fine, transparent or translucent texture.
Shelf Bra - Comes below the breast to just under the nipple. It's usually supported and structured through the boning process which helps in uplifting the breasts for added cleavage.
Shelf cups- Cups which only provide support and coverage underneath the breasts exposing the nipples.
Shirred - Material which is gathered to make decorative folds.
Shirring - A decorative effect obtained by gathering a section of material into parallel rows. Material is gathered into lines, for decorative effect.
Silicone cups - Cups which are padded with silicone instead of fiber. Silicone tends to provide a smoother, more natural look and a more comfortable fit.
Silk - A natural fiber produced by silkworms that is revered for its luxuriously soft feel.
Silk Knit - Silk fabric which stretches and clings to the body.
Sliding pouch -The pouch slides along the waistband allowing it to be widened or narrowed for an adjustable fit.
Sling - Straps attached to each end of a piece of material.
Slinky Knit - A soft, elastic knit fabric which conforms to the shape of the body. Slit A long narrow cut or opening in a garment.
Slit(s) - A narrow vertical split in the fabric usually added for ease of movement or sex appeal.
Snap Crotch - A convenience fastening in the crotch area. Crotch snaps/unsnaps for convenience.
Spandex - (fiber/fabric) - An elastic textile fiber woven into various blends to create stretchable fabrics for body hugging garments. Any of various elastic (stretchy) textile fibers made chiefly of polyurethane, also : clothing made of this material. Woven with other fabrics to produce an ability for the fabric to stretch. Spandex is also a synthetic fiber.
Spandex/ Lycra A synthetic fiber or fabric made from a polymer containing polyurethane, used in the manufacture of elastic clothing. Lycra being a trademark used for a brand of spandex. Spandex is the generic term for fabric created from elastic thread which helps a garment to stretch for a better fit and added comfort. Lycra is a well known brand of spandex.
Stay up - Stockings with a rubber grip inside the top that helps to prevent them from slipping down the leg.
Stay Ups - Stockings that have a rubber grip inside to stop the stocking from slipping down the leg.
Stockings - A knit close-fitting covering for the foot and leg. Hosiery providing coverage from over the knee or mid-thigh to the toes. Nylon or silk leggings that reach mid-thigh and have traditionally been held up with garters for practical purposes - pantyhose weren't invented yet. They can be worn to work or out on a date as foreplay for a special evening. Newer styles come with stretch band gripper tops, eliminating the need for garters.
Strapless - A garment without shoulder straps. Made or worn without shoulder straps.
Stretch lace - Lace which stretches (providing a better fit and more comfort). Lace that stretches to conform to the body.
Stretch mesh - Mesh fabric which stretches (for a better fit and more comfort). Mesh fabric that stretches for comfort.
Surplice - A garment in which the two halves of the front cross diagonally.
Suspender style - Stockings, pantyhose or body stocking where the legs are held up by an attached waist band, sometimes styled to look like a garter belt. The front and back are usually open, so some may prefer to wear a g-string or thong underneath.
Sweetheart - (neckline) A series of side and lower front curves that meet in center.

