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15 Different Types of Lingerie

A group of five women wearing lingerie.

Lingerie is also called “unmentionables” because these items are meant to be worn under clothing or in intimate situations. Lingerie is an entire department in the store and the choices and options seem to be just about endless. Narrow down your lingerie choices by different types to start getting a better idea of the lingerie you need to have and might want to wear. With the right lingerie, you’ll have the right look no matter what else you’re wearing…or not wearing.

Looking at Lingerie Types

There are a lot of lingerie options out there that go way beyond the basics. Do you want to feel sexy? Do you need something to slip on underneath a dress? Are you wearing a super revealing blouse? There’s lingerie for all that. Knowing more about the types of lingerie available to you will help you pick the exact right pieces every single time.

Woman wearing a pair of pink lingie while eating cotton candy.

Your basic bra and panties are the most common type of lingerie. This is the lingerie that most women wear every day. Whether you choose a bra that’s push-up, front-hook, lacy, or made with cotton, most women own at least one bra. You can pair it with whatever type of underwear suits your style best, from skimpy thongs to boy shorts.

A woman wearing a lace bralette with her jeans.

A bralette is a bra that has no structural elements whatsoever. There is no underwire and no padding. Bralettes can be worn under low-cut or revealing dresses and blouses, though they’re often worn with nightgowns and other lingerie. Bralettes commonly have lacy, see-through, or otherwise revealing designs. Some bralettes may have almost no structure whatsoever, fitting around the body more like a tube top.

A woman wearing a bright pink sports bra post workout.

Sports bras are made to provide support for the breasts when you’re going to be doing a lot of movement and engaging in activity. Sports bras are made in one-piece designs that provide complete coverage for the bustline.

A woman wearing a sexy black bodysuit.

A bodysuit is perfect for seduction or for a base layer under your clothing. This is a one-piece garment that’s also called a teddy, which is cut like a one-piece bathing suit. It is legless and sleeveless, designed to cover the trunk of your body. Bodysuits may be made with spandex for stretch, satin, silk, nylon, or natural materials. Sometimes, bodysuits are trimmed in lace and other decorations.

This is a close look at a woman wearing a lace garter belt.

Garter belts are designed to hold thigh-high nylons and stockings in place. A garter belt may fit right around the thigh and hold nylons in place with elastic or with small clips that attach to the top of the nylons. Alternatively, garter belts may also fit around the waist and dangle down to attach to the tops of stockings.

This is a close look at a woman wearing a red bustier with her white jeans.

Bustiers are a lingerie classic. This is a top piece that supports and often pushes up the breasts and covers most of the rest of the torso, ending around the belly button area. Some bustiers may have garter belts attached. This is useful whether you’re wearing a bustier for seduction or underneath a dress.

A woman wearing comfortable camisoles while relaxing on the couch.

Camisoles, also called camis, are like slips for the upper body. A camisole is a short top with spaghetti straps that are worn underneath blouses when you’re wearing a blouse that may otherwise be too revealing. Camisoles are typically made in lightweight materials and may be trimmed in lace or ribbon.

A woman putting on a white lace chemise.

You may not know it by its proper name, but you’re probably already familiar with the chemise. This is a short slip dress made with adjustable straps that usually ends above the mid-thighs. This is the perfect thing to slip on under a short dress, but it may also be worn for sexiness. This is why some chemises come with matching underwear, or even matching underwear and a matching bra. Chemises are usually styled in babydoll designs.

A bride being assisted into her corset.

Corsets have been around for a long, long time. They fit around the lower breasts and the waist in lace-up designs that are used to cinch the waist and emphasize your curves. There’s a famous scene in “Gone With the Wind” where heroine Scarlett O’Hara is being laced into her corset. Corsets are structured to help give you support and make it easier to cinch you inside. Do not lace your corset too tightly or you can cause yourself pain.

A woman walking in the park wearing rompers.

Rompers can be worn as pajamas and even as outside clothing, depending on how they’re styled. However, you’ll also see this classic design in lingerie. Rompers are short one-piece items that have low cut, tank-style tops, and short shorts on the bottom. In lingeries versions, rompers are typically made with lightweight fabrics adorned with lace. Lingerie rompers are frequently made with mesh or tulle fabric, which is see-through.

