Lingerie Glossary - Lingerie Styles

2 3 4 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W

2
2-part cup
A 2-part cup is where the cup is made with 2 panels of fabric that are sewn together. Bra cups with seams such as this are always more supportive than bra cups without seams.



3
3-part cup
A 3-part cup is a where the cup of a bra is made in 3 panels of fabric sewn together with seams. This style of bra cup is the most supportive.



4
4-part cup
A 4-part cup is made up of 4 panels of fabric sewn together with seams. Also called a cut & sew bra. Many times, one of the panels will be along the outer sides of the cup to help center and contain the breast tissue.4-part cups are found more often in the larger cup sizes because they can provide additional cup depth, support and shaping.



A
Adhesive Bra
A bra with medical grade adhesive on the inside to stick to your body. These bras give some breast enhancement and are a backless alternative. View HerRoom's selection of Adhesive Bras.

Applique
Embellishment on a garment where decoration is made by cutting pieces of one fabric and applying them to the surface of another.



B
Babydoll
A babydoll is a woman's short nightgown sometimes with lace, ruffles, bows and ribbons, optionally with spaghetti straps. Sometimes they are made of sheer cloth like chiffon. It is said the name comes from the 1956 movie "Baby Doll" starring Carroll Baker in the title role. View HerRoom's selection of Babydoll's.

Back Closure
This term is used when describing how a bra closes. Traditionally, a back closure bra has two rows of hook and eye closures and three adjustments. Full figure and strapless bras usually have three rows of hook and eye closures as well as three adjustments.

Back Fat
A term giving to the look of flesh bulging out around the band and straps when wearing a bra. This symptom can be caused by your bra's band size being too small, but it is also an unfortunate reality for women with soft tissue on their back. This lumpiness can sometimes be eliminated with the right size and style of bra. For example, several manufacturers claim a leotard back styled bra reduces back fat. A wider bra back along with wide straps can also help reduce the severity of the lumpiness. Shapewear camisoles worn over a bra are also a solution.

Back Wings
The fabric strips that start at the outer edge of the bra cups, go under the arms and then attach in the back.

Backless
A bra designed with a low cut adjustable back band. View HerRoom's selection of backless bras.

Balconet
This is another name for a demi cup bra. A balconette bra has more of a horizontal line going across the top of the bustline. Most of the time, the cups are seamed for an upward boost to give the breasts the look as if corseted. A balconette bra can also have push-up pads as well. The name balconet comes from men in the balcony of a theater looking down upon women. A balconet bra could not be seen from above.

Balconette
This is another name for a demi cup bra. A balconette bra has more of a horizontal line going across the top of the bustline. Most of the time, the cups are seamed for an upward boost to give the breasts the look as if corseted. A balconette bra can also have push-up pads as well. The name balconette comes from men in the balcony of a theater looking down upon women. A balconette bra could not be seen from above.

Full busted brands like Fantasie, Freya and Elomi use the name balconette to describe a different bra style. These brands define balconette as a bra with a sweetheart neckline and a lower center front. View HerRoom's selection of balconette bras.


Balcony
This bra style includes wide-set straps, multiple seams in the cups nd a lower neckline to expose more cleavage. Works well under scoop-neck and boat-neck tops, and is suitable for most breast types.

Bamboo
Bamboo fabric is made from the pulp of the bamboo grass. It is light and strong, has excellent wicking properties, and is to some extent antibacterial. The use of bamboo fiber for clothing was a 20th century development, pioneered by several Chinese corporations.

Bamboo is highly water absorbent, able to take up three times its weight in water. In bamboo fabric, this translates to an excellent wicking ability that will pull moisture away from the skin so that it can evaporate.

Bamboo also has many antibacterial qualities which are retained through multiple washings. This helps to reduce bacteria that thrives on clothing and causes unpleasant odors. It can also kill odor causing bacteria that live on human skin, making the wearer and his or her clothing smell much less. In addition, bamboo fabric has insulating properties and will keep the wearer cooler in summer and warmer in winter.


Bandeau Bra
A strapless knit, wide band worn around the bust line. This type of bra is best for the young and self-supporting.View HerRoom's selection of bandeau bras.

Bar Tack
Sewing reinforcement at the end of a slit with short stitching rows perpendicular to the seam.

Basque
A long-line cupped bra extending to the hips with garter hooks attached along the lower edge. A Merry Widow is a form of basque. Basques are frequently incorrectly called a bustier or corset.

Bed Jacket
A short waisted jacket meant to be worn in bed to keep one's shoulders warm and for modesty if receiving visitors while sitting in bed.

Bikini
A panty style whose waistband rests below the navel, and on the hips. Usually has a high-cut leg line. The sides can be anything from a string to a thicker side panel. Back coverage depends on the style of the bikini. Bikini panties are a super comfortable, medium coverage silhouette that won’t show thru under heavier fabrics like denim or wool. Surprisingly, a bikini panty can be more flattering on a woman with a tummy. View HerRoom's selection of beautiful bikini panties.

Boarding
The process applied to hosiery to improve the final presentation. When the hosiery is still damp from dying it is pulled over a metal form and subject to pressure and heat. This sets the garment to its familiar leg and foot profile. (used only with non-stretch or polyamide products).