T


Taffeta - A crisp plain-woven lustrous fabric of various fibers used especially for women's clothing.
Tailored - Styled to look as if custom made by a tailor.
Tank top - A sleeveless shirt.
Tap pant - A panty styled like short shorts with a small flair at the hem. Frequently sold with coordinating bra or camisole. May be worn as a slip for shorter skirt styles. Very feminine boxer shorts. Materials are usually soft, silky and/or sheer.
Tapestry - A heavy hand-woven reversible textile characterized by complicated pictorial designs. Rich looking fabric similar in appearance to the heavy, handwoven designs used in making curtains and upholstery.
Teddiette - A strapless one piece bathing suit type garment with garters to be worn with stockings. A teddy with attached garters to hold up the stockings.
Teddy - A camisole and panty combined into one piece. It can be fitted to the body or loose. Is worn either under clothing or as sleepwear. A combination of camisole and panties in one piece. May be fitted to the body, or loose.
Teddiette - teddy with detachable garters. Worn either under clothing, or as sleepwear. A one piece garment with high cut legs and usually a thong back. A one-piece outfit combining camisole and panty in one. Be careful with the size because of the fact that one has to fit not only the waist and bust, but also the length of the torso (height). Thong - A panty with a narrow strip of fabric in the back that begins as a "v" shape at the waistband and then tapers to a thin strip by the time it reaches the crotch. This style panty is great if you want no visible panty lines and a smooth appearance.
Thong back - Only a thin strip of material is used in the back exposing most of the buttocks. A style of the back of an undergarment where only a thin strip of material is used, exposing most of the buttocks.
Thong panty - A panty with only a thin strip of material in the back that exposes most of the buttocks. A panty with a thong backing.
Tie Back - Style where the garment ties in the back.
Tie Front - Style where the garment ties in the front.
Tricot - A plain warp-knitted fabric (as of nylon, wool, rayon, silk, or cotton) with a close inelastic knit and used especially in clothing (as underwear)
Tricot - Plain, close warp-knitted (produced by machine with the yarns running in a lengthwise direction) nylon fabric.
Tube top - A strapless, body hugging top made from a rectangular piece of fabric.
Tummy shaper - Another name for a control brief.

U


Ultra suede - A trademarked soft, man-made suede fabric noted for its durability, washability and comfort.
Under Wire - A type of support used for adding extra lift for breasts by using a thin wire that is sewn into the base of the cup. A strip of flatted steel wire (or other man-made material) sewn into the underside of each cup of a bra, used for support and shape. Bras with sewn-in molded wiring that runs underneath the breast in each bra cup. This support feature helps to lift, separate and shore up the bustline for better shape and extra support - especially for full-figured women. There are many different types of materials used in underwire bras today. The underwire can now be a flexible wire, a plastic coated piece of metal, or a molded plastic shape. A strip of flatted steel-wire ( or other man-made material) placed under the cups of the bra (sewn into the material) for added support. A type of bra with metal wires in the lower edges of the bra cups to support the breasts and give a pushed-up appearance.
Underwired - Adds extra support and lift for the breasts using a thin wire sewn into the base of the cups. Especially desirable feature for larger breasted women.

V


Vamp - The part of a shoe upper or boot upper covering especially the forepart of the foot and sometimes also extending forward over the toe or backward to the back seam of the upper.
Veil -A decorative headdress worn by brides.
Velcro -Used for a closure consisting of a piece of fabric of small hooks that sticks to a corresponding fabric of small loops. Can be used for quick removal.
.Venice lace - Firm, heavy lace with an open background, usually in floral leaf patterns.
Vest - A sleeveless, waist length coat usually meant to be worn over a shirt or blouse.
Vinyl - A man-made, non-elastic, non-breathing plastic material that has a wet look and is often used in fetish wear.

W


Waist nipper See shape enhancer.
Wrap - A square/rectangular or oblong usually fabric garment or wrapper used especially as a covering for the head or shoulders similar to a wide scarf.

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                                                                            A Glossary of Bra Terms and Definitions




Every woman shops for bras, but sometimes you may need a little help with the jargon of the trade. Since bras have been around for a while, and an entire industry is involved in the bra business, it only seems logical that the bra business has its own language. If you see some terms that you just aren't sure about, then take a minute and look at our bra terms and definitions. We add to them regularly, as new fashions dictate that we stay on top of the terms of the trade. So, if you are buying a bra for the first time, or this is one of many, we hope you find the glossary of bra terms and definitions helpful. 

  • Average-figure - moderate support) bra An average-figure bra offers light to moderate support, with narrow straps, back and sides. Theyre usually made from slightly firmer material

  • Back closure - A back closure is the part of the bra that hooks together behind the back and consists of two or three rows of hook-and-eye clasps.

  • Banded underwire - A bra with a banded underwire has an extra piece of fabric below the underwire to give extra control. Bandless underwire In a bra with a bandless underwire, the underwire is the bottom of the bra. This look is designed to be more natural.

