Lingerie Glossary And Information

2-Part Cup

A 2-part cup is when the cup is made with two panels of fabric sewn together. Cups with this feature are often more supportive than they would be otherwise.

3-Part Cup

Similar to the 2-part cup, but it is made with 3 panels of fabric. This style is the even more supportive than 2-part cups.

4-Part Cup

A 4-part cup is made up of 4 panels of fabric sewn together. Also called a cut and sew bra. Often, one panel will be along the outer sides of the cup to help support and contain your bust. 4-part cups are found mostly in larger cup sizes because they can provide more depth, support and shaping.

Adhesive Bra

A bra with medical grade adhesive on the inside to stick perfectly still against your body. These bras enhance your bust somewhat and are a backless alternative.

Applique

Applique is where a pattern or motif is made by cutting pieces of one fabric and attaching them by sewing or adhesive to the surface of another to give a raised effect.

Babydoll

A babydoll is short nightgown, often designed with lace, ruffles, bows or ribbons, and most often with narrow straps. Sometimes they are made of sheer cloth like chiffon. It's said the name comes from the 1956 movie "Baby Doll".

Back Closure

A term for how a bra closes. Usually, a back closure bra has two rows of hook and eye closures including three positions for a snugger or easier fit. Full figure and strapless bras usually have three rows and three adjustments.

Back Wings

The strips of material that start at the edge of the cups, go under the arms and meet in the back.

Backless

A bra designed with a low cut and an adjustable back band.

Backless strapless bra

Clear straps for your bra are essential for backless dresses. This backless stick-on style lingerie has clear adhesive straps that stick to the body for support and a no-straps appearance.

Balconet/Balconette

Also called a demi cup bra. A balconette bra has a horizontal edge that goes across the top of the bust. The cups are often seamed for an upward boost to give the breasts a corset effect. They can also have push-up pads as well.

Balcony

This style includes wide-set straps, multiple seams in the cups, usually a plunging center, a sweetheart neckline and is not full coverage. A common term used in Europe, this style name is mostly associated with DD+ cup sizes. Works well under scoop-neck, low v-neck and boat-neck tops, and is suitable for most breast types.

Bamboo

Bamboo fabric is made from the bamboo pulp. It's lightweight, durable, absorbant (taking three times its weight in water) and has antibacterial qualities that keep your body feeling fresh. Absorbancy and anti-bacterial properties makes for a wicking ability that will pull moisture away from the skin so that it can evaporate. Bamboo has been popular in certain clothing for over a century, but is only now becoming widespread. In addition, bamboo fabric has insulating properties and will keep the wearer cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Bandeau Bra

A strapless bra that usually comes with a wider band worn around the bust line, like a regular bra.

Bar Tack

Sewing that reinforces the edge of a buttonhole or slit with rows of stitching that are perpendicular to the seam.

Basque

Basques are often confused with a bustier or corset, but there is an easy way to tell the difference. A corset sits under the breast and goes down to the hip, whereas a basque has a bra built in.

Bed Jacket

A short waisted jacket you wear to bed to keep your shoulders warm, making it great for winter.

Bikini Brief

A brief style whose waistband rests below the navel, and on the hips, usually high-cut. The sides can be anything from a string to a side panel. Back coverage depends on the style of the bikini, with Brazilian to more discrete Y-shaped briefs. Bikini panties are flattering and offer a comfortable, medium coverage silhouette that won't show.

Body

Used to describe a full body undergarment like a body stocking, they are sexy and visually stunning. The body is the perfect garment when worn by itself, without any other layers.

Boarding

A process applied to hosiery to improve final presentation. When hosiery is still damp from dying it's pulled over a metal leg and subject to pressure and heat. This gives the garment its familiar leg and foot shape. Usually found in hosiery with fabrics that don't stretch, like silk, and often make for the best fit.

Body Briefer

A shapewear design that looks similar to a one-piece swimsuit. It has a snap crotch (also called gusset closure) so you don't have to struggle with teh shapewear when you visit the bathroom and a control panel at the tummy for extra control.

Boning

Boning is when strips of metal or hard plastic are used to give rigidity to the garment. Popular in corsets. The name comes from the fact that whale bones were originally used in undergarments to give support.

Boy Leg Brief

Based on hot pants, this brief stops at the top of the thigh and the waist sits low on the hips. It is usually seamed in the center, both front and back. Worn under hipster bottoms or shorter skirts to give a smooth line from waist to hip.