Body Briefer
A shapewear style that looks like a one-piece bathing suit. It has a snap crotch (also called gusset closure) and a control panel at the tummy for support. View HerRoom's selection of body briefers.

Boning
Boning can be made out of steel, metal spirals (mini springs) and various types of plastic. Boning is usually incorporated into a vertical seam line in order to give more support, structure and body contouring to a garment. The name comes from the fact that actual bones were originally used in undergarments to give support.

Boy Leg Brief
Reminiscent of hot pants, this style brief has legs that come to the top of the thigh. The waist sits low on the hips, and the back has full coverage. It is usually seamed in the center front and back for definition. Worn under hip-hugger style bottoms or short skirts to give a smooth line from waist to hip. View HerRoom's selection of boy leg briefs.

Boyshort
Resembling a short, this panty is sometimes also called a culotte, shorty or hot pant. Offering full coverage in a modern silhouette, boyshorts are a perfect everyday alternative and offer comfortable coverage under skirts. They are also popular teamed up with a camisole and worn around as loungewear. A boyshort has a lower leg cut and thus an inseam that is usually around 1/2" to 1" long. Many women claim this panty style eliminates panty lines under tight-fitting clothing. View HerRoom's selection of boyshorts.

Bralet
This is an alternate spelling for a bralette. A bralette is generally a less structured bra that comes in t-shirt sizing (S,M, L, etc) rather than bra sizing. Popular for lounging, sleeping or as an underpinning. View HerRoom's selection of bralettes.bralets.

Bralette
A bralette is generally a less structured bra that comes in t-shirt sizing (S,M, L, etc) rather than bra sizing. Popular for lounging, sleeping or as an underpinning. View HerRoom's selection of bralettes.

Brazilian Panty
A Brazilian panty covers more in back than a thong but less than a full panty. A Brazilian panty has a full crotch, but the back is cut back to follow the apex of your cheeks in a V-shape.

Breathability
The term breathability is associated with fabric and its ability to allow airflow. Generally, if a fabric has breathability, the garment will not hold in moisture. A simple test to see if a fabric has breathability is to hold it up to your mouth and see if air can pass through it. If it can, the fabric has breathability.

Brief
A panty whose waistband rests at or just below the navel, provides full back and side coverage. A variation to a brief is a hi-cut brief which has a hi-cut leg. View HerRoom's selection of briefs.

Bullet-Proof
HerRoom uses the term "bullet-proof" to describe a bra that has enough padding in the cups to prevent the nipples from showing through.

Bump Pad
A pad that is built into the bottom of the cup to push the breast up and out to create more cleavage.

Busk
A thin strip of wood, whalebone or steel used for stiffening corsets.

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. This garment is usually worn by a woman for the visual enjoyment of the man in her life. The bustier has also become the garment to be worn with formal clothes. Bustiers are sometimes incorrectly called corsets. View HerRoom's selection of sexy bustiers.

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



C
Cami Top
Made of microfiber, this camisole-looking shapewear gives a seamless, toned look under knits. It gives very light control and is a perfect solution for sheer, form-fitting tops in order to reveal the least amount of lines or seams. View HerRoom's selection of cami-tops.

Camisole
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. This garment is usually worn by a woman for the visual enjoyment of the man in her life. The bustier has also become the garment to be worn with formal clothes. Bustiers are sometimes incorrectly called corsets. View HerRoom's selection of camisoles.

Camisole Strap
Bra straps that are traditionally wider and look like an extension of the bra cup. They can either not adjust, or adjust in back. Their purpose is to reduce "digging in" at your shoulders.

Carbon
A carbon fabrication blends carbon-infused fibers by the burning of bamboo, and blends them with poly-tech fiber to create a durable, tech fabrication that is beneficial to your body - anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, deodorizing, breathable, and moisture wicking.

Catsuit
A full-body stocking. Generally long sleeved and made out of stretchy material. Was made popular in the 1960's Avengers television series by actress Diana Rigg.

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

Center Panel
The center panel is the piece of fabric, which connects the cups of a bra at the center front. The center panel may also be called the bridge, center connector, center gore, and centerpiece.

Chemise
The name given to the first undergarments ever worn by women. Designed originally to protect the skin from outer garments, it later was used as night wear. It is a one-piece, loose straight-hanging to the floor undergarment that comes in one size. Today a chemise may be defined as a short, flowing gown usually with thin straps and an A-line silhouette. View HerRoom's selection of chemises.

Circular Knit
Process in which modern seamless hosiery is made, which results in a tapered tube, which is then sewn closed at the toe.

Cleavage
Cleavage is the vertical line created between a woman's breasts - not the bulging breast tissue caused by a push-up bra. 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 additional padding. They help to more evenly distribute the weight of the breast, and thus increase the comfort of the wearer. Comfort straps give helpful relief to a woman who experiences shoulder pain caused by her bra straps.

Compression
The way a bra cup is constructed. A bra with compression cups redistributes breast tissue to evenly press the breast against a woman's chest to limit or reduce their motion.

