Lingerie & Clothing Glossary
Wondering what the word in our description means? Or how to care for a certain fabric? Here is a general guide and glossary of terms frequently used names to describe lingerie and clothing - always refer to the garment label for the best care instructions.
15 Denier - Denier is a unit of measure that denotes the thickness of the fiber used in a garment. 15 denier fabric is very thin and transparent. Hand washing in cold water and drip drying is recommended for all sheer fabrics. Machine washing in gentle cycle may be tried, though we recommend putting it inside of a lingerie bag or pillowcase to avoid snags.
Baby Doll - The name babydoll was popularized by the 1956 movie Baby Doll starring the sexy actress Carroll Baker as a 18-year old nymphet, which marked the beginning of the popularity of this sexy babydoll lingerie style for women. The typical babydoll is a short, sometimes sleeveless, loose fitting nightgown or negligee intended as sexy lingerie for women. It sometimes has formed cups called a bralette for cleavage with an attached loose fitting skirt falling in length usually between the upper thigh and the belly button. Babydolls in more opaque fabrics or with opaque bra cups can also be worn out and look super sexy paired with a skinny pair of jeans or pants or under your favorite blazer. Many are trimmed in lace and they usually come with matching panties (often the sexiest g-strings!) to complete this sexy lingerie look. Shop our selection of babydoll lingerie.
Bandeau - A strapless style of top formed by a straight ‘band’ of fabric, usually of a stretchy material. A bandeau has little or no breast support and are not recommended for women with D cup or above breasts. They are great to wear under sheer pieces or a blazer.
Bell Bottom or Bell - Sleeves or pant legs that flare out at the hems in a bell shape. This silhouette was very popular during the 1960s and have made a comeback of sorts for those wanting a Bohemian style.
Bikini - A low cut panty or a set that includes such a panty with a matching bra-style top. Made of lycra or spandex, they may be worn as swim wear bikinis.
Black Light Sensitive - Fabric glows under a black light such as found in clubs and dance floors. Sometimes referred to as "UV Reactive" or Neon.
Bloomers - An old fashioned form of feminine underwear named after Amelia Bloomer consisting of loose fitting trousers or shorts, often with elastic waist and cuffs. Bloomers are usually longer than today's underwear falling just above or just below the knee and are usually opaque. They can be worn under short or sheer skirts for modesty.
Boa - A boa is a long wrap or scarf made of feathers or other material.
Bodice - A bodice is that portion of the garment which covers the chest. The upper part of a dress down to the waist or waistband. Often has different fabric or embellishments to set it off from the rest of the gament. Historically, the bodice was a separate piece similiar to a vest, but these days it is usually attached to the shirt or skirt.
Bodystocking - A bodystocking is a snug fitting hosiery that offers coverage from the neck or upper body down to the ankles or toes. Often worn under a sheer dress. Some are opaque. They can smooth out a line under a slinky dress or even out skin tones under a sheer fabric garment. Usually made of nylon or a nylon spandex blend. Hand washing in cold water - drip dry is recommended or machine washing on gentle cycle only.
Body Modification or Waist Training - Body Modification is a discipline of wearing a corset or waist cincher long term in order to reshape the waist to a smaller size or create a more hourglass shape to the body. The corset is laced progressively tighter over a period of months to reform the body. While body modification has been practiced for centuries, it should be used with care as the internal organs, ribs, and other body structure can be adversely affected. Body modification requires a sturdy corset or cincher with laminated fabric to resist tearing and we recommend spring steel boned corsets for durability and comfort. See our full collection of corsets and cinchers.
Body Suit - Body suits are snug fitting one piece garment similar to a leotard worn by dancers. Some have snap or hook and eye closure at crotch. Referred to as a teddy when it’s made as lingerie. They are often worn under other sheer garments. See also Catsuits.
Bolero - A loose fitting, waist length jacket or robe open at the front adapted from costumes worn by bull fighters in Spain. Some are cropped to just under the arms.
Boning - Rigid or semi-rigid supports sewn vertically into a bustier or corset that help to maintain a slim, shapely look about the torso. Originally made from bone, but now made of plastic or metal. The best corset boning is steel or spring spiral steel which allows for extra compression of the corset such as used for body modification or waist training.
