Lingerie Glossary

A

2-Part, 3-part, 4-Part, or 5-Part Cup (aka a cut and sew bra):

When 2 or more panels of fabric are sewn together. Bra cups with seams such as this are always more supportive than bra cups without seams. Many times, one of the panels will be along the outer sides of the cup to help center and contain the breast tissue. Cups with 4-part and 5-part sections are found more often in larger cup sizes because they can provide additional cup depth, support, and shaping.

adhesive bra

A stick-on backless bra made with medical grade adhesive.

ankle (sock height)

A sock that rises above the ankle but stays below the calf. Also called a quarter sock.

athletic (sock)

A sock specifically designed for athletic activity that provides support, sweat absorption, and anti-microbial properties to reduce odor.

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B

back close (bra)

The typical hook and eye closure of a bra, found on the back. The term is used mainly to differentiate from front closure bras. If it is not stated whether a bra is back or front closure, it's safe to assume it is back closure.

balconette bra

Also known as a shelf bra, a balconette bra has a horizontal bust line that promotes lift and cleavage from beneath the breast, typically without the use of padding. This makes it a favorite among average to full bust women who prefer a lift but don't want the extra bulk of padding. A balconette provides more coverage than the similar demi cup bra.

bamboo fabric

Fabric made from bamboo fibers is extremely environmentally friendly because it doesn't require replanting or chemical fertilizers. The fibers of the bamboo plant are naturally porous, so they absorb moisture and wick it away from the skin. It keeps you cooler and drier than synthetics or cotton.

bandeau bra

A bra style modeled after a tube top that offers minimal support. Usually one piece that you slip over your head to wear. Bandeau bras are commonly worn as a bra alternative when lounging and sleeping.

bikini panties

A brief style panty with high cut leg openings. Bikinis typically fall at the hips, rather than the waist, and provide moderate rear coverage. Bikinis range from ultra lean cuts (string bikini) to fuller, more traditional, silhouettes.

bodysuit

A one-piece, form-fitting garment that covers the torso. Shapewear commonly comes in bodysuit form, providing full-body slimming benefits, including torso, waist, tummy, hips, thighs, and butt.

boning

A rigid support structure sewn into the vertical seams of a garment or bra, designed to maintain a thin, shapely look. Early types of boning were made from whale bones, hence the name, but modern boning is mostly made from plastic or thin strips of metal. Boning is commonly found on the midriff section of longline bras (bustiers) and corsets, and even on the wings of traditional bras.

boy shorts

A full coverage panty version of a man's trunk style underwear. Boy shorts traditionally have a low rise fit and leg length ranges from square cut to a 1 inch inseam. Their length and comfort lead them to be great everyday underwear, as well as a common lounge option.

bralette

An unlined, soft cup bra that offers light support. Commonly used as a teen bra, training bra, or lounging/sleeping bra.

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.

bridal bra

Technically, a bridal bra is anything that offers the perfect look under a wedding dress. It is common, however, for women to wear a strapless bustier-style bra to give a slimming effect with no straps. Many lingerie brands, including Le Mystere, Goddess, Wacoal, and Carnival, feature a bridal line.

bump pad

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

bustier (aka longline bra)

A corset-style lingerie garment that extends through the torso to the hips. Bustiers are characteristically boned to create a contoured "hourglass" shape. Styles range from simple, no-nonsense shaping, to lavishly decorated in lace and applique.

butt boosting

Underwear designed to make the butt look bigger than it does, usually by the use of lifting straps or hidden pads.