Contour
A contour bra has cups that hold their shape, even when not being worn. The cups are molded and shaped with a foam. Contour bras are similar to a molded bra, except molded bras may not have cups with padding. Contour bras are always molded. Contour bras are a perfect choice for any woman seeking a sculpted silhouette, as they offer a significant amount of coverage and control. A contour bra can also add definition to the breast, a smooth shape, and elimination of nipple contours. Contour bras are a good choice for in-between bra sizes, or a woman with uneven breasts. View HerRoom's selection of contour bras.

Contour Bra
A contour bra is another name for a t-shirt bra. It has cups that hold their shape, even when not being worn. The cups are seamless, molded and shaped with a foam to prevent nipple show-through. Contour bras are similar to a molded bra, except molded bras generally do not have any cup padding. Contour bras are always molded. Contour bras are a perfect choice for any woman seeking a sculpted silhouette, as they offer a significant amount of coverage and control. A contour bra can also add definition to the breast, a smooth shape, and elimination of nipple contours. Contour bras are a good choice for in-between bra sizes, or a woman with uneven breasts. View HerRoom's selection of contour bras.

Contoured
A contour bra has cups that hold their shape, even when not being worn. The cups are molded and shaped with a foam. Contour bras are similar to a molded bra, except molded bras may not have cups with padding. Contour bras are always molded. Contour bras are a perfect choice for any woman seeking a sculpted silhouette, as they offer a significant amount of coverage and control. A contour bra can also add definition to the breast, a smooth shape, and elimination of nipple contours. Contour bras are a good choice for in-between bra sizes, or a woman with uneven breasts. View HerRoom's selection of contour bras.

Control Brief
A panty shaped like a brief but designed to flatten the tummy and give support while providing a smooth silhouette. View HerRoom's selection of control briefs.

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.

Convertible
A convertible bra has straps, which can be worn in up to six different configurations: conventional, halter, one-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, criss-crossed, and strapless. Some convertible bras have straps that are attached 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. Realistically, a convertible bra over a cup size D may not work as effectively as smaller cup sizes.View HerRoom's selection of convertible bras.

Cookie
A padded insert in the cup of a bra. Though usually made of fiberfill, a cookie can also be made with water, oil or a gel. Cookies help to change the shape of the breast. They also help when one breast is smaller than the other. Placing a cookie in the bra cup of the smaller breast will give you a more even look.

Cookies
The padded inserts in the cup of a bra are known as cookies. Though usually made of fiberfill, they can also be made with water, oil or a gel. Cookies help to change the shape of the breast. They also help when one breast is smaller than the other. Placing a cookie in the bra cup of the smaller breast will give you a more even look.

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 corset supports the breasts from underneath and usually pushes them up and over the neckline edge. A corset is similar to a waist cincher that stops below the breasts.View HerRoom's selection of corsets.

Crinoline
Originally, it was the name given to coarse horsehair fabric used in early petticoats to give a very full skirt volume. Later, the word crinoline came to be the name for a hoop skirt.

Crop Top/Cami
A lightly-constructed no-wire bra that is a cross between a camisole and a bra.

Crossover
A wire-free bra that creates an "X" in the center front for support and comfort.

Cuban Heel
A rectangular designed reinforced heel, usually with a reinforced foot and backseam. Most Cuban heel stockings are also “Full Fashioned”.

Culotte
A wide-leg version of a boyshort. Also called a tap pant.

Cut & Sew Bra
A bra with seams in the cups is a cut and sew bra. Most lace cups are cut and sew. The more seams there are in the cups, the greater the support.

Cut and Sew Bra
A bra with seams in the cups is a cut and sew bra. Most lace cups are cut and sew. The more seams there are in the cups, the greater the support.



D
Décolleté
A bra style with a very low-cut front panel to create a dramatic cleavage-enhancing look. Decollete is also used as a noun to describe a woman's chest area just above her bustline. As an adjective, it describes the low-cut neckline in a garment.

Demi Cup
A demi cup (or demi or half cup) style bra means a contoured underwire design with a large portion of the upper half of the cup being cut away to expose the upper part of the breasts. The shoulder straps are also set farther apart (wide-set). Such bras are often referred to as being decollete‚ and are worn when the top of a garment is cut low, wide or square. Men find this style bra very attractive on women. This style has many names and can be miscalled a balconette or a shelf bra. View HerRoom's selection of demi cup bras.

DriLayer
DriLayer is a registered name of Moving Comfort. When stated, the garment has the ability to transfer moisture away from the skin to the outside of the fabric for quick evaporation.



E
Elastane
Elastane is just another name for an old fiber: Spandex. The word "elastane" is used in Europe while "spandex" is used in the United States. Elastane/spandex trade names are Lycra and Dorlastan.

Encapsulation
This word is primarily used in defining the construction of a sports bra. If a sports bra has encapsulation design, the bra cup construction surrounds the breast for support while giving the breast a shape - no uni-boob look.

Enhancer
Enhancers create the illusion of a fuller bust line. Enhancers are often built into the bras themselves rather than as the traditional inserts. The Wonderbra was the original bust enhancer.