  • 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.

  • Bustier - 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.

  • Cami bra - A cami bra is not really a bra, but is a cross between a camisole and a bra, designed to look like a bra.

  • Camisole straps - Camisole straps are usually found on full-figure bras. Theyre actually an extension of the cup, and give a smooth shoulder line.

  • Contour bra - A contour bra uses fiberfill or foam padding to created a contoured look. Its also designed not to show, providing a natural look.

  • Convertible bra - A convertible bra is an innovation that gives a woman flexibility with a single garment. The straps can be worn or detached, or can be criss-crossed in the back like a halter top.

  • Cut and sewn cups - Cut and sewn cups have seams because theyre made of two or three pieces of material sewn together. The seams will show through clothing.

  • Demi bra - A demi bra is a low-cut bra thats designed to enhance the cleavage.

  • 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.

  • Front-close bra - A front-close bra is just what it sounds like C it uses a front closure, as opposed to a back closure.

  • Full-figured bra - A full-figured bra is designed for sizes 32-42C, D, or DD, and covers a larger area than average bras. The fabric used is heavier, the straps are wider and sometimes padded for extra comfort.

  • Fully-padded bra - A fully-padded bra is designed to give a smooth look, meaning it doesnt show any seams, and uses fiberfill or foam to enhance the size of small breasts by up to a full size.

  • Maternity bra - A maternity bra provides extra support, and is expandable, using stretch fabric, to grow with the expectant mother as her pregnancy matures.

  • Minimizer bra - A minimizer bra shapes the breasts outward to reduce projection, while maintaining support.

  • Non-stretch straps- Non-stretch straps, also known as rigid straps, are usually used for sports bras or full-figured bras.

  • Nursing bra - A nursing bra is an extra-support bra that comes with removable flaps on the cups, allowing a new mother to nurse her baby without totally removing her bra.

  •  Petite-figure bra - A petite-figure bra is obviously the smallest, for women with smaller busts; theyre made of lightweight stretchy material.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  •  Seamless bra - A seamless bra uses a single piece of fabric for the cups, so theres no stitching on the cups, giving an au naturel look.

  • Soft-cup bra - A soft-cup bra uses elastic under the cups for support, as opposed to wire.

  • Sports bra - A sports bra, sometimes known as an activity bra, is specially designed to eliminate bounce (as much as possible), for use in any activity that involves a lot of movement. The cotton-lined cups are high at the front and sides for support, and they have a comfort underband with non-curl elastic to stop it from riding up. They may also have a non-slip velcro fastening strap.

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

  • Stretch straps - Stretch straps use low-stretch elastic to give more control and comfort, while reducing bounce.

  • Underwire bra - An underwire bra has a wire that runs under the cups for extra support.

  • Wrap-around elastic band - In a bra with a wrap-around elastic band, the frame has an elastic band running completely around the bra, keeping it in place. It's commonly used in sports bras.

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Glossary of Stockings and Hosiery Terms and Definitions

 

The stockings and hosiery terms and definitions is here to make your choices when shopping for women's hosiery a little easier. Some of these terms are obscure, while others are terms you may have heard or read on the web, and weren't exactly sure of the meaning. Take a look at our glossary, and if you still have some questions, please contact Flirty Lingerie by email or on our toll free number where one of our friendly customer service representatives will be glad to answer your questions.

 

Bustier- Corset like garment but lighter in weight and without the heavy structure of a corset. Bustier's are usually shorter than corsets, ending at the waist, and are often worn on the outside rather than strictly as an undergarment. They usually come with four or six removable garters.

Control Top -Pantyhose or Tights produced with the body section composed of a heavier lycra content and weight to act as a light control garment.