Boxers - Loose fitting shorts-style underwear. Sometimes also worn as shorts. While generally thought of as men's underwear, they can be very comfortable for women.
Boy Briefs - A panty style similar in shape to boy's underwear with straight legs and top. Usually of lace or other very soft fabrics or cotton.
Bra - Bras give support to your breasts while they also can enhance, lift, separate or minimize your bust line. The effect depends on the bra and your desired look or what you want to wear it with. Some general guidelines are below.
Types of Bras: There are several types of bras with varying effects on your bust line.
Bandeau Bra: Often strapless, this style has a band around the bust line without individual cups. Often used in tube and other tops. Recommended mostly for those with C cups and less.
Bralette: A bralette is a bra with light or no structure or support often made of stretch fabrics such as lace or mesh. Not recommended for those with very large or heavy breasts, they can be more for decorative purposes than support. Those with A or B cups may find a bralette more comfortable than a bra and enough support. Bralettes are sometimes referred to as "Lounging Bras" or "Sleeping Bras". Women with large breasts may find using one for sleeping of benefit.
Underwire: A special wire is used for supporting the cups of a bra along the bottom curve of the cup and frame from center front to side seam. Some are made of metal or heavy gauge wire with others are plastic. Recommended for those with C cups and above as the extra support helps those with fuller figures.
Sports Bra: A specialized bra for wearing during athletic or exercise, they generally do not have underwires that can pinch during movement and are made of spandex or other material that holds the breasts while allowing the greatest freedom of movement and comfort during activities.
Shelf Bra: A bra designed to lift the breasts - often they have no or minimal cups. A good choice if you want to enhance a smaller bust line and give a natural affect under your clothes.
Lounge Bra: Generally stretch lace or other material designed to be worn for comfort with minimal support. Also referred to as a "Bralette" or "Sleeping Bra".
Full Cup: A bra that covers the entire breast including the center front, though some styles have a low cut center. A very modest style that also works well for fuller figures giving maximum support.
Demi Bra: A bra with minimal cups that shows off more of your breast. Great for low cut fashions. It usually goes from about halfway up from the nipple or bust point in coverage or about 1” above the nipple. Many are padded or include removable pads to lift and show additional cleavage. The have a much shallower underwire than full cup styles. They also tend to push the breast towards the center also minimizing breast overflow by the underarm.
Convertible Bra: A bra with straps that can be worn in various configurations often including strapless, halter, cross back, or standard shoulder. Often has underwire or other additional support. Long line styles with boning and underwire can be worn by those with larger cup sizes, otherwise these are mainly designed for C cups and below.
Find your correct bra size: There are two measurements to take into account. Bra sizes are given as “36C” The 36 refers to the measurement of the band going all the way around your body. The C refers to the size of the cups for your breasts itself. Take a snug measurement from directly under your breasts and then add five inches if under 33 inches (round up to an even number) or add 3 inches if over 33 inches (round up to an even number). This will give you your correct bra band size. Your full bust measurement is the measurement taken from the very “peak” of your bust. Now subtract your under-bust measurement from this number. Take this number difference, and compare it to the chart below to determine your cup size.
0” difference = A cup
1” difference = A cup
2” difference = B cup
3” difference = C cup
4” difference = D cup
5” difference = DD cup
6” difference = F cup
Example: You measure 34” around the fullest point of your bust. Your under bust measurement is 31”. This is a difference of 3”, or a C cup. Add 3 inches to the 34 and your band measurement is 37, round up to an even number, so your proper bra size is a 38C. This might vary depending on the type of bra.
To properly put your bra on: Bend from the waist as you slip your arms through the straps. This will be almost like “pouring your breast into the cups above the band”. Now, hook the back below the shoulder blades and stand up straight. At this point, you will want to adjust the straps so the bust point falls halfway between the small hollow at the base of your neck and your navel.
If you want to minimize your bra showing through light weight clothes, choose your undergarment colors that are close to your skin tone.
Brazilian or Rio Back - A panty style that covers more of the buttocks than a thong, but less than a traditional full-back panty. It is also sometimes referred to as "Booty Cut" or "High Cut" back.