F
Fashion Tights
Sometimes called Fancy Tights or Fashion Pantyhose. Usually consisting of a heavier denier and unusual design or knit pattern. They come in a vast array of designs, texture, and colors. Much more costly than regular tights or panty hose they are more durable and unique in nature.

Fence net
A very large net design similar to that of a chain link fence and used for stockings, hold-ups, and pantyhose.

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.

Fishnet
A smaller net design, which is taken from the construction of a fisherman’s net, usually made of nylon or nylon-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 which are very popular with dancers and for costumes.

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 backseam. 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.

Foam Cup
Padding and shaping in the cup of the bra is created with foam. Such padding does not bunch up during washing and gives a smooth look to the cup.

Foam Lined Cup
A foam lined bra cup gives the wearer modesty by preventing nipple show through. Foam lining is always thinner than a padded bra and usually does not add much size. Rather, foam lining creates a natural and youthful silhouette.

Foundations
A "pre-war" term for shapewear, these undergarments were called foundations because of their similarity to concrete. Ladies who wore them were seen as "solid citizens" while those who refused came to be known as "loose women." Today's shapewear fits and feels like a second skin--coaxing your curves into their smoothest, sleekest, most naturally perfect state.

Frastaglio
Frastaglio is an antique type of Florentine workmanship. Flat stitched embroidery is trimmed to cord yarn on a veil of tulle which is attached by hand to silk or another fabric. The effect obtained is a refined inlay motif that seems to climb up the fabric. Frastaglio is primarily used in silk corsetry and nightwear.

French Cut
Another name for high-cut brief.

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.

French Knicker
This is a panty that looks like a boyshort except the back does not have elastic in the legs so does not cup your cheeks.

French terry
A circular knit fabric with a looped pile back and smooth face.

freshFX
A product of Invista, and teamed with Lycra, freshFX technology creates "refreshing" fabric to be used in underwear and/or sleepwear to give it a great fit, feel, coolness and freshness all day long. FreshFX also has a fabulous soft hand and an excellent drape.

Front Close
A bra that closes in the center front with either a plastic barrel closure or a hook and eye closure. A good style for plunging or v-necklines. View HerRoom's selection of front close bras.

Full Busted
Women who has larger breasts but smaller band sizes, such as a 34DD.

Full Cup
A full cup bra completely covers most of the breast, offering both more coverage and more support than a demi cup or half cup bra. A full cup bra will not cause a crease or indentation along the top of the breast. Having said this, many lingerie manufacturers will use this description and the bra will not actually be full coverage. View HerRoom's selection of full cup bras.

Full Figure
Women who wear bras sizes 32-36DD and 38-42C-DD and larger are classified as full figure women. Bras made in these sizes are usually designed to give additional support. Common features include padding, wider shoulder straps, and triple hook and eye closures. View HerRoom's full figure bras.

Full Support
A bra with this characteristic will have banding under the cups, substantial side wings, and closures with two or more hooks.

Fully Adjustable Strap
This bra strap style has no o-rings or other hardware between the slider and the front strap base. Thus, this strap style can fully adjust to a very short strap length. A great choice for women who are petite or have a short torso.

Fully Fashioned Stockings
These are vintage style stockings of the 40’s and 50’s, 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.



G
G-String
Similar to a thong, a g-string leaves your bottom exposed. But a g-string is more skimpy. There is no small triangle of fabric at the waistband in the back. Rather, the back has a simple string coming off a thin waistband. Otherwise, you can't tell the difference from the front between a g-string and a thong. Worn to prevent panty lines under tight-fitting garments. View HerRoom's selection of g-strings.

Garter
A strap hanging from a garter belt or bustier to support stockings (not pantyhose), It is also the term used for a band worn around the arm to hold up a shirt sleeve, or around the knee to hold up socks. View HerRoom's selection of garters.

Garter Belt
A belt worn around the waist with four clips or garters to keep stockings (not pantyhose) up and in place. A garter belt can be purchased in a variety of colors. Lingerie fashion etiquette dictates that the color and design of the garter belt match the stockings and panties. View HerRoom's selection of garter belts.

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 garterbelt 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 garterbelt, girdle or corset.

Girdle
The name given to any undergarment that is close fitting, often boned and usually elasticized, that extends from the waist to below the hips. With the new fabrics and construction techniques available, this word has become somewhat obsolete and has been replaced with the word shaper or shapewear. View HerRoom's collection of girdles.

Girdlette
A garment that is larger than a garterbelt and smaller than a girdle.

Gore
A triangular or diamond shape piece of fabric inserted into the seams of a garment to offer more shaping.

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 Closure
The name given to a hook-and-eye or snap crotch closure. Usually seen on body briefers or body suits.



H
Half Cup
Another name for a demi cup (or demi) style bra. A half cup means a contoured underwire design with a large portion of the upper half of the cup being cut away to expose the upper part of the breasts. The shoulder straps are also set farther apart (wide-set). Such bras are often referred to as being decollete‚ and are worn when the top of a garment is cut low, wide or square. Men find this style bra very attractive on women. This style has many names and can be miscalled a balconette or a shelf bra. View HerRoom's selection of demi cup bras.