Cotton Gusset -Cotton or cotton compound fabric sewn into the gusset or crotch of pantyhose to allow them to breathe. (see Gusset)

Corset- A close fitting garment often tightened with laces and reinforced with stays. Most corsets extend from the breasts to the hips, and are constructed to enhance the figure by cinching the waist, thereby enhancing the bust and hips. Most corsets are fitted with four or six adjustable garter straps to support the stockings of your choice.

Crotchless- Pantyhose with a crotchless or open crotch are increasingly popular. The open crotch allows easy access when using the restroom, or does not inhibit sexual contact.

Cuban Heel -A rectangular designed reinforced heel, usually with a reinforced foot and back seam .Most Cuban heel stockings are also Full Fashioned. (see full fashioned below)

Denier -Relates to the weight or fineness of the yarn, which in turn relates to the sheerness of the hosiery. The finer the yarn, the lower the denier. 30 denier is considered Opaque, 20 denier is sheer, 15 denier is ultra sheer, and 10 denier or less is the very sheerest. Sheerness varies with Lycra content. Generally the 100% nylon is the sheerest. A 15 denier 100% nylon will be more sheer than a 10 denier stretch stocking containing Dupont stretch lycra spandex .

European Heel
-The European heel is similar to the Cuban heel but with a pointed design. It is also known as the French heel, or simply pointed heel.

Fancy Tights- Sometimes called Fashion Tights or Fashion Pantyhose or just Tights. Usually consisting of a heavier denier and unusual design or knit pattern. They come in a vast array of designs, texture, and colors. More expensive than regular tights or panty hose but hey are more durable and unique in nature.

Fiber Content - The composition of the yarn used in the garment. Most are 100% nylon or nylon- stretch lycra blends for more memory and durability in the yarn.

Finishing Hole
- The small opening in the back of fully-fashioned stockings where the stocking was folded over and sewn together. This detail allows the top welt to stretch for a more comfortable fit on the thigh, and is the unmistakable mark of the true full- fashioned stocking.

Flat Knit -The process used in making full-fashioned stockings, where the yarn is knitted flat on the machine and literally sewn together to form the back seam. The tops of the stocking are then folded over and sewn, forming the familiar double top welt and finishing hole in the back of the full-fashioned stocking.

Fence net -A  large net design similar to that of a chain link fence and used for stockings, hold-ups, and pantyhose. Larger than the fishnet which does resemble a fish net.

Fishnet -A smaller net design, which is taken from the construction of a fishermans net, usually made of nylon or nylon- stretch lycra blends. These come in seamless or seamed styles, with various designs of lace or silicone tops on the stockings and hold-ups. Also in tights or pantyhose.

French Heel
-Original name for the pointed heel on seamed stockings, as opposed to the rectangular style of the Cuban Heel stocking. These have also become referred to as the European Heel or Pointed Heel.

Fully Fashioned Stockings
- These are vintage style stockings of the 40s and 50s, made on the original flat knit machines, where the stocking is knitted flat and sewn together in the back. These stockings are usually knitted of 15 denier 100% nylon yarn, although some of the original vintage styles came on heavier 20 or 30 denier called service weight for everyday use. Authentic Fully-Fashioned stockings always have a top welt made by doubling over the top fabric and sewing it back unto itself. A finishing hole is always left in the seam in the middle of the top welt, which allows the stocking to fit better on the thigh. The design can be either of the Cuban heel or Pointed French or European style. If they are not flat knitted and sewn together with a finishing hole on the back, they are not authentic Full-Fashioned stockings but modern reproductions called Full Fashion or Full Fashioned style.

Garters
-The clips that attach to the top welt of the stockings are called garters. Generally they are attached to an adjustable elastic strap, which is in turn attached to the garment worn on the waist or body, these are called garter straps. Sometimes as in the case of girdles and panty girdles the clips are attached directly to the garment without straps, these are garter clips. Garters are commonly referred to as suspenders in England.