Brocade - Rich oriental fabric consisting of raised patterns, often in gold or silver. Usually made of satin or a similar fabric. Unlined brocade corsets and bustiers can be weak and tear if worn too tightly.
Burnout Velvet - Alternating patterns of sheer and opaque fabric which is made by burning away the pile of velvet to reveal the sheer materail below.
Busk - The front of a corset or bustier generally on either side of lacings, hooks or other opening. Steel or molded busks are recommended for body shaping. See corsets for more.
Bustier - A top or lingerie garment which has slight support features such as light boning giving more shape and support than a simple top, though not as much as a corset and is usually made of lighter fabrics than corsets. Often have stretchy backs such as lycra with hook and eye closures. Hand washing in cold water is always recommended for any item with boning. Also see corset.
Camisole - A short top usually of a flowing or soft material with little structure. Some may have built in bras or bralettes and may have attached or removable garter straps. Sometimes referred to as a "Tank Top".
Catsuits or Bodysuits - Catsuits are skin tight garments usually going from neck to ankles, often with a zipper or other closure. When sheer or made as hosiery, they are called body stockings. They are popular during for Halloween costumes including Catwoman and other animal costumes and as Fetish wear.
Chantilly Lace - Delicate and elegant lace made from an open, six-sided mesh background with floral designs. Any items with lace should be hand washed in cold and drip dried.
Charmeuse - An opaque, shiny fabric often used for lingerie, it is very soft and sensual to the touch.
Chemise - Short under dress or slip or a dress in a similar style. A chemise is often very short falling to top of the thigh as they are designed to be concealed under another garment. Once worn with just about every dress to protect the dress itself from sweat and oils from the skin, they are not commonly worn this way today and very often are just decorative or night time garments. Historically, a chemise fell to the ankles to totally conceal a woman's body, usually worn with an overdress or skirt.
Chenille - Chenille fabric used in lingerie is an imitation of chenille yarn. The fabric has patterns of soft, protruding loops of fiber that look and feel similar to the chenille yarn used to make sweaters, throw pillows, blankets and other such items.
Chiffon - A lightweight, sheer fabric that tends to float and flutter. Chiffon has a very sensual feel and is great against the skin. It is often used for babydolls and petticoats.
Choker - A snug fitting neck piece commonly worn as jewelry, though also refers to a type of collar that fits closely around the neck, usually with an adjustable closure.
Chopper Bar Lace - An open net lace background that has been embroidered with a slightly raised, shiny pattern.
Cincher or Waist Cincher - A corset designed to fit under the bust line between bust and hips. They lace up the back to pull in the waist by an inch or so. See notes about Corsets when looking for a cincher.
Clear Straps - Straps made from a clear, see-through plastic or elastic that are designed to be nearly invisible when worn.
Corset - A snug fitting garment designed to cinch the waist and lift or minimize the breasts. Lacing in the back allows the corset to be adjusted for comfort. They are boned for additional control and heavier ones can be used for body shaping or training. Some corsets are designed to be more decorative than cinching - check the fabric for a guide. Any light fabrics such as satin, satin jacquard or stretch fabrics are generally designed for look and comfort rather than cinching. Cost of the corset is also a good indicator - those under $80-$100 are most likely more decorative styles and shouldn’t be laced tightly or used for body modification purposes. For body modifiation or shaping (see Body Modification above), we recommend steel boned corset styles with multiple layers of laminated fabric to resist tearing. Investing in a good, sturdy corset can be a wonderful gift for yourself and the sturdy styles will last you for years with proper care. You should consider the way you want to wear the corset when selecting one. Additional guidelines for corsets are below. If in doubt, please email us.
Choosing a Corset Shape: The busk is the front of the corset, usually in 2 parts on either side of hooks or other fasteners. With heavier corsets, such as those from Vollers, this area is molded or made of steel. Some are flat busks and, if the lacing is done as one piece (see lacing your corset below), can flatten the breasts. This is popularly called the “Elizabethan” style corset as it was popular during the reign of Elizabeth I. Another style is spoon busks - they have a curve that accommodates the breasts giving them a “shelf” for the breasts to rest on giving a more curvy look. There are some that have cups for the breasts allowing for lift and separation similar to a bra. We generally recommend flat busks for those with smaller breasts or if you want to flatten your breasts and spoon or cup styles for those with fuller figures.