Halter
A bra style featuring straps that fasten behind the neck. This bra is perfect for backless dresses. This bra style can many times also convert to criss-cross or one-shoulder configurations. View HerRoom's selection of halter bras.

Hi-Cut Brief
Also known as a "French cut" brief, this panty is high-cut on the leg and sides yet offers full coverage in back. View HerRoom's selection of hi-cut briefs.

Hi-Cut Rio
A panty style similar to the string bikini, but with moderate back coverage that looks more like a "v" instead of the "u" which is found in full coverage backs. Many times, the waistband in the high-cut Rio is nothing more than a 1" to 2" piece of elastic.

Hi-Waisted Brief
Shapewear with a brief panty and a high waist to give shaping and support to the waistline. View HerRoom's selection of hi-waist brief.

Hidden Underwire
Hidden underwires is a bra construction technique where the bra's bottom edge does not have underwire casing, so looks like there is no underwire. The underwires are wrapped, then sandwiched between two layers of fabric. This construction is also called "floating wire."

Women with large and/or heavy breasts can find this construction uncomfortable because this style can roll under, under their breasts.


Hipster
A mid coverage panty, which rests lower on the hip than a brief. the rise is shorter, so the waistline of the hipster is well below the navel. A hipster is a perfect solution for wearing under low cut jeans. View HerRoom's selection of hipster panties.

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.

Hosiery
General term meaning leg covering such as stockings, pantyhose, tights, or socks.



I
Inner Sling
Inner slings are another name for support panels in a bra cup. An inner sling can be a curved strip of fabric that follows the natural curve of the bra, similar to an underwire, except soft. This fabric is rigid and sewn inside the cup to provide additional support. An inner sling can also go around the entire breast circumference, or just be panels on the sides of the breast.

Interlining
A padding, or stiffening fabric, either sewn to the wrong side of the lining or the inner side of the outer shell fabric. The interlining is used primarily to provide warmth.



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



K
Keyhole
This is a design feature that creates an arched opening in the center back or center front panel of a garment.

Kimono
A wide-sleeved robe with a belt. Inspired by traditional Japanese costume. View HerRoom's selection of Kimono's.

Knit
Knit fabrics are made the same way a knitted scarf is made by someone at home with two needles and a ball of yarn. Knitting is a process that loops a piece of yarn in a row a few times, then links those loops with another row of loops and so on. Knit fabrics are naturally stretchy because of the loops in the fibers. Knit fabrics include jersey, mesh, toweling, felt and fleece.



L
Lacetop 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.

Ladder Resistant Toe
Soft seam construction which keeps the toe seam in place

Laser Cut
Rather than cutting fabric the traditional way, a laser is used, but only on synthetic fabrics - otherwise, a fabric could catch on fire. The advantages of laser cutting include no raveling, and a flat seamless edge.

Leavers Lace
The name "Leavers" derives from the loom used to create this lace. The Leavers machine introduced the production of intricate lace patterns similar to those created by hand. Leavers looms are the only machines capable of working with a high number of threads, reproducing the intricate work of hand made lace. The lace created is distinguished by high definition design. The length, width and the thinness may vary depending on the machine used.

Leotard Back
The leotard back is a rather new design addition to bras. Rather than a rectangle shape in back like that of a camisole, the leotard back gives a round look on the back - similar to the look of a leotard. It has fast become the most commonly found strap attachment technique in today's ready-to-wear offerings. Besides looking visually different, the leotard back style almost always includes some elastic to achieve the rounded shape. Consequently, this elastic gives the wearer flexibility to raise her arms or bend over without having to adjust her bra afterwards. There are a few challenges to a leotard back though. The straps attach to the back at a bit of an angle to keep the arch styling. If the "U" shape is too wide , the straps can fall off the wearer's shoulders. The number of back fasteners is also limited with this back design.

Light Support
A bra frame style featuring cutaway wings with little or no banding under the cups. View HerRoom's selection of light support bras.

Lined Cup
A bra with a lining in the cup. This lining gives additional support and added opaqueness to the cup. It also helps to reduce nipple show-through. View HerRoom's selection of lined cup bras.

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.

Long Leg
A type of shapewear with a brief top and half legs that give support and control down the thighs. Usually a "leg gripper" is sewn along the leg ends to keep the leg from curling up. View HerRoom's selection of long leg shapewear.

Long Line
A midriff-slimming bra with to-the-waist panels for extra smoothing. This can offer the shaping of a corset. View HerRoom's selection of long line bras.

Low Rise
The rise is the measurement between the waistband and the first horizontal seam of a panty (usually where the crotch begins). The average brief or panty has a 6-inch rise. A low rise is when the rise measurement is less than 5 inches. View HerRoom's selection of low rise panties.

Low-Rise Brief
With the new low cut pants on the market, this style has become very popular. Low-rise is defined as a rise below 5 inches tall. The waistband rests on the hip approximately 3" below the waist. It still has side fabric, and the legs are traditional brief legs (not high cut). Can also be called a hipster brief. View HerRoom's low-rise brief department.



M
M Frame
Sports Bra construction consisting of side support panels to restrict horizontal movement of breast tissue, and a center front panel that extends along the neckline and sometimes into the strap to restrict vertical movement of breast tissue.