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C

camisole

A sleeveless top with thin, often adjustable, shoulder straps. Shapewear versions provide upper body compression to create a slimmer, smoother silhouette.

camisole straps (bra)

Wide bra straps that appear to be an extension of the cup. Camisole straps don't dig into the skin like thinner, spaghetti straps can.

casual (sock)

A crew style sock that typically falls at mid-calf. Made from a variety of fabrics, ranging from polyester to cotton, casual socks provide a level of coverage and cushioning that makes them great for everyday wear.

chantilly lace

The original Chantilly Lace was a handmade floral bobbin lace from the city of Chantilly, France. Semi-sheer with large and small flowers, this lace has become popular in the construction of lingerie.

charmeuse

A specific weave of fabric that is soft, supple, and drapes beautifully with a shiny, satin finish on one side and a dull finish on the other (inside). It is commonly made of silk, but can also be found in polyester.

chemise

The chemise was originally created for wear by both men and women as a protective layer between the skin and outerwear garments. In the modern age, however, a chemise is almost always a loose-fitting, sleeveless shirt-like lingerie item for women. The traditional style lacks definition in the waist area, but the modern ones are sexy and contoured.

chiffon

This elegant, sheer silk weave is ultra-lightweight and strong. Chiffon comes from the French word for "rag" because it has a slightly rough feel to it.

cleavage

The vertical line created by a woman's breasts. Cleavage can be made more prominent by using a push-up bra, which contains padding that pushes your breasts up and out for a more defined silhouette.

combed cotton

This extra-soft cotton is called combed because the shortest, additional fibers are removed (as by combing), leaving only high-quality yarns with excellent strength and softness. Many intimate apparel companies use combed cotton because it doesn’t irritate sensitive skin.

compression shorts

Form-fitting athletic undergarments that have the look and feel of cycling shorts, but apply more compression pressure to combat muscle fatigue.

contour (bra cup)

A contour bra has pre-molded, shaped cups made with a thin layer of foam to shape the breast and prevent nipples from showing through. In addition to providing coverage and support, contour bras are great everyday bras because they add definition and smoothness to the silhouette. Contour bras don't increase bust size, but create a rounder, symmetrical look.

control panty

This shapewear piece has the shape of a brief and features a tummy-flattening front panel and/or total smoothing engineered into the design. It's the perfect minimal option for toning without wearing a major shapewear garment.

control slip (aka shapewear slip)

A streamlined shapewear garment that provides even, smoothing control of the bust, tummy, hips, and thighs. Typically lightweight, control slips are comfortable and invisible under dresses.

control top

The stretchy, slimming waistband portion of certain hosiery and panties that smoothes the shape of the tummy, hips, and butt.

convertible (bra straps)

A bra with straps that unhook so that they can be rearranged into a variety of formations, including crisscross, halter, one shoulder, and even strapless. Not all convertible bras are capable of all the options, so be sure to consult the item description to make sure the strap configuration you want is there.

cookies

Padded inserts in the cup of a bra that change the shape of the breast. Cookies can be made from fiberfill (a type of foam), water, oil, or gel. Commonly found in push-up bras, cookies are what give you that perked up effect. Cookies are also used to equalize breasts of uneven sizes.

coolmax

A polyester-based fabric that wicks moisture away from the body to keep you cool and dry. Coolmax is commonly found in athletic style socks and undergarments.

corset

A tight fitting, body enhancing garment worn on the midriff to create an hourglass-shaped figure. Corsets are traditionally boned throughout the design and feature a lace-up closure in the back for optimum compression. Modern corsets often feature a hook-and-eye closure.

cotton

Cotton is a natural fabric made from the fibers of the cotton plant, cherished for its durability and comfortable softness. Though 100% cotton fabric is the time-tested classic, much of the cotton used in underwear has been blended with a small amount of spandex (elastane) that helps to retain the shape of the garment.

crew (sock height)

A sock that rises up to the mid-calf area.

cut and sew bra (aka a 2-Part, 3-part, 4-Part, or 5-Part Cup)

When 2 or more panels of fabric are sewn together. Bra cups with seams such as this are always more supportive than bra cups without seams. Many times, one of the panels will be along the outer sides of the cup to help center and contain the breast tissue. Cups with 4-part and 5-part sections are found more often in larger cup sizes because they can provide additional cup depth, support, and shaping.