Choosing a Corset Length: We offer some corsets with a long line style extending onto the hips. These styles are recommended for those with longer torsos or those who wish to make their torso appear longer. Petite figures should look for corsets ending at the hip or waist. Under the bust corsets are generally called ‘cinchers’ or ‘waist cinchers’.
Choosing Your Size: Heavier corsets like those with steel boning should be ordered 2-4 inches smaller than your natural waist. (Loosely measure the narrowest part of your torso). This allows you to lace them tightly to reduce your waist 1-4 inches. Lighter weight fabrics should be ordered based on your bust measurement - go one or two inches smaller than your bra size if you wish to do some cinching. Remember though to be careful of unlined or light fabrics as they will tear if you lace them too tightly - those styles should be considered decorative tops.
Lacing Your Corset: Even a flat busk corset can be laced to allow the breasts a little more freedom. We suggest using 2 - 3 laces depending on your figure (use 3 if you have a great variation in your waist to bust or hips). Most corsets come with one lacing so you may need to purchase more at a fabric or craft store - Vollers Corsets come with one very long lacing to do a center loop). Lace it in sections so you can adjust the fit the way you want. Divide the eyelets (where the lacings thread thru) in the back in 2 sections. Example: If there are 30 rows of eyelets in the back. Use lacing one in the top 18, lacing 2 in the bottom 18 and tie both in the middle (allow a little overlap for the smoothest fit). Experiment a bit to find what works best for your individual shape.
When using one long lacing such as Vollers provides take a look at the diagram at right. Start at the top and fold your lacing in half inserting the ends from the outside to inside on each side to begin. Cross each side over and insert on the hole below from underneath. Go about half way down (Vollers corsets have an inner band at about the midpoint - stop at this band for strongest pull) and make a very large loop in the center of the lacing coming up from the inside then down through the outside without crossing the laces. Continue to cross over from underneath. At the bottom, insert the laces into the last holes from outside to inside tying off each side separately in knots to keep them from pulling through the last eyelet. (Lacing is probably longer than you need - it can be trimmed before being knotted at the bottom). Pull any slack back into the loops you left in the center. When putting on your corset, loosen the laces to allow you to lace or hook the front closed, then have someone take one loop in each hand and pull the corset tight. Tie the loops into a bow in the back and you have a perfectly tied corset! Please note that your corset does not have to meet in the back as shown here - it most probably won’t.
Cotton - A natural fabric known for it’s breathability making it excellent in hot climates and weather. Often has a bit of another fabric for shape or stretch. Cotton can generally be machine washed in cold, tumbled dry in low heat.
Cowl - A loose, draped neckline that was very popular on turtleneck sweaters in the 80s, now often softer and more draping.
Crochet Knit - A large, open knit pattern that resembles hand crochet.
Crop Top - A top extending to just below the breasts or to mid-stomach. Usually bares the belly button.
Crotchless - A convenient slit or opening in the fabric covering the crotch area on panties, teddies, and bodystockings.
Cuff - A decorative, elastic or other band worn around the wrists. Also refers to the end of the sleeve on a garment.
Demi Cups - Or half cups, have a lower line which reveals more of the upper breasts. They often are padded as well to lift the breasts and show more cleavage. See Bras above.
Dot Net or Dot Mesh - Sheer net fabric decorated with evenly spaced opaque dots. Also called “Dotted Swiss” or "Polka Dot".
Double Back Closure - Item has two sets of hooks and eyes allowing for more customizable fit. Usually such garments have a Lycra or elasticized back. Often used on Bras and Babydolls.
Embroidery - Decorative designs sewn into fabric by hand or machine. Often includes beads or other embellishments.
Eyelash Lace - Lace garment with strands at the edges that resemble eyelashes. All items containing lace should be hand washed in cold water and allowed to drip dry.
Fascination Lace - Mesh lace with shiny embroidered floral pattern.
Faux Fur - Man made fur which contains no animal products. Sometimes referred to as "Plush".
Faux Leather or Vegan Leather- Imitation leather, usually a form of PVC or vinyl with a matte or textured finish to resemble real leather. Easier to care for and more water proof than genuine leather and preferred for Vegans and others who do not want to wear animal products. All such items can be hand washed or wiped clean.