Maternity Bra
A bra designed for women who are pregnant. A maternity bra will offer more support with wider sides and an underbust band. Non-elastic straps to reduce bounce. Designed with more breast coverage and breathability to prevent breast tissue irritation. View HerRoom's selection of maternity bras.

Memory Foam
Memory foam is being used more an more in bras. The same foam you see in the mattress commercial where the girl is jumping but the water glass is not moving, when used in a bra cup this foam will shape more to your body, then return to its original shape once taken off. This advantage means that your bra cups will not develop creases that are hard or impossible to remove. Storage of memory foam bras is not as important because the shape will pop back if crushed.

Merrywidow
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.

Microfiber
Fabric made with microfiber means that the fabric’s filaments are extremely fine – much finer than silk. Microfiber fabrics are thus lightweight, and look and feel luxurious. Because microfiber filaments are packed so closely, they can prevent moisture from passing though, yet allow air flow. Usually a blend of polyester or polyamide (nylon) fibers, microfiber fabric is known for being very light, smooth, soft, hard wearing and breathable.

Minimizer
A minimizer bra gives the appearance of reducing the projection of the wearer’s breasts. This allows the woman to more easily wear front-button shirts and blouses without gaping. A minimizer bra works by designing a cup that distributes the breast flesh more towards the underarm and the center front to reduce your breast protrusion. A minimizer only shifts the mass in areas other than directly in front. No bra can actually reduce breast size.View HerRoom's selection of minimizer bras.

Modulus
Amount of power for support a fabric would give in its most stretched or elongated state.

Molded
Molded bras have cups which are machine molded from a single piece of fabric into a shape the manufacturer feels mirrors the preferred natural breast shape without any seams. Molded bras are usually unlined and may be either soft cup or underwire. They are seamless to create a smooth silhouette, unless overlaid with lace.

A molded bra with thin foam or fiberfill lining which causes the cup shape to stand alone is known as a contour or t-shirt bra. "View HerRoom's selection of molded bras.


Muffin Top
The term used to describe the roll of flesh that falls over the top of pants or shapewear that are too tight. Wearing the proper size pants and/or selecting shapewear with a higher waist can eliminate this look.

Multiway
See convertible bra.



N
Neathage
The name given to exposure of the underside of a breast without the nipple being exposed. This would occur if wearing a very short cropped t-shirt with no bra. The word comes from combining "underneath" with "cleavage."

Negligee
A French expression to identify a woman's flimsy night gown; especially one that is lace-trimmed.

Nightgown
A loose dress worn in bed by women. Also called a night-dress or nightie. View HerRoom's selection of nightgowns.

No-Wire (soft-cup) Bra
A bra without underwires. Especially comfortable for everyday wear. Can also be padded or lined.View HerRoom's selection of Soft-Cup Bra's.

Nursing Bra
A nursing bra is constructed very similar to a maternity bra but with the additional feature of cupopenings to allow for ease of breastfeeding. View HerRoom's selection of nursing bras.

Nylon
A completely synthetic fiber, nylon is known for its superior flexibility and excellent resilience. Quick-drying nylon fabric is naturally hydrophobic and resistant to shrinkage and wrinkling. Developed in the 1930s by scientists at Du Pont, nylon was the first truly synthetic fiber to be commercialized. Nylon fibers have the luster of silk and their tensile strength is higher than that of wool, silk, rayon or cotton. Nylon washes easily, dries quickly, needs little pressing, and holds its shape well since it neither shrinks nor stretches. Another name for nylon is now polyamide.

Nylons
A traditional term often used to describe the high gossamer stockings in the 50’s and 60’s, when stockings were all made of 100% non-stretch ultra-sheer nylon.



O
Opera Hose
This item was very popular in the 50’s and 60’s but is not seen very often today. They are very long stockings, meant to be gartered, cut 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.



P
Padded
A bra with padded fiberfill cups. The padding adds size and definition to give a well-proportioned look to smaller bustlines. View HerRoom's selection of padded bras.

Padded Straps
Unlike traditional bra straps, padded straps mean the are of the strap that rests on the top of the shoulder has padding for additional comfort. A padded bra strap is also usually wider for added comfort.

Pajamas
Loose-fitting nightclothes comprised of a jacket or top and trousers. View HerRoom's selection of pajamas.

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. View HerRoom's selection of pantliners.

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.

Peignoir
A very feminine robe in sheer and/or embellished fabric. The name is French and derived from "to comb" because this was the dressing robe women would wear while they combed their hair at night. A peignoir set would include the robe and a matching nightgown.

Picot
A small, embroidered loop forming an ornamental edging on a ribbon or lace.

Plunge
A plunge bra is designed with a very low center panel to reveal more breast for a sexier look. Plunge bras create the appearance of increased cleavage because of their deep (plunging) front silhouette, angled cups and thin center gore. Plunge bras differ from push-up bras in that they are not heavily padded. A perfect choice for evening and low-cut tops.View HerRoom's selection of plunge bras.

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

Polyamide
The basic fiber-forming substance for nylon fiber. It is also the European term for nylon.