Boyshort

Resembling shorts, this panty is close to hot pants in shape. Boyshorts are a perfect everyday alternative and offer comfortable coverage under skirts. They are also great when you pair them with a camisole or worn as easy loungewear. A boyshort has a lower leg cut, so it has an inseam too. Many women wear these items to eliminate panty lines under close-fitting clothing.

Bra converter

Changes the shape of your bra straps. Just a small bras converter can make a standard bra a racer back or position your back strap further down to make for a strapless look in low back dresses.

Bra hook extenders

Extenders easily hook onto the back fastening of your bras to extend the sides and back. If your bra is too tights, hook extenders will give you that little extra room.

Bralet/Bralette

A bralette is usually less structured than other bras and comes in t-shirt sizing like small, medium and large, rather than bra sizing. Popular for lounging, sleeping or as an underpinning.

Brazilian Panty

A Brazilian covers more in back than a thong but less than a panty. A Brazilian panty has a full sized crotch, but the back is cut so that it follows the apex of your cheeks into a V-shape.

Breathability

Breathable means that the fabric allows good airflow and will. Generally, if a fabric is breathable, it won't hold in moisture and will wick mosture from your body.

Brief

A brief is a panty with a waistband resting at or just below the bellybutton. It gives full back and side coverage. Available in hi-cut or low-cut version, which has a leg that sits higher up or lower down the leg area respectively.

Bump Pad

A pad that's built into the base of the cup to push that pushes the breast up and out to create a fuller bust.

Busk

A thin strip of whalebone, metal or wood used for stiffening corsets. The main component of the boning feature.

Bustier

A corset-like garment that goes from bust to hip, usually trimmed in lace. Depending on each item, they may have detachable garters, flexible boning, removeable shoulder straps, and a lace-up feature or a hook and eye closure. The bustier is a garment to be worn under formal clothes.

Butterfly Slide Closure

A butterfly slide closure has two pieces that slide into place and snap together, to close a swimsuit or bra.

Camisole/Cami Top

Usually made of microfiber, camisole-shaped shapewear gives a seamless and toned look under knits. It gives a much lighter control and is a perfect solution for those who want something sheer, yet supportive.

Carbon

A carbon fabric blends carbon-infused yarn by burning bamboo to "treat" the material. They then blend it with poly-tech fiber to create a durable material that is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, deodorizing, breathable, and wickins moisture from your body.

Catsuit

A full length bodystocking, like the variety worn by Catwoman. Generally long sleeved and made out of stretchy material so it fits snuggly.

Centre Panel

The centre panel or centre gore is the piece of fabric in the center of your bra that connects the two cups. The size of this center piece helps to establish a bra's support. A supportive bra will have a center gore that comes up higher, sometimes up to the the nipple line. A lower center panel works best for plunging necklines.

Chemise

The name given to the first type of undergarment ever worn by women. Designed to protect the skin from outer layers, today a chemise may be defined as a flowing gown or slip without sleeves and having an A-line shape. It is most often an underpinning or a sleepwear item.

Circular Knit

A process in which seamless hosiery is made. The method results in a tapered tube, which is then closed at the toe with the tiniest seam.

Classic Briefs

These briefs sit on the hip, covering an amount between high rise and low rise briefs. They are all around flattering and are the go to for many women.

Cleavage

Cleavage is a descriptor of how revealing a bra or top can be at the centre of the garment. Cleavage comes from the word "cleave" to separate or divide in two.

Comfort Straps

Comfort bra straps have a wider than normal strap and usually have more padding. They help to distribute the weight of your bust and increase comfort. Comfort straps give helpful relief to shoulders and backs for those woman with more ample figures.

Compression Cups

A bra with compression cups pushes and holds your breasts perfectly in place to reduce unwanted movement as you walk.

Contour

A contour bra has cups that hold a rigid shape, even when not being worn, by using a layer of foam. Similar to a molded bra, except molded bras don't always have padding. Contour bras are always molded. Contour bras are a perfect choice for any woman seeking a sculpted silhouette, offering you coverage and control. A contour bra can also add size, better shape, and can make sure nothing shows through the fabric. Contour bras are a good choice for in-between bra sizes.

Control Brief

A panty shaped like a brief that also flattens the tummy and gives you support while sculpting your silhouette.