Faux Pearls - Imitation pearls that are man made. Some are plastic or glass with a pearlized finish.
Faux Rhinestones - Imitation rhinestones usually made of plastic with faceted edges to reflect the light.
Fence Net - A large, thin open net with larger openings than fishnet. It is often used for stockings and body stockings.
Fiberfill - A polyester spun material used for padding, similar to that used for throw pillows and bed pillows.
Fishnet - Open mesh or woven material resembling netting used by fishermen.
Flocking - Decoration made from very short velvety fiber glued or attached to a base fabric.
French Cut - Pantyhose with sewn in decorative panty, usually with a high cut thigh.
French Net - Very coarse, six sided open mesh fabric. Also called Geo Net.
Fringe - Decorative thin strips or strings, usually hanging from the hem line of a garment such as a skirt or top. It moves freely and is popular with dancers.
Full Cups - Cups which completely cradle and support the breasts as opposed to other cup styles which offer less coverage and support. See Bras.
Garter - An elastic leg band originally designed to hold up stockings but now just used for added sex appeal. Arm garters can be worn on the upper arm in the same manner.
Garter Belt - A garter belt is worn around the waist with straps, called garters, that clasp onto stockings to keep them from falling down. Usually the back of the garter is adjustable to fit different waist sizes and the garter straps can be adjusted for length. The garter straps are usually elastic or have an elastic inset to allow for freedom of movement to stand, sit, etc.
Garter Stockings - Hosiery that consists of seperate tubes for each leg that covers the foot, goes over the knee and usually falls at top of thigh. Garter stockings require a Garter Belt or garment with garter straps to keep them up as they will not stay in place on their own. Sometimes referred to as "Thigh Highs".
Georgette - Sheer crepe woven from hard-twisted yarns/threads to produce a dull pebbly surface. It is similar in appearance to crepe paper used in party streamers.
Geo Net - Very coarse, six sided open mesh fabric. Also called French Net.
Gown - A long dress usually extending to the ankles or the floor. Gowns may be for lingerie and sleeping or formal occasions including wedding gowns.
G-String - A panty consisting of a triangular patch of fabric connected which covers the front crotch with thin, elastic straps in back and around the waist completely exposing the buttocks. The G-String refers to the back where the central strap passes between the butt cheeks disappearing into the crack so the buttocks appears naked.
G-String Back - Item with only a thin piece of elastic used in the back and around the waist, exposing all of the buttocks.
Halter - Garment wraps around the neck for support and, optionally, may be tied behind the neck (halter tie) or include a clasp (halter closure). Halters can be uncomfortable for women with larger, heavy breasts such as DD and above.
Harness - Normally a garment consisting of straps, rings, etc. that is designed to fit snugly around the body. Can be worn as an accessory or as part of bondage or other fetish wear.
Hologram Fabric - Appears to change color or sparkle as it moves - often has a laser cut pattern such as “shattered glass” (a random small pattern) or “window” (square or rectangular pattern).
Hot Pants - Very short pants that often reveal more butt cheeks allowing the cheeks to peek out underneath. Sometimes referred to as "Daisy Dukes" to the famous ones worn by the character Daisy from the TV series and movie "The Dukes of Hazzard".
Inner Cap - A lining inside of a wig that prevents tangling and if adjustable, allows the wig to fit virtually any size head. The cap is usually a stretch mesh or netting.
Iridescent Fabric - Appears to change color or sparkle as it moves. Also called “Hologram” fabric.
Jacquard - Fabric characterized by an intricate weave or pattern. Originally named after French inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard who invented a loom capable of producing this fabric. It’s a very rich, somewhat heavier fabric often used for corsets and other garments requiring extra strength.
Keyhole - An oval-shaped opening often in the neckline or top of the back with a button, tie or other closure. It allows a bit of skin to be seen while maintaining more modesty than a V or other opening.
Kick Pleat or Inset Pleat - An inverted pleat, often used at the bottom of a skirt to give it more breadth and ease walking. Common on pencial or other fittled skirt silhouettes.
Lame - A metallic-looking material that has the appearance of metal. Some have a sparkle or glitter affect, some is more metallic. It properly has an accent over the e and is pronounced “La-may”.