Powernet
A two-way stretch nylon fabric that provides excellent support. Also used in high-end compression garments, powernet has high compression with low stretch qualities to give you outstanding support without stretching out and losing its strength. Bras with powernet will last longer and stretch out less than bras using other stretch fabrics.

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. Recently, push up bras now are designed to both push up and in to create more cleavage for lower necklines. The padding, if removable, is known as a "cookie." View HerRoom's selection of push-up bras.

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



R
Racer Back
Design feature that anchors the back straps towards the center of the back and allows for a wide range of arm movement by not restricting the shoulder blades. This design is also used when traditional bra straps would show under a sleeveless garment.

Racerback
This bra is named after racing swimsuits that also have straps meeting in a "V" shape on the back between the shoulder blades. This bra style is an excellent solution for sleeveless tops. It also prevents straps from slipping off the shoulders. View HerRoom's selection of racer-back bras.

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 RHT’s.

Restricted Stretch
A bra strap made with restricted stretch elastic will stop the strap from curling and give just a little stretch to be comfortable. A rigid strap would have no stretch.

RHT
Or Reinforced Heel and Toe stockings as they are properly called, became popular in the 1960’s, 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 40’s and 50’s.

Rigid Straps
Bra straps not made with elastic are called rigid straps. Full figure bra sizes many times have rigid straps because they give more support than elastic straps. A rigid strap is adjustable. Sometimes a manufacturer will have a rigid front on a bra strap and then have a piece of adjusting elastic down the back.

Rise
The rise is the measurement between the waistband and the first horizontal crotch seam of a brief or panty . The average brief or panty has a 6" rise. A low rise is when the rise measurement is 5" or less.



S
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
Any bra that has seams running though the cup. A seamed bra tends to give more support than a seamless bra because seams determine the cup's exact shape and size. The best supporting bra has seamed cups and made in 3 pieces.

Seamless
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. View HerRoom's selection of seamless bras.

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.

Serged
A serger machine sews, overcasts and trims a seam all in one step. Therefore this seam is called a serged seam. A serged seam usually is made with 3 to 4 threads.

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.

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 waistnipper. View HerRoom's selection of shape enhacers.

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.

Shelf Bra
An underwire bra with little or no cups. This bra will support your breasts while displaying most of your breast including your nipples. View HerRoom's selection of shelf bras.

Side Sling
A side sling can be a vertical panel of fabric incorporated into a seamed cup bra that helps to center and contain the breast tissue. A side sling can also be an addition vertical piece of fabric sewn inside the outer edge of a cup to perform the same function.

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.

Simplex
A type of knit fabric that is firm, yet can also be knit to give a little stretch. Simplex has a mechanical stretch meaning that it stretches evenly in all directions. However, like our skin, it can stretch, but wants to bounce back to it's original state. Therefore, it's a perfect "second skin" fabric.

Soft Cup
A bra without an underwire is called a soft cup or wire-free bra. Maternity, sports and teenage bras traditionally were always soft cup bras. But not any more - there are underwires available in all these styles. Soft cup bras now have great support as well. A soft cup bra is a great solution for a woman who never can find a comfortable underwire bra. Soft cups come in all size ranges. When fitting yourself in a soft cup bra, the center front may not completely sit flat on your sternum, but it should still separate your breasts.View HerRoom's selection of soft cup bras.

Soutache
Soutache consists of loops similar to a ribbon, made of silk or other material, primarily attached by hand on fabric in an intricate pattern. Soutache is both used in lingerie and swimwear and represents one of the most sophisticated types of workmanships used by lingerie designers.

Soy
Soy fabric is made from the leftover dregs from soybean oil or tofu production. The protein is extracted and the fiber spun into cloth. It is an excellent recycle scenario that makes this fabric eco-friendly. Similar to natural silk, it is common for there to be occasional slubs in the soy fabric, which adds to its natural beauty.

Soy is incredibly soft and silky and is otherwise known as vegetable cashmere. Soy is as easy to care for as any cotton t-shirt.


Spacer Foam
Spacer foam, also called spacer fabric, is a very expensive knit used as the cup fabric in molded bras. It is a knit that has both a top and bottom layer, with filaments between - similar to a corrugated box. This creates air pockets between the layers. All of this is knit as one piece of fabric. The advantage of spacer foam is that it is very light weight , breathes, can be thinner than traditional foam used in contour bra cups, won't yellow, yet provides modesty like a contour cup bra.

Spandex
A synthetic fiber made from polyurethane. It is lightweight, highly elastic, strong, durable and non-absorbent to water and oils. A great alternative to people allergic to latex. In Europe, they call this elastane.

Sports Bra
A support bra worn during exercise that minimizes breast bounce. It is comfortable, and gives good support. Its design includes wider straps, and broader cup coverage. All our sports bras have a sports level rating from High Impact to Low Impact. Women really should have a variety of sports bras if they do more than one sports activity.View HerRoom's selection of sports bras.

Stabilizer
A rigid fabric interlining that restricts the stretch of selected areas of the garment to allow for better support.

Stabilizers
A rigid fabric interlining that restricts the stretch of selected areas of the garment to allow for better support.