Convertible

Convertible bras have straps that can be worn in six different ways. These include conventional, single-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, halter, criss-crossed, and strapless. Some convertible bras have straps that are attached straight to the cups. These convertible bras can not be worn in all six configurations. Be sure to look at our images to see if the front of the strap is removable. Better for smaller cup sizes, specifically D and below.

Cookie

A padded insert that goes into the cup of a bra. Though usually made of foam, a cookie can also be made with gel for a more realistic weight and feel. Cookies help to change the shape of the breast and are ideal for mastectomy swimwear.

Corselet

Also spelled corselette, this garment is a woman's support item that combines a girdle with a bra.

Corset

A woman's support undergarment that is boned for support. It is almost always hooked and laces up at the back. It can begin above or below the bust and extends down to the waist or even below the hips. You can also fine ones with garters attached at the base. A corset supports the breasts from underneath and gives them lift and support.

Crinoline

Originally, it was a name given to a kind of horsehair fabric used in early petticoats to give a skirt its full volume. Later, the word crinoline came to mean a hoop skirt.

Crop Top/Cami

A light none wired bra that is a cross between a camisole shirt and a bra.

Crossover

A wireless bra that creates an "X" shape in the front for support and comfort.

Cuban Heel Stockings

Cuban Heel stockings have a rectangular shaped reinforced heel. Usually with a reinforced foot and a single backseam. Most Cuban heel stockings are also fully fashioned.

Culotte

A Culotte is wider legged version of a boyshort.

Cut And Sew Bra

A Cut And Sew bra is a bra with seams inside the cups. Most bras with lace cups are cut and sew. The more seams in the cups, the better the support.

Decollete

A bra with a low-cut front panel that makes for a dramatic cleavage-enhancing effect. Decollete is also used as a synonym to describe a woman's chest just above her bustline. As an adjective, it describes a low-cut neckline in a garment.

Demi Cup

A demi cup (or half cup) means a contoured underwired bra with a large area of the upper half missing. It is cut away to expose the upper part of the breasts. The shoulder straps are often set farther apart. They are worn when the top of a garment is cut low, wide or square. Also called a balconette or a shelf bra.

Denier

Whilst often used to mean the thickness of fabric, particularly in leg wear like tights, it is technically the weight of the fabric. Although this often translates to thickness, such as a 10 denier pair of tights being lightweight and see through whilst a 100 denier pair being woolly, it is not always the case. Thick of a sample square of cotton vs a square of denim. Although each is as thick as one another, the cotton is light and the denim is much heavier.

Elastane

Elastane is another name for Spandex. Elastane/spandex trade names include Lycra and Dorlastan.

Encapsulation

This word is used in defining the construction of a sports bra. If a sports bra has encapsulation, the bra cup surrounds the breast for support while giving the breast a shape, rather than stretching over the whole of your but like a tight shirt would.

Enhancer

Enhancers create the illusion of a fuller bust line. Enhancers are often built into bras themselves rather than inserted. The Wonderbra is the archetypal enhancer bra.

Fence Net

Fence Net is a very large net design that looks like a chain link fence. Used for legwear but also for decoration and many items of lingerie.

Finishing Hole

The small opening in the back of fully fashioned stockings where the stocking have been folded over and sewn together. This detail allows the top welt to stretch more for a more comfortable fit around your thigh. It is the unmistakable mark of the true fully fashioned stocking.

Flashes

The tabs on the straps of suspender belts, babydolls and other items of this kind. Often oncealed behind ribbons or decals, they hook onto your stockings holding everything in place.

Flat Knit

The process used to make fully fashioned stockings, where the yarn is knitted flat on the machine and sewn together to form a backseam. After this, the tops of the stocking are folded over and sewn. This forms the familiar double top welt and finishing hole in the back of the stocking.

Foam Cup

This is when padding and shaping in the cup is created with foam. Such padding doesn't bunch up during washing and gives a smooth appearance to the cup.

Foam Lined Cup

A foam lined cup prevents your nipple show through. Foam lining is always thinner than a padded bra and doesn't add much size, instead it creates a lithe and youthful silhouette.

Frastaglio

Frastaglio is an antique type of Florentine craftsmanmanship. Embroidery is attached by hand to silk or another fabric. The effect obtained is a refined motif that seems to climb up the fabric. Frastaglio is used in silk corsets and silk nightwear.

French Cut

French Cut briefs are another name for a high-cut brief.