Latex - A rubber-like material sometimes used for clothing, shoes, and other accessories. There is an entire fetish category of latex lovers and most people either love it or hate it. Latex is skin tight and can be very hot if worn for long periods of time. It can be easily torn and should be only wiped off with a damp cloth for cleaning and must be powdered with baby powder to prevent it sticking to itself causing tears.
Leather - The hide of a cow or pig that is cut, colored and treated to make it soft and supple. Cowhide is softer than pig. Pig leather often has a slightly ‘pebbly’ texture and is more water resistant than leather with less care required. Leather has a distinctive smell and cow hide a smooth feel many love. Vegan or Faux Leather imitates the look without containing any animal products.
Lining - An extra layer of fabric sewn into the inside of a garment for added comfort or modesty, often made of polyester or other soft fabrics. Be sure to check the care instruction label on any garment with linings as they often require dry cleaning or special handling to insure the lining and garment do not shrink at different rates.
Long Line - A bustier or bra that extends further down, usually to the hips. See bra.
Lurex® - Fabric created from a trademarked metallic thread it has a soft feel and metallic gleam or sparkle. Lurex threads are often woven into other fabrics such as nylon or spandex to give the fabric a glittery effect.
Lycra® - A well known brand of spandex that has a lot of stretch and body hugging characteristics. Often used for swim wear and other formfitting items to hug the body and maintain shape. Materials with lycra should always be washed in cold water and allowed to air dry flat (see care tag instructions on the garment).
Maribou or Marabou - Soft fluffy feathers often used as a trim or for making boa wraps which come from several species of bird or may be synthentic.
Matte - Smooth, even, non-glossy finish. PU or Polyurethane is a matte finish faux leather often used for shoes, boots, and purses.
Mesh/Net - A knit or woven fabric consisting of small, evenly spaced holes.
Microfiber - An extremely fine synthetic fiber usually woven into soft, light weight, washable, breathable fabrics. Tends to stretch and be a bit more formfitting. Microfiber has gained popularity in the last few years and is used for everything from clothing to cleaning pads and furniture.
Mini skirt or Mini Dress - A very short skirt or dress with a hemline that can extend anywhere from just below the buttocks (micro-mini) to mid-thigh. Mini Skirts have been popular since the 1960s and are favorites for dancers, rave wear and club wear.
Open Bust/Tip - Little or no coverage is provided over the breasts. In general, open bust means there is no cup whatsoever while open tip usually means there is a cup, but with an opening over the nipple area.
Open Rear or Open Back - No fabric or elastic covers the area between the buttocks and may expose part or all of the butt cheeks.
Padded Cups - Bra cups that contain padding, sometimes removable, for those with smaller breasts that might not otherwise fill out the cups. Padding is often of fiberfill or silicone. See Bras.
Panne Velvet - Velvet which has been flattened in one direction giving it a matte finish. Sometimes referred to as "Crushed Velvet".
Panty - Women's underpants. Can be many different styles including thong, Rio or Brazilian Back, G-string, etc.
Pantyhose - Pantyhose are close fitting hosiery offering coverage from toes to waist often with a built in panty or cotton crotch inset so an additional panty may not be necessary. If heavier fabric is used, they are called "Tights".
Pasties - Small plain or decorated garments that stick on via adhesive covering the nipples only and leaving the rest of the breast bare. Plain pasties are sometimes worn under sheer fabrics for discretion. Decorations may include tassels such as those worn by dancers.
Patent - Real or synthetic faux leather with a smooth, shiny surface on one side. Often used for shoes and clothing.
Peek-a-Boo Cups - Bra cups with a slit or other opening that partially exposes the breasts or nipples. Often has a fastener to keep them closed when desired such as laces, zipper, etc. Also referred to as "Open Tip"
Peignoir- From the French word which translates to "garment worn while combing the hair". A negligee or dressing gown. A traditional piece of lingerie for a bride for hher wedding night, Peignoir sets usually consist of a short or long night gown with a matching robe.
Piping - A decorative cord sewn along the edges of a garment, sometimes of contrasting fabric or color. Often used on furniture, it is also popular on garments.