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D

decolletage

The area on a woman's chest just above her bust line. This term is also used to describe the low cut neck on a garment that acts to expose this area.

demi cup (bra)

A demi cup bra offers a low cut for petite and average women and features a shorter underwire, preventing any poking that a longer one may cause.

denier level

The measurement standard used by hosiery companies to describe the weight and thickness of nylon yarn. The lower the denier number, the thinner the yarn and the more sheer the fabric.

double busting (aka quad boob)

The breasts are spilling over the front of the bra or under the arm, creating a double boob appearance.

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E

elastane

Also known as spandex, this synthetic fiber is known for its exceptional elasticity. It is stronger and more durable than rubber, making it an ideal addition to lingerie fabric blends to yield a perfect fit. Elastane is frequently added to cotton to help the garment retain its shape.

elastic

Stretchable fiber, yarn, or tape made from natural or synthetic rubber. It is used to create most waistbands and leg trims in intimate apparel because of its high level of resilience.

enclosed elastic waistband

A waistband in which the elastic strip has been covered in the same fabric used to make the garment.

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F

firm compression (shapewear)

Heavy duty compression that actually transforms your shape, sometimes up to one full size. Typically made with latex or rubber, it provides non-stretch or one-way paneling. Firm compression shapewear has minimal to no give and is designed to eliminate trouble spots, reducing inches for a slimmer silhouette. This level of compression is ideal for special events, when you only plan to wear it for a few hours at a time.

flat lock seam

A seam constructed with a special stitching technique that causes it to lie against the garment rather than hang from it. Overall, flat lock seams allow a garment to sit flatter against your body, are easy to layer clothes over, and reduce seam chafe.

floating underwire

An underwire with a length that doesn't extend to the edge of the bra. The extra space prevents the underwire from digging into your side, causing discomfort.

fly

The front opening at the pouch of certain styles of underwear. Typically constructed of two overlapping fabric panels, flys can feature buttons or snaps to keep them closed, as in the case of boxer shorts.

foam (bra cup)

The foam used in bra cups serves many purposes. The light padding offers shaping, contouring, cushioning, and prevents nipple show through. The foam also keeps its sturdy shape through wash and wear.

footless

A type of hosiery length created when the leg portion ends at the ankle, much like a legging.

frame (bra)

The structure of a bra, generally the band that runs around the ribcage and holds the cups and straps.

front close (bra)

A bra that features a front closure mechanism rather than rear. Bras with unique one-piece backs, such as racerback and shapewear bras feature front close clasps, as they offer a totally

full bust

A term that describes the category of women of any body shape with an above-average bust measurement. The term full bust is applied when a woman's measurements fall within 32D-36DD. Full bust refers to bust size only, and is not the same as full figure.

full coverage (bra)

A full coverage bra features cups that completely cover most of the breast, offering more coverage and more support than a demi cup bra. A true full coverage cup will not cause an indentation along the top of the breast.

full coverage (underwear)

A term used to describe styles that rest at the waist and offer full rear coverage with a low leg line.

full figure (aka plus size)

A category of garments and intimates that are specially designed with larger proportions to better fit women with above-average bust and waist measurements. Examples include bras with modified padding, increased support, and wider shoulder straps. Full figure typically includes women who fall into bra sizes 38DD and above, and clothing size 14 and up. The term full figure applies to a woman's overall shape, and should not be confused with full bust which can include women of any body shape with an above-average bust measurement.

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G

g-string

A panty offering the least amount of coverage, a g-string features a narrow panel of fabric in the front that tapers to a thin band, passes between the buttocks and is attached to a thin waistband in the back. G-strings leave your buttocks completely exposed and are worn for their ability to completely minimize visible panty lines.

garter, garter belt

A garter belt is a lingerie strap worn around the waist underneath the clothing with four clips (two at front and two at back) made to hold stockings up. The garters are the straps that hang from the garter belt, attaching to the stockings.

girdle

The original shapewear, these undergarments are close-fitting and extend from the waist to below the hips, often made with stretchy fabrics and support boning.

gore, center gore (bra)

The piece of fabric in the center of your bra that connects the two cups. The size of the center gore determines the bra's support level. A wide center gore that rises to the nipple line will provide more rigid support than the thin variety commonly used in plunge neck bras.

gossamer

A lightweight, sheer gauze-like fabric.

gusset

In terms of lingerie, a gusset generally refers to the triangular or rectangular section of fabric in the crotch area, often a snap or hook and eye closure if it is a piece of shapewear. Items with sewn-in cotton gussets offer an extra layer of protection and comfort.