French Heel

Original name for a pointed heel on seamed stockings, as opposed to the rectangular Cuban stocking. These are also referred to as the European heel, but more often it is called a point heel.

French Knicker

This is a panty that looks similar to a boyshort except the back doesn't have elastic in the legs so does not cup your cheeks and it flutters across your bum.

freshFX

A product of Invista and used alongside Lycra, freshFX technology creates "refreshing" fabric to be used in underwear for a great fit, feel, coolness and freshness.

Front Close

A bra that closes at the front. A good style for plunging or for a v-neckline.

Full Busted

Anyone who wears a bra in sizes 38-42DD and larger would be classed by designers as a full figure woman. Bras made in these sizes are designed to also give additional support. Common features include padding, wide straps, and triple hook and eye closures.

Full Cup

A full cup bra covers most of the breast, offering both more coverage and support than a demi cup or half cup. A full cup bra won't cause a crease along the top of the breast.

Full Figure

Anyone who wears a bra in sizes 38-42DD and larger would be classed by designers as a fuller figure woman. Bras made in these sizes are designed to also give additional support. Common features include padding, wide straps, and triple hook and eye closures.

Full Support

A bra that has banding under the cups, fuller side wings, and closures with two or more hooks. DD or larger will fit our full support range, crafted to offer more support for larger busts. Features like padding, wider shoulder straps and triple hook eye closures are common.

Fully Adjustable Strap

This strap has no o-rings or such between the slider and the front strap's bottom. Thus, this strap style can fully adjust to become very short. A great choice for women who are petite.

Fully Fashioned Stockings

Vintage stockings of the 40s and 50s, they are knitted flat and sewn together on the back for an more tailore fit. These stockings are usually sheer and come in silk or nylon. Authentic fully fashioned stocking always have a top welt made by doubling over the top fabric and sewing it back down. A finishing hole is always left in the seam in the middle of the top welt, which allows the stocking to move dynamically and fit better on the thigh. The design is usually Cuban or point heel, but more options are available.

G-String

Similar to a thong, a g-string leaves your bottom exposed, with a g-string is more revealing. It has no small triangle of fabric on the back. Instead, the back has a simple string coming off a thin waistband. Worn to stop panty lines under tight-fitting garments.

Garter

A Garter is a band worn around the top of the leg, common in bridal lingerie.

Garter Belt

A belt worn around the waist with several to keep stockings in place. Also called a suspender belt.

Girdle

The name Girdle is given to a garment that is somewhat like a suspender belt, but extends from the higher waist to below the hips. Can also be an item of shapewear.

Girdlette

A garment that is larger than a garterbelt but offers less coverage than a girdle.

Gusset Closure

A hook-and-eye or snap closure in the gusset. Usually seen on bodystockings.

Half Cup

Another name for a demi cup bra. A half cup means a contoured and underwired design with a portion of the upper half having been cut away to expose the upper part of the breasts. The shoulder straps are often set wider apart. Best worn when the top of a garment is cut lower, wider or in a square. Men find this style bra very attractive on women. This style has many names but shouldn't be confused with a balconette or shelf bra.

Halter

A bra style with straps that fasten on the back of the neck. This bra is ideal for backless dresses with a similar strap. This style is often convertable so you can wear it with a traditional shoulder strap.

Hi-Cut Brief

Shapewear with a panty that comes higher than the waist to give shaping and support to the waistline and above.

Hi-Cut Rio/Brazilian

A style similar to string bikini briefs, with moderate back coverage that looks more like a "v" rather than a "u".

Hi-Waisted Brief

Shapewear with a panty that comes higher than the waist to give shaping and support to the waistline and above.

Hidden Underwire

Hidden underwiring means the bra's bottom edge does not have underwire casing, so looks like there is no underwire, whilst providing the same lift. Also called a "floating wire" and is great for adding lift subtley. Women with more ample chests might find this construction uncomfortable because this style can roll under, under their breasts.

Hipster

A mid coverage panty that rests low on the hip. The rise is shorter and the waistline is well below the navel. A hipster is ideal for wearing under low cut jeans.

Hold Ups

Hold Ups are stockings that stay up without a suspender belt. Hold ups have silicone in the leg, which many women are allergic to, but they are more convenient that stockings.

Inner Sling

Inner slings are another name for support panels in a bra's cup. It can be a curved strip of fabric that follows the curve of the bra, similar to an underwire, but soft and firm for rigidity. An inner sling can also go around the entire breast, or is just a panel on the sides of the breast.