Platform - Part of a shoe or boot that is beneath the toe area or vamp of the shoe. It can range in height from less than an inch to well over 7 inches. It elevates the foot and makes you taller. Platform shoes or boots require some skill to walk in gracefully, especially for higher versions. They also require a good amount of balance and strength in the ankles so platforms higher than 2 inches are not recommended for those with weak ankles. A platform can help ease the height of a high heel as worn, a shoe with a 4 inch heel and 1 inch platform - a difference of 3 inches - will feel like a 3 inch heel shoe to the wearer.
Plunging Neckline - Bra Cups or bodice neckline that is cut to form a v-shape, thus revealing more cleavage than other styles. It may plunge as far as the waist or even lower on some styles and may include buttons or ties or zippers to hold it closed as desired revealing less.
Polyester (or Poly) - A synthetic fabric known for it’s stretchy characteristics. it should be hand washed in cold water and drip dried. It can be ironed using a cool setting only without steam.
Polyester/Rayon (or Poly/Rayon) - A blend of Polyester and Rayon for a soft hand. Often a 50/50 blend, it should be hand washed in cold water and drip dried.
Polyurethane (PU) - A type of vinyl or faux leather that has a matte (non-shiny) finish and may have a slight grain texture. Often used for shoes and boots to give a matte finish opposed to Patent. When used for clothing, it often has a polyester backing for durability and washability. It can me hand or machine washed (on delicate cycle only) in cold water. Hang dry or tumble dry on low heat. Do not dry clean.
Pouch - A man's G-string or other underwear with pouch of fabric to hold his ‘jewels’. Usually has stretch or elastic straps.
Princess Line - Visible seams which resemble an hourglass shape along the bodice of a garment. Tends to be slimming for just about every body type as it visually pulls in the shape of the body.
Push-up Cups - Bra Cups containing padding, sometimes removable, designed to push the breasts up to create a more flattering cleavage. Pads are often silicone or fiberfill. See Bras.
PVC - Poly Vinyl Chloride or Vinyl with a smooth, shiny surface on one side. Often used for shoes and clothing. Sometimes called Patent or Gloss Vinyl.
Rhinestones - Faceted glass or crystal ‘diamond like’ decorations that catch and reflect the light. Popular for stage performers and dancers as well as as embellisments on bridal and other formal wear.
Ribbed - Fabric with raised vertical 'ribs' usually made into form fitting designs. Sometimes made of knit for more body hugging shaping such as on socks.
Rigid - Does not stretch.
Rio or Brazilian Back - A panty style that covers more of the buttocks than a thong, but less than a traditional full-back panty. Sometimes referred to as "High Cut".
Robe - A loose fitting coverup or coat intended to be worn over another item of lingerie or clothing for added modesty, though is often sheer or semi sheer. Usually robes have a belt or closure of some kind.
Satin - A particular type of shiny, woven fabric that has a soft, sensual feel. Often used for lingerie or sexy dresses as it flows on the body and moves with you.
Scallop Edges - A decorative fabric edge shaped similar to a line of scallops (or shells) lined up edge to edge that looks like connected C laying down with the opening at the bottom.
Seamless - An item manufactured without seams. Seams can be a source of discomfort, so a seamless item will tend to be more comfortable versus a similar item made with seams. Also tends to give a cleaner line for sheer fishnet or other fabric items when worn under another garment.
Sequins - Small shiny discs used to reflect light and add interest to a garment. Sequins are often used on costumes and other items for dancers but also can be embellishments on bridal and other formal wear.
Shawl - A wide scarf worn about the shoulders. Shawl collars are wide, scarf shaped attachments on garments.
Shelf Cups - Bra Cups which only provide support and coverage underneath the breasts exposing the nipples. Also called 1/4 Cups. See Bras.
Shirred - Material which is gathered to make decorative folds or soft pleats on a garment. Sometimes shirred panels are used for additional shapping.
Silicone Cups - Bra Cups which are padded with silicone instead of fiber. Silicone tends to provide a smoother, more natural look and a more comfortable fit. Also used for breast enhancers or false breast forms. See Bras.
Silk - A natural fiber produced by silkworms that is revered for its luxuriously soft feel. Real silk can be very pricey though its soft, sensual feel can be worth it.
Silk Knit - Silk fabric which stretches and clings to the body flowing gracefully.