A woman sporting a purple lace bodystocking.

Bodystockings are one of the most versatile types of lingerie because they’re available in so many different materials and styles. Basically, bodystockings are very lightweight coveralls. They have long legs and may be sleeved or sleeveless, even tank-style. Bodystockings are often made to be sheer and see-through and they’re stretchy because they’re made to fit close all over and really hug your curves. Bodystockings can be effective as underwear beneath clothing, but they’re more commonly worn for the sake of sexiness.

A woman sitting by the bathtub wearing black silk negligee.

A negligee is another classic lingerie choice. This is a very lightweight nightie or nightgown that is low-cut and often made with a sheer or silky material and lace trim. Negligees are made to fit only somewhat loosely, following the curves of your body, and may fall to any length, from mid-thigh to the floor. A negligee may also be called a babydoll because they are often styled this way, with structure just under the bustline but none around the waist.

A woman sporting a dark silk slip.

Everyone is familiar with the traditional slip. Usually made with satin or silk, a slip is a one-piece underitem that can be worn around the waist like a shirt or over the body as a spaghetti strap gown. Slips are made specifically to be worn under dresses and skirts that may not be lined and therefore, could be see-through in the right circumstances.

A woman wearing a skin-tone shapewear with her black bra.

Shapewear of all kinds is a type of lingerie because it’s meant to be worn under clothing to smooth out and slim the body. Shapewear is typically made with spandex for a stretchy, supportive fit. Shapewear is made in a huge variety of designs in order to give you shaping and support for specific areas of the body. You can get shapewear in designs that fit around the torso, designs that fit around the lower stomach, and designs that fit around the body down to the mid-thighs.

A woman putting on a stick-on bra with golden details.

Stick-on bras are made with no straps whatsoever. As the name suggests, these bras are made to stick right onto the skin to provide you with some support and some coverage under very revealing dresses and blouses. If you’re showing too much skin to wear any type of regular bra or lingerie, a stick-on bra is a perfect solution.

Lingerie Materials

Lingerie is made from all fabrics. Nylon, cotton, polyester, satin, and silk are all extremely common lingerie fabrics. Mesh and tulle fabrics are also seen frequently. Satin ribbon and lace are common trim elements. Lingerie may also have laces, metal hasps, and buttons that are used for adornment or as a means of securing the pieces to the body.

Choosing Lingerie for Your Body Type

So, yes. There are a lot of different types of lingerie out there and the choices can be pretty dazzling. Lingerie is made to look pretty and feel luxurious, so it’s easy to fall in love with all sorts of different designs. But if you want to really get the most out of your lingerie and love the way you look when you’re wearing it, choose a lingerie based on the body type that you have.

If you have a curvy hourglass shape with ample curves and a well-defined waist, look for teddies and corsets. This lingerie will show off your waist and your curves, helping you make the most out of your shape.

Are you more pear-shaped with hips that are wider than your bustline and your shoulders? Emphasize your bustline with a chemise or a bustier. This helps make the most of your upper proportions while de-emphasizing your lower area, which helps your figure look more balanced.

A look at various lingerie pieces.

A body that’s more rectangular in shape, with smaller curves and a less-defined waist, looks great in corsets that cinch the waist and emphasize those curves. Corsets will help give you a more classic hourglass shape. Bodysuits also look good on this body type because they fit close to the skin, allowing your curves to stand out on their own.

Have you got a more round or apple shape with a wide waist? A flowing chemise helps to de-emphasize the waist to make you look smaller.

If your shoulders and bustline are wide but your waist and hips are more narrow, you have an inverted triangle body type. Wear a teddy to help slim the shoulders and elongate the body to make the most out of your natural shape.

Wearing Lingerie

It never hurts to feel sexy and to feel good. Wear the right lingerie under your clothing, slip into something that suits your body shape when you want to feel seductive and sexy and play around with different lingerie looks and types. It’s always nice to wear something silky and lacy and soft and pretty, especially when you’re wearing something that’s perfectly suited to you. Start with the right lingerie and anything else you decide to wear is going to feel great and look even better.

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