Interlining

A padding or stiff fabric, sewn to the side of the lining or the inner side of the outer shell fabric. Interlining is used primarily to provide warmth.

Jersey

A generic term for plain knit fabric without a rib. Originally made of wool, jersey was first made on the Channel island of Jersey.

Keyhole

This design feature creates an arched opening in the centre of the back or the front of a garment.

Kimono

A wide-sleeved robe with a belt, originally from Japan and worn for formal Japanese occassions.

Knit

Knit fabrics are made the same way a knitted garment like a scarf is made. This process uses two needles and a ball of yarn, where a piece of yarn is looped in a row, then a machine links those loops with another row of loops and so on. Knit fabrics are naturally stretchy because of the shape of the loops. Knit fabrics include jersey, felt, toweling, mesh and fleece.

Laser Cut

Rather than cutting fabric with shears or a machine, a laser is used, but only on synthetic fabrics that are fire retardant. Laser cutting means the fabric doesn't unravel, and has a precise and seamless edge.

Leavers Lace

The name "Leavers" comes from the machine used to create it. The Leavers machine made mass production of intricate lace possible similar to those that could be created by hand. Leavers looms are the only machines able to work with a high number of threads and reproduce the intricacy of hand made lace.

Leotard Back

The leotard back bra is a modern innovation. Rather than a rectangle shape like in a camisole, the leotard back has a round look like its namesake. It is now one of the most commonly found types in today's bras. Besides looking different, the leotard style almost usually includes some elastic to achieve the rounded shape. Consequently, this elastic gives you the flexibility to move easily without having to adjust your bra afterwards. However, the straps attach to the back at an angle to keep the arch styling. If the "U" shape is too wide for your body shape, the straps can fall off the wearer's shoulders. The number of back fasteners is also limited.

Light Support

A Light Support bra is a bra with cutaway wings with little to no banding under the cups.

Lined Cup

A bra with a lining in the cup, which gives support and added opaqueness to the cup to reduce show-through.

Long Leg

Shapewear with a brief top and half length legs that give support and control in the thighs. Usually a "leg gripper" is added to the ends to keep it from curling up.

Low Rise

The rise is the measurement between a waistband and the first horizontal seam of a panty (usually near the crotch). The average brief or panty has a 6-inch rise. A low rise is usually less than 5 inches.

M Frame

A sports bra consisting of side panels to restrict horizontal movement. Also has a center front panel that extends along the neckline and often into the strap to restrict vertical movement.

Maternity Bra

A maternity bra will offer more support with their wider sides and an underbust band. Straps are non-elastic to reduce bounce. Designed with more coverage and breathability to prevent irritation.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is often used in modern bras. Like other memory foam uses, when one area moves, the rest stays firm and supportive. When used in a bra cup this foam will shape perfectly to your body, then go back to its original shape once taken off. This advantage means that your bra cups won't develop creases. Storage is also easier because the shape will pop back if crushed.

Merrywidow

Another type of corset. It's usually strapless and comes to a point in the very front. It sometimes comes with detachable suspender straps to wear with stockings.

Microfibre

Fabrics made with microfibre have very fine filaments, even finer than silk. Microfibre is very lightweight because of this and looks and feels luxurious. Because microfibre filaments are packed tightly, they stop moisture from passing though, yet allow air flow.

Minimizer

A minimizer bra reduces the apparent size of the your breasts, particularly in how far they come out from your figure. This allows you to more easily wear button down shirts and blouses without the fabric pulling around the bust. A minimizer bra works by the cup distributing everything more towards the underarm and the center front to limit protrusion. A minimizer only shifts the mass in areas other than directly in front. No bra can actually reduce breast size, but this is the next best thing.

Molded Bra

Molded bras use cups that are machine molded from a single piece of fabric, crafted into a shape that imitates a certain preferred breast shape without the need for seams. Molded bras are usually unlined and may be either soft cup or underwire. They are seamless to create a perfect and natural silhouette.

Muffin Top

The term used to describe when your skin bunches at the top of leg wear and shapewear. the proper size garment will of course solve this, but also choosing shapewear with a higher waist can help with this.

Multiway

A multiway bra has changeable and extra straps meaning you can wear it cross back, single shoulder, halter neck, regular or strapless.