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H

halter (bra style)

A bra style that features straps that fasten behind the neck. Many halter bras convert to strapless, regular, and criss-cross styles.

high cut (panty)

A panty that features high cut leg openings and full rear coverage. Also known as a French Cut panty, they make your legs look long and sexy.

high rise

A term used to describe styles of underwear with waistbands that rise well above your natural waistline, covering much of the lower abdomen and, in some cases, reaching up to your navel.

high waist

Panties and shapewear panties designed with a waistband that rises high above your natural waistline to provide support and a slimming effect to your tummy and hips.

hipster (panty)

Panty that sits low on the hips, both at the front and the back. Hipster style panties are ideal for wearing under low rise pants and jeans.

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I

inner sling

A term synonymous with support panel, featured in the 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.

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J

j hook

A hook shaped closure like the letter J that can be found in some bras.

jacquard

A decorative woven or knitted pattern sewn onto fabric, named after its inventor, Josie Marie Jacquard.

jersey knit

The same fabric from which t-shirts are made, jersey is both comfortable and durable, making it an ideal choice for a variety of undergarments.

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K

keyhole

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

kimono

A wide-sleeved robe with a belt that is inspired in style by the traditional Japanese kimono. The kimono style is popular as loungewear and often features a floral or scenic print with a button, toggle, or sash closure.

knee highs (hosiery)

Short hosiery that comes up to just below the knee. They are styled with elastic tops and stay up without the help of garters.

knee-high (sock height)

Socks that rise up to the knee level.

knit

A textile made by interlacing yarn in a series of connected loops to make a soft fabric with natural stretch.

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L

laser cut edges

A technique applied to synthetic fabrics, where by the edges are trimmed using a laser, creating a flat, seamless edge that won't unravel. Garments with laser cut edges are especiall ideal under tight, clingy pants and dresses.

leg shaper

A shapewear style, usually resembling a bicycle short or footless tight, made to offer control and shaping throughout the legs.

leggings

Tight, form-fitting trousers made from opaque fabric.

leotard back (bra)

A back bra closure in which the straps attach to the bra and create a rounded shape, similar to a leotard. Leotard bras feature elastic trim for flexibility and movement, and the wider back band is great for smoothing and concealing back fat.

light compression (aka as low compression) (shapewear)

Made of microfiber, nylon blends, and other breathable fabrics, light or low compression garments can range from panties to leggings, and bustiers to full body girdles but are typically lightweight and seamless. The result is a more flattering, toned silhouette for better fitting clothes.

light support (bra)

A bra style that features little or no banding under the cups and cutaway wings.

lined cups, lining (bra)

Bra cups that are lined with seamed fabric, foam or mesh, as a way of providing shaping, comfort, uplift, and support.

long underwear

A close fitting undergarment, similar to leggings, worn under pants to provide an extra layer of insulation in cold weather.

longline bra (Bustier)

A corset-style lingerie garment that extends through the torso to the hips, also known as a bustier. Longline bras are characteristically boned to create a contoured "hourglass" shape. Styles range from simple, no-nonsense shaping to lavishly decorated in lace and applique.

low back bra

Any bra with narrow wings at the back and/or a U-shaped back. Ultra-low back bras sometimes have a wrap closure allowing them to fasten closer to the waist.

low rise

A term used to describe styles of underwear that fall below your natural waistline, and don't peep above low rise, hipster pants, and jeans.

Lycra elastane

A registered trademark of the DuPont Company for their spandex fiber. What that means for you--a high quality spandex fiber that is woven into fabrics, such as cotton, to help them retain their shape.