Garter Belt
sometimes called suspender belts in Europe. They are garments made for the express purpose of holding up stockings. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with four to twelve adjustable straps to hold up the stockings. The garter belt and the stockings should be used together as the stockings cannot stay up without the garter belt. Stretch stockings usually require only a four-strap garter belt to keep it in place. Non-stretch 100% nylons on the other hand require at least six straps to keep them from sagging. The height of the wearer is also an issue. Most garter belts have straps that are too long to properly support stockings unless the wearer is 58 or more. Also waist size is important.

Garter hose -This refers to a garment where a waist band, garter straps and stocking legs are permanently attached in one piece, simulating the use of a garter belt and stockings, but in fact being a one piece garment.

Garter panty - A panty usually made of stretch fabric which contains garter straps or garter clips to hold up stockings without need for a garter belt, girdle or corset.

Girdle- These are stretch garments sold to control the mid-section, and hold stockings up high and tight. They come in open bottom styles and panty girdles. Open bottom or OBGs are a step above a garter belt, when the wearer wants more support or control in the midsection. Panty girdles are basically a support panty with garters.

Gossamer - The dictionary refers to gossamer as a light, thin, filmy like cloth. We see that filminess and sheen in the100% non-stretch nylons made famous by the artist Vargas, and the model Bettie Page.

Gusset- A triangular or diamond shaped piece inserted into a garment for structural value. Usually referred to as the piece inserted into the crotch area of pantyhose or tights. This gusset is designed to allow the crotch area to breathe.

Hold-Ups- Stockings that stay up without the need for garters. True hold-ups usually consist of a decorative stretch lace top, with a silicone band inside of the lace to help grip the leg. Also known as stay ups.

Hosiery
- General term meaning leg covering such as stockings, pantyhose, tights, socks, thigh highs and knee high hosiery.

Knee Highs- Term used to describe stockings that reach to a woman's knees or just below the knee.

Lace Top Stockings - these are traditional stockings in that they need to be held up with garters, but they have a lace top sewn to the top for added detail.

Link-ups
- This is a name trademarked by Pretty Polly of England, for their new stocking system that attaches them directly to a matching panty or thong, thus eliminating the need for garters. This is similar to the one-piece hose, but much better as the stocking legs can be interchanged separately.

Lycra- Lycra is a term trademarked by DuPont Corporation  for a man made stretch fiber that they developed, which can be produced in a range of types and deniers. It is most commonly combined with nylon for use in the hosiery industry. Stretch lycra spandex, as it may be known, is widely used in many undergarments such as panties and boy shorts, as well as women's tops and jeans, where a snug, comfortable fit is desirable.

Nylon - A man made fiber made from petroleum. It is noted for its strength, sheerness, and bright luster. Nylon can be produced in cross sections, altering its appearance and feel.

Nylons - A traditional term often used to describe the high gossamer or shiny stockings of the 50s and 60s, when stockings were all made of 100% non-stretch ultra-sheer nylon. Term is still widely used to denote stockings, pantyhose.

Opera hose - This item was very popular in the 50s and 60s but is not seen very often today. They are very long stockings, meant to be gartered, gut without the usual welt on the top. The garters are attached to a small band at the top of the stocking, giving a long un-interrupted look to the leg. These stockings require very short garters.

Opaque -The term given to stockings or tights when made of a higher denier yarn, making them less transparent and appear more dense than the lighter deniers.

Pantyhose -A one piece hosiery garment consisting of two sheer legs connected to a panty and waistband. Pantyhose are usually of a 15 or 20 denier yarn and transparent, as opposed to tights, which are usually constructed of 30 denier yarn and are usually more opaque to solid in color than pantyhose. Pantyhose come in many styles like sheer, fishnet, crotch less, fence net, colored and may be available in plus sizes as well.

Plus Size Stockings and Hosiery - Demand has dictated that stockings and hosiery products be made in sizes to fit plus size women. The sizing, similar to that of misses hosiery is a one size, in this case, one size fits most-plus or queen size.

Polyamide - The European term for nylon yarn.

Pointed Heel - A pointed reinforcement on the back of seamed hosiery which is also known as a French or European heel.

Pyramid Heel
-A heel similar to a pointed heel, but which reaches the point in a series of steps like a pyramid.