Neathage

Exposure of the underside of a breast without the nipple being exposed. This would occur if wearing a very short cropped t-shirt. The word comes from combining "underneath" with "cleavage".

Negligee is a french word for a woman's nightgown, especially one that is lace-trimmed.

Nightgown

A loose fitting dress worn in bed by women. Also called a night-dress or more commonly a nightie.

Nightshirt

A sleepwear garment that looks like a long shirt or over sized top. It is usually short but full bodied and can be baggy or fitted.

No-Wire (Soft-Cup) Bra

A bra without underwiring. Especially comfortable for everyday wear. Can also be padded or lined for some level of lift and shaping.

Nursing Bra

A nursing bra is similar to a maternity bra but with cup openings to allow for easy access when breastfeeding.

Padded Bra

A bra with padded cups, usually foam or similar. The padding adds size and definition to give a fuller look and a higher position to smaller bustlines.

Padded Straps

Unlike ordinary bra straps, padded straps sit on the top of the shoulder and has padding for additional comfort, making them great for more ample busts that pull on the straps. A padded bra strap is also often wider for added comfort.

Pajamas

Loose-fitting nightclothes, that can have a button down shirt or a tshirt top and trousers.

Pantliner

A pantliner is an undergarment that starts at the waist and goes down past the mid-calf. A pantliner can be looser or it can be form-fitting to slim and smooth the legs. Either way, it acts as a kind of underwear for unlined pants and can also be called an underliner.

Pantyhose

Pantyhose are a one piece hosiery garment commonly called tights in the UK, but in the US, pantyhose means a certain denier (thickness) of material. Pantyhose are usually 15 or 20 denier yarn and transparent, as opposed to tights, which are often 30 denier or more and are usually more opaque.

Peignoir

eignoir Is a robe in sheer and/or embellished material. The name is French and means "to comb" because this was the robe women would wear while they combed their hair at night. A peignoir set would include the robe and a nightgown to match.

Picot

A small, embroidered loop that makes for an ornamental edging on ribbon or lace.

Petals

Petals are essential for those who want to skip wearing a bra. Some dresses don't work well with a bra, so petals will cover the nipples and stop them from showing, so you can wear backless numbers and other revealing outfits.

Plunge Bra

A plunge bra has a low cut center panel to reveal more. Plunge bras maximize your cleavage because of their deep front silhouette, angled cups and narrow centre. Plunge bras differ from push-up bras, as the former lets you see further downward, whereas the latter pushes them upwards. A perfect choice for evening and low-cut tops.

Pointed Heel

A heel that comes to a dramatic point on the back of seamed stockings or tights. Also known as a French or European heel.

Push-Up Bra

A bra with more padding at the very bottom of the cup that lifts the breasts in order to give the illusion of larger and more lifted breasts. Recently, push up bras now are designed to both push up and in to create that best look around the cleavage area. The padding, if at all removable, is known as a "cookie".

Racer Back

Design feature that anchors the back of the straps towards the center of the back and makes for a wide range of arm movement by not restricting your shoulder blades. Common in swimsuits, it is also used when traditional bra straps would show under a sleeveless garment.

Reinforced

A garment that have been reinforced and strengthened by double knitting to provide durability. This usually resulted in a thicker and darker area.

Restricted Stretch

A bra strap that is made with restricted elastic will stop the strap from curling awkwardly, but give you enough stretch to be comfortable. A rigid strap would have no stretch.

RHT Stockings

Also called "reinforced heel and toe". These started to become popular in the '60s, after the use of circular knit machines. These machines made seamless stockings possible for the first time. These stockings have a darker colour on the toe and the heel to prevent ladders, and they have become a timeless, retro.

Rigid Straps

Bra straps that aren't made with elastic are called rigid straps. Fuller figure bras often have these as they give more support than elasticated ones. A rigid strap is still adjustable. Sometimes a manufacturer will use a rigid front on a bra strap and also have a piece of adjusting elastic running down the back.

Rise

The rise is the measurement between the top of the waistband and the first horizontal seam in the crotch. The average brief or panty has around a 6" rise. A low rise is when the rise measurement is less than this.

Seamless

Bra cups that have been molded into a permanent shape. This bra gives a smooth and almost invisible look under clothing. They are particularly suitable under revealing and close-fitting tops.

Secret Support

Usually built into a vest or t-shirt, the signature support panel stakes the place of a bra without having to use straps. It provides secret support and shape where there would usually be nothing.