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M

maternity bra

A bra designed with special modifications for the pregnant woman. Maternity bras offer stepped up side support, feature wider, non-elastic straps to decrease breast bounce, and increased coverage and breathability to prevent breast irritation.

maternity panties

A panty designed for comfort and support throughout pregnancy. Generally made from a seamless stretch microfiber, it often also features a stretchy design with ribbed support at the front and back.

matte

This term is normally used to describe a metallic surface with a smooth or sometimes brushed finish that lacks luster and shine. It is also used to describe the same non-lustrous finish on a fabric (as in silk chiffon).

medical (sock)

Socks that are designed to promote circulation and foot breathability. Typically, these socks feature a non-binding elastic top and relaxed fit leg, and are endorsed by certain medical associations, such as the American Podiatric Medical Association.

memory foam

A dense foam that molds to your shape, forming a custom fit that provides better support and more modesty. Memory foam is commonly used to line bra cups.

mercerized cotton

Cotton that has been treated with sodium hydroxide to give it a slick texture and lustrous appearance.

microfiber

A smooth, stretchy fabric made from extremely fine filaments. Because microfiber is so lightweight and breathable, it's used to make a variety of garments, from bras to boxer briefs.

mid rise

A term used to describe styles of underwear that fall at or about your natural waistline.

minimal coverage

A term used across the sexes to describe underwear that doesn't provide any rear coverage, such as a thong or g-string.

minimizer bra

A minimizer bra reduces the bust profile by redistributing breast tissue toward the underarm and center front of each cup. This smoother silhouette makes it easier to wear button down shirts without gapping in the front.

modal

A natural fabric made from the cellulose fibers of beech trees. Modal is soft and silky to the touch, and more absorbent than cotton, making it a favorite underwear material for both men and women.

moderate compression (aka medium compression) (shapewear)

Often made from nylon or a cotton blend, medium compression shapewear offers the same benefits of firm compression garments, minus the latex. Instead it substitutes different amounts of spandex or microfiber and provides panels or layers for additional compression. This level of compression feels snug and supportive, and actually yields a dramatic difference. It won't reduce you by an entire size, but the compression will slim problem areas. Comfortable enough for everyday.

moisture-wicking

A term used to describe a fabric's tendency to draw moisture away from the skin, thus reducing dampness, rubbing, and odor. Moisture-wicking fabrics are commonly used in athletic style underwear and socks.

molded cups (bra)

A molded cup is made by heat-shaping a piece of fabric over a breast-shaped mold in order to take that shape. Molded cups can be both seamless and seamed, and when foam padding is added, it becomes a contour bra.

muffin top

A slang term applied to the bulge that falls over the top of pants or shapewear that are too tight. Wearing the proper size can eliminate much of the muffin top, and going for a high-waisted shapewear piece can smooth it over altogether.

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N

negligee

A flowing lingerie robe made from a delicate fabric like silk or rayon, typically with lace or ruffle detailing. A vestige of classic French lingerie, women sometimes cover themselves up with a negligee before getting dressed.

no-show (sock height)

A sock that fits below the ankle and does not show when wearing shoes.

nursing bra

Designed for the comfort of the new mother, the nursing bra features cups that can be flapped down to easily allow the mother to breastfeed. Nursing bras nowadays range from simple, basic designs to luxurious lace varieties.

nylon

A family of synthetic fabrics made from strong, resilient fibers. Also known as polyamide.

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O

organic cotton

Organic cotton is cultivated using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems restore and maintain soil fertility, minimize the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture.

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P

padded (bra cup)

Featured in molded, contour, and push-up bras, it refers to the layer of cushioning used to prevent nipple show-through or to elevate the breast tissue. Varying degrees of padding can be used from light to graduated padding as well as removable bump pads.

pantyhose

A garment that combines both panty and stockings into a one piece waist-high garment. This smooth look eliminates panty lines.

petite figure (bra)

A bra specially designed with smaller proportions for smaller busted women with narrow back measurements. Modifications include straps that angle inward to prevent slipping off the narrow shoulder frame.

picot

A small, embroidered loop forming an ornamental edging on a ribbon or lace, typically used to trim panties and bras.

