Cutting through the Lingerie Confusion (7 Definitions of basic Lingerie)

What is the difference between a corset and a bustier.. A chemise and a baby doll.. Stockings or thigh highs? 

 I receive a lot of emails asking similar questions. Not to worry , below you will find a list of definitions to all your basic lingerie pieces. Hopefully this will help to cut through some of the confusion. Be on the look out for future articles about which lingerie pieces work best for your body type.

Lets dive right in:

Corset:Sheer Fetish Steampunk corset with shoulder lapels, clasps down the front, steel boning and lacing down the back.

     A corset is a form fitting undergarment, usually extending from below the chest to the hips, worn to shape the figure. It may be worn by men or women. It usually has lacing up the back for cinching  and some sort of boning to hold the desired shape. 

While the true definition states below the chest, there are many types of corsets. Over Bust, Under Bust, Waspie or waist cincher, Longline. ( We will get into to these more in depth later.) 

Bustier:Sheer Fetish, Be Wicked Brand  Black, Bustier with beautiful lace details in the sides and bossom

      A Bustier is similar to a corset in the sense that it is also a form fitting garment. However, its main purpose is not to help shape the body. ( i.e. decreasing the natural waist size). It is simply to showcase what curves are already there. The other main difference between the two is that normally a bustier has form fitting cups to hold the breasts. While traditional corsets do not. Usually a bustier has hooks and eyes for closures. Corsets are laced up the back in order to help with body shaping. 

Chemise:Sheer Fetish Be Wicked Brand Navy Blue Chemise with suspenders, retro

     A chemise is a straight garment from the shoulders to the hips to give a uniform shape. Most definitions will state that it is also a loose fitting garment. Also known as a slip, the original purpose of this garment was to protect clothing from sweat and odors. The chemise (or slip) has come a long way. Translated from french, it literally means shirt, which was the basic original design. In modern times, it can be loose fitting or form fitting. Most often made from delicate or silky materials. Some even are accompanied with garters to hold up stockings. Definitely not your grandmother's slip!

Baby Doll:Sheer Fetish Be wicked brand classic baby doll lingerie. Black satin flounced bottom hem and empire waist purple lace top

     I often get asked what the difference between a baby doll and a chemise is? Quite simply it is the hem line. A chemise or slip can be any length, while a baby doll usually ends around the upper thigh. The other main difference is that while a chemise can have cups for support a baby doll is empire waisted to enhance the breasts. They usually come with matching knickers or shorts. I personally find them to be quite comfortable and flattering on any body type. Therefore, it is definitely a must have in your lingerie wardrobe!

Teddy:Sheer Fetish, Be Wicked brand black fishnet teddy lingerie. Featuring low cut V style bust line with ribbon accents around the breasts

     a teddy is  a form fitting all in one undergarment. It can come in many styles from crotch less to full coverage. Some come with extra cup support and garters for stockings. There are an endless array of styles and colors to choose from. Its a great undergarment for feeling a little sexy.

Garter Belt or Suspenders:Sheer Fetish red and black sexy garter belt for women. Featuring a red celtic knotwork design on a black background

     According to the Cambridge English Dictionary it is" a piece of women's undergarment worn around the waist with suspenders attached for holding up stockings." They come in many pretty colors and styles. Can be worn around the waist or the hips.They are mad of silk, lace, cotton, satin, leather, almost anything you can think of! Before the invention of pantyhose these were a standard in every woman's wardrobe. I personally believe they still should be! There is nothing that makes you feel more confident and sexy than wearing a classic garter belt and stockings. Even under a pair of jeans!

Hosiery:Sheer Fetish, Ballerina brand luxury hosiery. Featuring black hold ups with a sexy red suspender image printed on the hosiery! Very seductive.

      Oh how we love our hosiery! This is definitely a staple in every women's lingerie wardrobe! It comes in any style, color, and pattern you can imagine and some you can't! Not to mention the types of hosiery. There are stockings (which come up to the thigh, but can only be held up with suspenders.) Hold Ups or Thigh highs ( similar to stockings, but as the name suggests will hold up on their own.), Knee Highs (ends at the knee!),  Nylons or Tights. (also sometimes called pantyhose.) And last but not least, Body Stockings    ( it covers most or all of your body...very comfortable and sexy to wear under your clothing!)


     Please keep in mind that this only covers the basics of lingerie. The possibilities are endless as there are so many variations on each definition. (i.e. style, cut, fabric, personal taste and comfort level) 


     Find what suits you best. Most importantly, have fun discovering what helps to bring out your confidence!

As always, If I have missed anything or you have any other questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at anytime at . I answer all emails within 48 hours!


Tara Schafer 


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