Short-Style Briefs

These briefs offer complete coverage. Often worn low on the hip, they will cover most of the bottom. They are a comfy style that look and feels great.

Serged

A serger machine sews, trims and finishes a seam all in one step. A seam made with this method is called a serged seam.

Shape Enhancer

A shapewear garment that controls the stomach area. It also shapes the waist and sides. It commonly has hook and eyes at the waist, and often has boning to keep the waist from rolling down.

Shelf Bra

An underwire bra with small or low-coverage cups. This bra will support your breasts while revealing most of your breast including the nipples.

Side Sling

A side sling can be an upward panel of material built into a seamed cup that helps to centre the breast tissue. A side sling can also be an addition piece of fabric sewn inside the edge of a cup to perform a similar function.

Silicone

A rubber like material, which keeps its elasticity over a great range of temperatures. Utilised inside the lace tops of hold ups to grip to the skin and keep the stocking up without straps.

Simplex

A synthetic material made from polyurethane. It's light, elastic, durable and non-absorbent to both water and oils. A great choice for people allergic to spandex. In Europe, spandex is called elastane.

Slip

Slips are a base that goes under dresses and skirts, making static, clingy fabric a thing of the past. More than a style piece, slips are a classic boudoir item.

Soft Cup Bra

A bra without any underwiring. It is called a soft cup or wire-free bra. Maternity, sports and teenage bras traditionally are soft cup bras, but not always. Soft cup bras also great support, but are less restrictive. A soft cup bra is a great solution for a woman who cannot find a comfortable underwire bra she likes. When fitting yourself in a soft cup bra, the centre front may not completely sit flat on your sternum, but they will still fit well.

Soutache

Soutache is made up of of loops like to a ribbon and can be made from silk or other material. They are primarily attached by hand onto fabric in an ornate pattern. Soutache is used in lingerie and swimwear, and is one of the most sophisticated types of workmanship in the lingerie industry.

Spacer Foam

Spacer foam or fabric, is an expensive knit made for using as cup fabric in moulded bras. It's a knit that has both a top and bottom layer, with filaments inbetween, similar to corrugated material or a concertina. This creates air pockets between the layers. All of this is knitted as one piece of material. The upside of spacer foam is that it is lightweight , breathes, can be narrower and more slender than traditional foam used in contour bras, won't lose its colour, yet is more modesty like a contour cup bra.

Spandex

A synthetic material made from polyurethane. It's light, elastic, durable and non-absorbent to both water and oils. A great choice for people allergic to spandex. In Europe, spandex is called elastane.

Sports Bra

A support bra is worn during exercise that minimises breast movement. It is comfortable, and gives great support. Its design includes wide straps, and broader coverage. Women should have a variety of sports bras if they do more than one sport or activity.

Stabiliser

A firm fabric interlining that restricts the elasticity of selected portions of the item to allow for better support.

Stockings

Stockings are the traditional type of leg wear that are put on individually and attached to a suspender belt at the top. These can come in plain top or lace top, but shouldn't be confused with hold ups, which stay up by themselves with silicone.

Strapless Bra

An underwire bra with wide sides and no straps or those with removable straps, and a hook back. Often, silicone is added to the edges of the bra to keep it keep close to your figure. Mostly worn with strapless tops, gowns or with tops where an ordinary bra would show. A strapless bra must be the right size; too loose and you have no support, too tight and it will work its way down your body. In fact a well fitting strapless bra could reveal your true bra size as the fit has to be accurate .

Support Panel

A support panel is a term for an inner sling that is attached inside the cup. An inner sling can be a curved strip of fabric which follows the natural curve of the bra similar to an underwire but soft. This fabric is rigid and sewn inside the cup to offer more support. An inner sling can also go around the entire breast, or simply be panels on the sides or bottoms of the bra cup. Some support panels can be sewn outside the cup, or built into the cup design as an addition panel.

Surplice

Surplice is the name for a diagonal crossed neckline or bodice to give the look of it being wrapped across the torso. This style can also be called a "faux wrap" and makes for a deep v-shaped neckline.

Suspenders

A suspender belt is worn over your briefs either on the waist or on the hip. The suspender clips of the belt are what attaches and keeps up your stockings.

Tap Pant

A panty that look like short shorts with a small flair around the hem. Frequently sold alongside coordinating bra or camisole. May be worn as a slip with shorter skirt styles.