Pima cotton

A type of cotton grown primarily in Peru, the southwestern United States, and Australia. It is considered to be one of the superior blends of cotton and is extremely durable and absorbent. This type of cotton is named after the Pima, a group of American Indians who first cultivated the plant in the U.S., but the cotton's origins are its cultivation in Peru.

piping

A decorative touch added to garments, where a narrow fold of fabric is sewn into the seam.

plunge (bra)

Plunge bras feature deep cut necklines that reveal more decolletage for a sexier look. With a deep front (plunge front), angled cups, and a thin center gore, these bras create the appearance of increased cleavage.

plus size (aka full figure)

A category of garments and intimates that are specially designed with larger proportions to better fit women with above-average bust and waist measurements. Examples include bras with modified padding, increased support, and wider shoulder straps. Plus size typically includes women who fall into bra sizes 38DD and above, and clothing size 14 and up. Plus size is also known as full figure, which applies to a woman's overall shape and should not be confused with full bust, which can include women of any body shape with an above-average bust measurement.

polyamide

A family of synthetic fabrics made from strong, resilient fibers. Also known as nylon.

polyester

A synthetic knit fabric noted for its soft feel, durability, and versatility of use.

powermesh

A lightweight, gauze-like fabric that maintains its rigidity as it stretches. Because of its durability and lightweight feel, Powermesh is often used to line bra wings.

push-up bra

Bras that create the appearance of enhanced cleavage by using angled cups and padding. Most push up bras feature fiberfill graduated padding along the bottom, but other types include oil, water, and gel-filled pads. The pads are also known as cookies.

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Q

quad boob (aka double busting)

The breasts are spilling over the front of the bra or under the arm, creating a double boob appearance.

quick-dry

Quick-dry fabric uses a unique cross-section fiber, quickly pulling sweat and moisture from the skin surface and extending the wet surface area of the fabric much wider than general fiber, enabling sweat to air dry and evaporate.

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R

racerback bra

This bra features straps that curve away from your shoulder blades to form one center strap down the back. This gives the bra exceptional support and a sporty feeling. Racerback bras are perfect for wearing under tank tops and sleeveless tops.

rayon

A man made fabric made from the natural fibers of cotton, wood chips, bamboo, modal, and a variety of other vegetable matters. Rayon is soft, absorbs moisture well, and has an attractive luster, making it an ideal fabric for a variety of uses.

rear seam (underwear)

This seam, sewn into the underwear down the rear center portion, causes the shape of the underwear to trace that of your body, creating definition and preventing "unibutt."

regular fit (t-shirts)

A term used to describe the relatively loose, relaxed fit of a t-shirt.

reinforced heel (sock)

A heel that has been strengthened with extra knitting to lend more durability.

Reverso-toe closure

A method of closing the toe of a sock that is identical to the smooth looped toe seam, except that the seam lies on the outside of the sock leaving an extra-smooth seamless surface on the inside of the sock next to the foot.

rise

The measurement between the waistband and the first horizontal seam of a panty (at the crotch). Average rises are around 9" and low-rise starts at about 7”. Rise is also a term used to describe where an underwear waistband falls in relation to the waistband of your pants.

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S

sandal toe

A seamless toe that is not reinforced with extra layers of fabric or yarn, so your toes look more natural when worn with open toed shoes.

satin

This traditional fabric has a silky, lustrous finish. The long, interlaced yarns of the fabric have no visible pattern, creating a smooth shiny surface.

seamed cup (bras)

Seamed cup bras offer more support and shaping than seamless cups because the seams determine the cup's exact shape and size, and offer semi-rigid support.

seamless (bra cup)

Seamless bras keep a smooth appearance under clothes, and are great for wearing with clingy tops and thin fabrics. Also known as a t-shirt bra, a bra is considered seamless if it is constructed without seamed cups. A bra may still be considered seamless if seams are present in other parts of the bra.

seamless (underwear)

A term applied to underwear that does not feature side seams that could potentially cause visible panty line along the hips.

seamless front (shapewear)