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

Stockings
Although the popular use of this word has come to be anything worn on the legs (i.e. pantyhose, hold-ups or tights) we will stick with the more traditional definition. Stockings, as referred to on this web site, are the traditional style 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, which stay up by themselves.

Strapless
An underwire bra with wide sides, no straps or removable straps, and a hook back. Many times silicone is stitched to the upper and lower edges of the bra to keep it secure on the body. Mostly worn with strapless tops, evening gowns or with tops where a normal bra would show. A strapless bra must be the right size - too loose, and you have no support, too tight and it will work it's way down your torso. In fact a well fitting strapless bra could reveal your true bra size because there is no fudging on size with a strapless.View HerRoom's selection of strapless bras.

Stretch
Bras made with Lycra fabric, which lends a smooth, sleek look as well as freedom in movement, comfort and fit. View HerRoom's selection of strapless bras.

String Bikini
A bikini panty with high cut leg line, thin string sides and full back coverage. View HerRoom's selection of string bikinis.

Support Panel
A support panel is another name for an Inner sling sewn inside a bra's cups. An inner sling can be a curved strip of fabric which follows the natural curve of the bra similar to an underwire, except soft. This fabric is rigid and sewn inside the cup to provide additional support. An inner sling can also go around the entire breast circumference, or just be panels on the sides or bottoms of the bra cup. Some support panels can be sewn outside the cup, or incorporated into the cup design as an added panel.

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



T
T-Shirt Bra
This is the other name for a contour bra. Like a molded bra, the cups are seamless with a thin layer of foam included for shape and modesty against nipple show-through when wearing form-fitting tops. T-shirt bras are always seamless, have contour cups, and have no lace or ornamentation. View HerRoom's selection of T-Shirt Bra's.

Tanga
A tanga is between a bikini and a thong. A tanga has narrower back coverage than a traditional panty, but is not as narrow as a thong. Tangas are a more common silhouette in Europe. They are also a comfortable transition from a bikini before attempting a thong. View HerRoom's collection of tangas.

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.

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.

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. The cheeks of your bottom are thus exposed. This style panty is great if you want no visible panty lines and a smooth appearance. View HerRoom's selection of thongs.

Thongboy
Features the comfort of a brief with the benefits of a thong. A thongboy provides coverage over the top back cheeks, but quickly reduces to a thong style when going through the crotch. Think of the thongboy as a boyshort with a thong back panel. View HerRoom's selection of thongboys.

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.

Torsette
A torsette is shapewear that does not cover the bust area. This allows you to wear your own bra, and has the added advantage of not compressing your breasts. Torsettes also give added support to your bra. Camisoles, body briefers and slips may all have torsette styling. A torsette can be a great shapewear solution for petite and tall women because the shoulder straps can be adjusted.

Torsolette
A torsolette has a lace-up or hook-and-eye closure, and boning or vertical seams for structure and support. It may or may not have bra cups, detachable garters, or suspenders. It is sometimes called a "merry widow."

Transversal Seam
A seam in the cup of a bra that runs in a semi-circle or arc shape is called a transversal seam. This seam design helps to give the cup and breast a rounded (rather than pointed) shape.

Triangle Bra
A triangle bra has triangle shaped cups, which offer the perfect amount of coverage/support for petite to average figures. Triangle bras may be padded or lined but generally do not have underwires. Most have thin straps. the bottom of the bra is many times gathered along a drawstring-like base. View HerRoom's selection of triangle bras.

Trousseau
The garments collected by a bride for her wedding and honeymoon. View HerRoom's selection of trousseau.

Tummy Shaper
Another name for a control brief. View HerRoom's selection of tummy shapers.



U
Ulta Sheer
This term refers to the very light deniers which are very light transparency and high sheen. Usually made of 100% non-stretch nylon. Some lycra /nylon yarns of less than 8 denier can be ultra-sheer.

Underliner
See pantliner. View HerRoom's selection of underliners.

Underwire
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. View HerRoom's selection of underwire bras.

UPF
Ultra-violet Protection Factor – Ultra-violet Protection Factor – a rating system that measures the UV protection of which is provided by the fabric. Similar to the SPF rating system used in sunscreens. For example, a fabric rated UPF 30 means that if 30 units of UV rays fall on the fabric, only one unit will pass through.



V
Velour
Soft plush fabric with a close, dense pile.



W
Waist Nipper
Waist nippers offer firm control of the waist and tummy. They are a boned garment that starts under the bust and goes down to the waist or over the hips. Generally it closes in front with hooks. It is the perfect shapewear item for a woman seeking to create an hourglass figure under slim fitting clothing.

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

Wing
The side/back panel of a bra that counter balances the front so it can uplift and support the breasts.

Woven
Woven fabrics are made from two pieces of yarn that are stretched out over a loom and woven together in both horizontal and vertical directions. Woven fabrics do not stretch because their fibers run at 45-degree angles to one another. Woven fabrics include linen, denim, twill, satin, chiffon, corduroy, tweed and canvas.





Keep reading.  Next section: Lingerie Glossary - Fabric
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© 2014 Andra Group, LP - Friday, October 31, 2014 (A1).