Teddy

A camisole and panty in one piece. It can be fitted close to the body or loose. Is worn either under other clothing or as standalone sleepwear. A cute all-in-one, teddies are the perfect alternative to a chemise. Usually in silk or nylon it is also very suggestive.

Thong

A panty with a slender strip of fabric at the reverse that begins as a "v" shape at the waistband and then tapers to a narrow strip by further down. The cheeks of your bottom are entirely uncovered. This style panty is great if you want no visible panty lines for semi sheer clothes.

Torsette

A torsette is shapewear that doesn't cover the bust area, although may include shoulder straps. This allows you to wear your own bra, perfect for use with fitted or tailored bras and, with the added advantage of not compressing your breasts. Torsettes also give support under your bra. A torsette can be a great shapewear solution for petite or tall women because the straps can be adjusted.

Torsolette

A torsolette has a lace-up or hook-and-eye closure with boning or vertical seams for support. It may or may not have bra cups and could come with detachable garters, or suspenders.

Transversal Seam

A seam in the cup of a bra that has a semi-circle or arc shape. This seam design helps to give the cup and in turn your breast a rounded (rather than pointed) shape.

Triangle Bra

A triangle bra has triangle shaped cups, more common in bikinis. They offer the perfect amount of coverage and support for ladies with petite to moderate figures. Triangle bras may be padded or lined but almost never have underwires. Most have thinner straps. The bottom of the bra is many times gathered along a drawstring-like base for perfect adjustment.

Trousseau

The chest that a married woman would store her linens and precious items, popular in the late Middle Ages. Now used to refer to garments collected by a bride for her wedding day and also for her honeymoon.

Tummy Shaper

Tummy Shaper is also called a control brief.

T-Shirt Bra

Another name for a contour bra. Just like moulded bras, the cups are seamless with a thin layer of foam for shape and modesty that prevents anything from showing through when wearing close-fitting tops. T-shirt bras are always seamless, have contour cups and have no lace or other ornamentation.

Ultra Sheer

This term refers to the very low denier fabrics which are usually very transparent. Please be aware, denier is not technically thickness, but fabric weight, although this usually also translates to thickness. Usually made of nylon and only called ultra sheer if 10 denier or less.

Underwired Bra

Bras with wiring that runs under the breast in each cup. This feature helps to lift, and position the bust for better shape and extra support. This is especially great for full-figured women. There are many types of materials used in underwire bras today. The underwire can also be flexible, a more rigid plastic coated piece of metal, or a moulded plastic shape.

UPF

Ultraviolet Protection Factor. A ranking system that measures the level of protection offered by the fabric. Similar to the SPF rating used in sunscreens. For example, a fabric rated UPF 30 means if 30 units of UV rays shine on the fabric, only one unit will pass through.

Underband

Underband is the line around your ribs under your bust. This measurement is the numbered part of your size, e.g. the "36" in 36C, which means the centimetre circumference.

U-Bra

The U-Bra is great for plunging necklines. Offering support, lift and comfort, the deep underband and adjustable back and straps appears invisible at the front.

Velour

Soft plush fabric with a close, dense pile that is super soft.

VPL

Stands for visible panty line. It is the effect of your knickers showing under figure-hugging clothing. Avoid this with a thong or such for a smooth silhouette.

Waist Cincher

A waist cincher is a garment that is worn high at the natural waist, fastened with a hook and eye close. The waist cincher slims you waist and gives an hour glass figure, like a suspender belt and corset combo. They come with clips that attach from the belt to your stocking tops, keeping them up.

Waist Nipper

Waist nippers offer strong control for the waist and tummy area. They are a boned garment that starts under the bust and goes down to the waist or sometimes over the hips. Generally it closes at the front with hooks. It is the perfect shapewear item for a woman who wants an hourglass figure under slim fitting clothing.

Wide-Away

A bra style with widely-spaced straps to accommodate a boatneck top or wide squared neckline.

Wing

The side or back panel of a bra that counter balances the front so it can lift and support your breasts.

Woven

Woven fabrics are made from two lengths of yarn that are stretched out over a loom and woven together in both a horizontal and a vertical direction. A great example is tartan as it is differently coloured so you can see how the fabrics are joined. Woven fabrics do not stretch because their fibres run at 45-degree angles to one another rather than the double helix of some knitted fabrics that pulls and compress like springs. Woven materials include linen, denim, satin, chiffon, twill corduroy, tweed and canvas.