Slinky Knit - A soft, elastic knit fabric which conforms to the shape of the body.
Slit(s) - A narrow vertical or horizontal split in the fabric usually added for ease of movement or sex appeal.
Snap Crotch - Crotch snaps/unsnaps for convenience.
Spandex/Lycra® - Spandex is the generic term for fabric created from elastic thread which helps a garment to stretch for a better fit and added comfort. Lycra® is a well known brand of spandex.
Spiral Wire Cups - Bendable wire in a spiral shape used to make a skimpy bra cup. The spiral can be pulled out, pushed in or otherwise bent to accommodate the shape of the breast.
Stay up Stockings - Stockings with a rubber, elastic or silicone grip inside the top that helps to prevent them from slipping down the leg. Usually worn without garter belts. Stay up stockings can be of knee or thigh length.
Stockings - Stockings are hosiery providing coverage from over the knee or mid-thigh to the toes. Often worn with garter belts or items with attached or removable garters such as bustiers and corsets.
Strapless - A garment without shoulder straps. Not recommended for those with larger breasts.
Suspender Stockings - Pantyhose or stockings where the legs are held up by an attached waist band, sometimes styled to look like a garter belt, are known as suspender stockings. The front and back are usually open, so some may prefer to wear a G-string or thong underneath.
Taffeta - A crisp plain-woven lustrous fabric often used for bridal fashions and other fancy dresses. Tends to stick out out and often used for skirts of ball gowns to give the dress a wide skirt.
Tailored -Fitted garment styled to look as if custom made by a tailor.
Tank Top - A sleeveless shirt worn by both men and women, usually with narrow shoulder straps.
Tap Pant - Shorts with a slightly gathered, elasticized waistband and very short, loose-fitting legs, often with side slits.
Tapestry - Rich looking fabric similar in appearance to the heavy, hand-woven designs used in making curtains and upholstery. Tapestry prints are printed with a pattern to appear as tapestry fabric. Normally heavy weight and often used for structured garments such as corsets. Tapestry fabric can be expensive.
Teddy - A one piece garment often with high cut legs and usually a thong back. Sometimes called a body suit, especially if designed for day wear instead of lingerie.
Thigh High - A stocking or boot that comes above the knee usually to mid-thigh or higher. Your height and length of leg will affect how high it actually comes on you. Thigh high stockings may require a Garter Belt (see above) though some have elastic or silicone bands at top to hold them in place without one. Refer to the style description to determine which type they are. Thigh high boots were once thought of only for strippers or dancers or street walkers (remember Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?) though are now more mainstream often with embellishments such as lacings or buckled straps.
Thong Back - Only a thin strip of material is used in the back exposing most of the buttocks of a panty, teddy, or other garment.
Tricot - Close warp-knitted nylon fabric.
Tube Top - A strapless, body hugging top made from a rectangular piece of fabric.
Ultrasuede® - A trademarked soft, man-made suede fabric noted for its durability, washability and comfort. For more about this fabric, see http://www.ultrasuede.com
Underwire - Adds extra support and lift for the breasts using a thin wire sewn into the base of the bra cups. Especially desirable feature for larger breasted women.
Waist Training - See Body Modification.
Vamp - The part of a shoe upper or boot upper covering especially the forepart of the foot and sometimes also extending forward over the toe or backward to the back seam of the upper.
Vegan Leather - See Faux Leather.
Veil - A decorative headdress worn by brides and others.
Velvet - Fabric with a short, soft, dense pile noted for its luxurious feel and matte appearance.
Venice Lace - Firm, heavy lace with an open background, usually in floral leaf patterns similar in look to crochet.
Vest - A sleeveless, waist length coat usually meant to be worn over a shirt or blouse.
Vinyl or PVC - A man-made, non-elastic, non-breathing plastic material that has a wet look and is often used in fetish wear. When used for clothing, it often has a polyester backing for durability and washability. It can me hand or machine washed (on delicate cycle only) in cold water. Hang dry or tumble dry on low heat. Do not dry clean.
Wet Look Lycra - A lycra fabric with a sheen that looks like it’s vinyl or wet. Care is the same as lycra.
Wristlet or Cuff - A decorative, elastic or other band worn around the wrists.