RHT - Or Reinforced Heel and Toe stockings as they are properly called, became popular in the 1960s, right after the advent of the circular knit machines. This allowed the manufacture of seamless stockings for the first time. These stockings have a darker reinforcement on the toe and the reciprocal heel to prevent runs, and they have become a nostalgic retro item throughout the years much like the Fully-Fashioned stockings of the 40s and 50s.

Reinforced - The sections of a garment that have been strengthened by double knitting to provide additional durability. This usually resulted in a darkening of the area, which is then considered a design feature. This is exemplified in the top welt of the stocking by the reinforcements of the full fashions and the RHTs.

Semi-opaque - This is a term to describe hosiery that is slightly translucent but not totally non transparent. It is usually of a lighter denier tight, or a heavier denier stocking of hold-up.

Sandal Foot -Also known as sandal-toe, they are called sandal foot because they can be worn with open toe or open sandal style shoes, and give the appearance of a nude foot. They are always seamless, and usually made of a light denier yarn.

Seamed- This term applies to all hosiery, no matter what style, which has a back seam on it. This can be a sewn on back seam or an actual sewn in back seam like fully-fashioned stockings and some fishnets.

Shadow toe - This refers to a slightly reinforced toe sometimes called a run-guard toe. It is barely seen, and gives the protection of the reinforced toe, without the noticeable darkening detail.

Shapers- Referred to as girdles up to the 70's and 80's when the term fell into disfavor. Women did not stop needing the control of a girdle, in the stomach, hips and thigh areas, but the more politically correct term is shapers. Shapers can be full coverage from the breasts to the thighs, or a control panty or other variations.

Sheen -This is a term, sometimes called gossamer given to the shininess or glitter like appearance of the stockings. 100% nylon non-stretch stockings and nylon-lycra blends have a very high sheen, which is their trademark.

Sheer - Sheerness is a function of light denier and full transparency. It is usually meant to reveal the lightness, filminess and transparency of the garment.

Silicone- A rubber like polymer, which maintains its elasticity over a wide range of temperatures. Used inside the lace top of hold-up stockings to cling to the skin and keep the stocking up without garters.

Skirtini- A micro mini skirt that has garter straps attached.

Stockings
-Although the popular use of this word has come to be anything worn on the legs such as pantyhose, hold-ups or tights. Customers usually refer to stockings as hosiery or just hose, with a general description of the specific type of stocking.  Stockings are the traditional style hosiery that are put on individually and attached to a garter at the top for support. These can come in plain top, satin top, or lace top, but should not be confused with hold-ups, or stay ups which stay up by themselves.

Suspender belt - The European term for garter belt.

Suspender hose
-Commonly used term in Europe for a type of hose that are similar to panty hose but have no panty. The nylon leg runs all the way to the waistband, but the panty portion has been eliminated leaving it open where the panty would be located. The suspender portion is the nylon garter strap like fabric that runs from the waist to the stocking.

Stretch sheer - Stretch sheer usually refers to the use 15 denier or less for use in hosiery. The material can be stretch nylon yarn, or nylon-lycra stretch yarn.

Thigh High's - Stockings that extend to the woman's thighs.

Tights
- These are pantyhose made of a heavier denier in opaque or semi-opaque yarns. They are dyed usually in deep colors, and they are more sporty and durable than pantyhose.

Ultra sheer
- This term refers to the very light deniers, of very light transparency and high sheen. Usually of 100% non-stretch nylon. Some stretch lycra /nylon yarns of less than 8 denier can be considered ultra-sheer.

Victorian
- This style is articulated in its unique details, and ornate patterns, originating in the Victorian era of England in the late 18th century.

Waist Cincher - A structured garment similar to a corset, but starting below the bosom and intended to draw in the waist.

Welt - This is the top most portion of the stocking where the garter clips attach. This portion is always reinforced by double stitching, and sometimes folded over and sewn onto itself as in fully-fashioned stockings.












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