High waisted shapewear pieces with no seam on the front. This is especially important when wearing tight, clingy dresses, as front seams can show up as bumps.

seamless toe (sock)

Toes made from a continuous piece of knit fabric, so as not to cause any bumps or bunching inside the toe area.

semi-opaque

Hosiery that is moderately translucent but not completely transparent can be described as semi-opaque. The denier of these styles usually falls mid-range between high and low.

shapewear (aka shaper)

Garments worn under clothing that smooth over skin, resulting in a slimmer, more toned appearance. Shapewear pieces range from control panties to full coverage bodysuits. The goal of shapewear is to provide a smoother foundation shape while remaining undetectable under clothes. Shapewear garments include tummy shapers, leg shapers, waist shapers, shaping bodysuits, and thigh shapers.

shelf bra

Technically, a bra that features a shelf-like support under the breasts but almost no coverage. However, "shelf bra" is used to describe the built-in bras inside some tank tops.

silk

One of the finest textiles in the world because of its natural softness and radiant sheen, silk is created by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Silk has the natural ability to regulate temperature, keeping you cool in hot weather and warm in cool weather.

slim fit (t-shirts)

A term used to describe a t-shirt that fits more closely to the body. Slim fit t-shirts make ideal undershirts, as they don't bunch under shirts.

slimming (shapewear)

A sculpting effect that looks like you're sucking it all in (without the discomfort of actually doing so). It won't reduce you by an entire size, but the compression provides a smoothing effect from your midriff through your thighs for a slimmer, more slender appearance. Comfortable enough for everyday.

smoothing (shapewear)

These form-fitting pieces glide over your skin to smooth over your lumps and bumps. The result is a more flattering, toned silhouette. Your body becomes a smoother palette and clothes will fit better.

soft cup bra

Bras that have no underwire in the construction. Most maternity and sports bras are soft cup bras. The lack of underwire doesn't equal a lack of support, in fact, there are many unique construction soft cup bras that offer comparable support to underwire bras. Some women with larger back sizes may prefer soft cup bras because they may have difficulty finding an underwire that fits comfortably.

soy (fabric)

Soy fabric is an environmentally friendly fiber made from tofu manufacturing waste. Soy protein is liquefied and extruded into long, unbroken fibers that are then cut and processed like other spinning fibers. It's incredibly soft and feels similar to cashmere.

spacer foam

Spacer foam isn't actually a foam at all. It's a three-layer knit with pockets of air sandwiched in-between the layers. It's super cushiony, moisture wicking, and lightweight. Spacer foam is commonly used to line bra cups, offering great support in a lightweight, non-bulky feeling as well as in the straps of sports bras.

spandex

A synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity. Also known as elastane and Lycra elastane. It is stronger and more durable than rubber, making it an ideal addition to lingerie fabric blends to yield a perfect fit. Spandex is frequently added to cotton to help the garment retain its shape.

sports bra (aka compression bra)

Facts are facts and it has been proven that exercise, especially high impact exercise, damages breast tissue and ligaments, causing them to sag. A good sport bra can reduce breast movement during exercise up to 50%. Sport bras tend to be made from a stretch microfiber that wicks moisture with seamless cups, non-stretch straps, and often a racerback design. For smaller cup sizes, pullover compression style bras are enough, but for larger cup sizes, more sophisticated engineering is in order.

stockings (hosiery)

A knitted, close-fitting hosiery covering for the foot and leg.

stretch cotton

Cotton fabric that has been blended with a small amount of spandex (elastane) that helps to retain the shape of the garment without sacrificing softness.

string bikini

A super lean cut bikini that features a front and back panel, joined together on the sides by a thin elastic string. This low rise style provides minimal rear coverage.

support panels (aka Inner Sling) (bra)

A support panel is an inner sling sewn into the cup of a bra to provide additional support. The support panel follows the curve of the cup and can range in size from a small portion on the outside of the cup to the entire circumference of the cup.

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T

t-shirt bra

A t-shirt bra has seamless cups with light padding so your nipples won't show through. T-shirt bras are the perfect bra to give you a smooth look under clingy tops and lightweight fabrics.

tactel

A type of nylon trademarked by DuPont that's amazingly soft and durable. It is lightweight, versatile, breathable, shape-retentive, and easy to wash.

taffeta

A crisp plain-woven lustrous fabric of various fibers.

tagless

Instead of a separate piece of fabric sewn onto the garment, tagless items feature a tag that has been ironed onto the garment itself. This reduces rubbing and chafing.

tanga

A panty that fits somewhere between a bikini and a thong. A tanga has narrower back coverage than a traditional panty, but is not as narrow as a thong.

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.

tencel

A man made fabric made from the natural cellulose found in wood pulp, which is processed into a silk-like, delicate fabric. Tencel is smooth and stretchy with a nice luster, making it an ideal fabric for a variety of uses.

terry cushioning

Knitting all or part of a sock with a secondary terry loop for extra cushioning.

thermal

Clothing, typically undergarments, made from 2-ply fabric designed to prevent the release of body heat.

thigh highs

Stockings that just reach the thigh and are held up by elastic bands.

thin elastic waistband

A thin piece of raw elastic that’s sewn into the inner portion of a garment to give it a stretchy quality, providing a secure fit.

thong

A thong has a waistband with a piece of fabric (as opposed to a string) that goes between the buttocks and is attached to the back, offering slightly more coverage than a g-string.

tights

A heavy, opaque one-piece garment from hip to toe worn with leotards for dance, exercise, and fashion. It is usually made with 40 denier yarn and over and is sometimes made of yarn other than nylon.

torsolette

A type of shapewear, a torsolette has a lace-up or hook and eye closure, with 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."

transforming (shapewear)

These garments really trim the fat, sometimes even slimming you down a whole size. Heavy duty fabrics apply compression to the areas you need it most, re-sculpting them to appear flatter. Best worn when you only plan on stunning for a few hours at a time.

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 bra with triangular-shaped cups that are attached to a thin bra base, gathered together like a drawstring. Triangle bras offer the perfect amount of coverage and support for petite to average figures. They may be padded or lined but are generally wireless.

trouser (women's sock)

Casual socks made for women that generally reach to the upper calf or just below the knee.

tummy shaper

A shapewear option for slimming the stomach, often designed as a control panty or tank with compression.

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U

ultra 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.

underwear

Undergarments worn under clothes, next to the skin (at Freshpair, we’re all about it).

underwire

A sewn-in molded wiring that runs beneath the breast in the bra cups. Underwires help to lift and separate the bustline for enhanced shape and support. While the original underwires were made from wire, they are now made from both metal and plastic.

unlined (bra cup)

A molded bra cup with nothing in it but the fabric from which it is made.

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V

velour

Soft plush fabric with a close, dense pile.

viscose

A man-made knit fabric made from natural cellulose fiber that can be obtained from wood, modal, and bamboo, to name a few. A form of rayon, viscose is soft, absorbs moisture well, and has an attractive luster, making it an ideal fabric for a variety of uses.

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W

waffle weave (texture)

Fabric sewn into a square pattern with raised edges.

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.

welt cuff

A welt cuff top is a double layer of knit fabric at the top of the leg. A conventional cuff is knit with single layer of fabric from the top down. You can see where the knitting of the conventional cuff starts since there is a short tail of yarn.

wide-away

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

wings (aka back wings)

The side panels on a bra that attach the cups to the rear closure and wrap underneath the arms and across the back ribs.

wireless (bra)

A term used to describe a bra with cups that do not contain underwires. Most wireless bras feature an elastic platform on which the bra is made that provides similar support and separation, with a more flexible fit.

women's brief

A traditional women's underwear style. Briefs provide full coverage to the hips and buttocks and fall at or just below the navel.

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X

xilinous

Similar or pertaining to cotton.

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Y

y-back bra

Y-back style prevents strap slippage and feels extra supportive and is similar to racerback styles.

yoga pants

Yoga pants are lightweight and flexible designed for yoga practice or lounging.

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Z

zaftig

Pertaining to a full or rounded figure.

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