Lingerie: we all know her, we all love her…
Or do we?
What’s What in lingerie & Their History
If you have boobies, you know about bras. But did you know there is a huge range of different bras you can adorn your tatas in? There are literally so many & I cant wait to share about them!!
The history of bras is a cool one as its real-time testament to the evolving role of women in society & changing fashion trends. Originating in ancient Greece, women used to use simple bandeau-like garments to support their breasts.
Bras in some of their earliest variation go back to ancient civilizations when women wore “breastbands” or simple cloth strips to bind their breasts for support. The late 19th century saw the emergence of early bra prototypes then called “bust supporters” or “bust improvers.”
Then, in 1889, Miss Herminie Cadolle, a French corset-maker, created the first modern bra by separating the corset into two distinct garments.
The Renaissance period marked the rise of the corset, which was designed more for body shaping than comfort. In the late 19th century, health concerns over corsets’ restrictiveness led to the invention of the modern bra by Mary Phelps Jacob (yaaay for female inventors, ammiright?!)
The 20th century saw various bra designs emerge, reflecting the fluctuating beauty standards & of course the women’s liberation movement. Today, bras are very diverse with many functions & are not just functional but double as symbols of femininity & empowerment, with designs catering to diverse body types & needs.
The Balconette Bra
The Balconette Bra is your classic, run-of-the-mill bra whose wide-set straps & a lower-cut cup, create that flattering neckline lift you know and love. Balconette bras come in a wide varitety and can come molded aka padded or unmolded depending on your preference.
The Push up Bra
The Push-up Bra includes padded cups that push the girls upwards & close together, creating a more voluptuous look that can be SO fun to play with.
The T-Shirt Bra
The T-shirt Bra is a gorgeous choice when you are wearing something tight & don’t want to show off your bra thanks to the padding that cover up nipples perfectly
The Wireless Bra
Say goodbye to poking wires! The wireless bra offers comfort & freedom, perfect for women who value coziness over super intense structure.
The Strapless Bra
Innovation at its finest, ladies. Have strapless dress = wear a strapless! These no-strap wonder stays up through some kind of fashion sorcery (jk, the majority of strapless bras stay up from a mix of a firm, wide band and silicone strips inside the bra band that stick to the skin!)
The Sports Bra
The sports bra is your most coveted workout buddy! They may as well be personal trainers for your chest, as they keep everything in order while you jump, run, and stretch. The muscles in your chest may be toned, but breast lack muscles, so they are susceptible to damage due to their delicate tissues. A sports bra provides support, safeguarding against sagging and injury during intense physical activities. They come in different support options, from low-high support depending on what activity you are doing.
The Front Close Bra
No more back-breaking twists! Front close bras snap in the front, making them a breeze to put on… and take off 😉
The Racerback Bra
A racerback bra is a bra in which the straps crisscross to form an “X” shape on the back. Racerback bras provide exceptional support, especially beneficial for women with larger busts, due to their design, creating an additional lift. This, along with a supportive band, cups, and side wings, makes them ideal for full-figured women. They also offer comfort by evenly distributing weight across the back, reducing pressure on the shoulders & neck. These bras are designed to prevent strap slippage & are well-suited for racerback or sleeveless outfits, eliminating the worry of visible bra straps!
The Plunge Bra
How low can you go?!
Plunge bras are perfect for low-cut tops, offering support without playing peek-a-boo with your outfit. Plunge bras are designed to create a flattering V shape, enhancing your cleavage – a definite plus! Their angled cups & lower center front allow them to remain invisible under low-cut dresses and tops and as the wire sit low in the front, they are a comfortable choice for those who find higher wires bothersome or irritating. With a variety of plunge bra types available, they accommodate a wide range of body shapes.
The Adhesive Bra
Totally untraditional & totally magic. These sticky bits are great for providing support without straps or bands, perfect for those daring backless dresses.
THE LONGLINE BRA
The name really give it away! Longline bras extends to the waist or hips. They come in various styles including strapless, wired, wireless, & padded, they’re ideal for special event lingerie or when wearing under strapless dresses, providing better support than standard strapless bras for extended wear. Unlike regular bras, longline bras require measurements for the waist & hips in addition to the cup and bust size.
No offence, but if you havent tried a bralette….what are you doing?! These are like the laid back cool younger sister of bras, offering minimal support but maximum comfort. They are perfect for hanging out but dont use them for working out!
Panties, Undies, Underwear, undergarments
…whatever you call them, we all know panties! Yes, panties are hugely functional, but they can also be FUN!
From the modest loincloths of ancient civilizations to the lavish over the top bloomers of the Victorian era, the evolution of women’s underwear has been a *cheeky* journey.
In the past, underwear was wayyyy less about fashion & more about practicality. This meant they were almost always super bulky & restrictive. But, come those roaring 1920s, looser, more comfortable styles of undergarments were embraced. Then came the 1950s, with high-waisted, figure-hugging designs that mirrored the decade’s glamorous fashion. The liberating 1960s & ’70s saw the rise of the bikini brief, reflecting the era’s free-spirited ethos. Today, women’s panties come in an array of styles, from the practical to the seductive, each with its own story.
Briefs, which offer full front & rear coverage with a high waistband are perfect for everyday wear, especially for those who prefer more coverage & support.
Bikini panties have a lower rise &narrower sides compared to briefs, & are also great for every day. I’ll be honest, I dont get where the name came from. I did do some digging but to no avail….anyone know?!
Is anyone else a fan of boyshorts?! Closely resembling boxer briefs, they are a great modern but modest choice.
Thongs have a narrow back panel with just a bit of rear coverage & thin waistband, making your booty stand out.
Let’s get a little more cheeky! Want even more attention on that ass? G-strings will do that! They have a thin waistband & a narrow strip of fabric in the back, creating a minimalistic, super sexy look.
High cut Panties
High-cut panties are a playful & extremely flattering choice. With their higher leg openings, they promise to elongate your legs beautifully. Perfect for those who want to combine comfort with a hint of s-ass! 😉
High waisted panties
High waist panties feature a waistband that sits about an inch above the midsection, providing a comfortable fit without digging into the belly. The leg openings are designed lower, around the juncture of the thigh and hips, offering a flattering outline. These panties are particularly comfortable & ideal for covering areas like c-section scars and they enhance & accentuate your curves by sitting above the navel, helping to emphasize the waist & hips.
Crotchless panties will turn up the heat! You can usually find these hiding out in sex shops in the lingerie section! Many women crotchless lingerie to be surprisingly comfortable. This comes from two aspects: firstly, there’s reduced risk of irritation since there’s no fabric chafing against sensitive areas, & secondly, it offers better breathability. It’s basically like going commando while still wearing underwear. But that is not all! From a visual perspective, they’re undeniably striking, a bold & daring choice that reveals everything, leaving nothing to the imagination. You can find so many cutes ones too, with delightful design options like a bow on the butt! Cheeky!
There are MANY types of panties out there for your different preferences. There is 100% something out there for your comfort & style.
Garters, garters, garters. These little numbers have had a *moment* in the wedding industry for decades but there is more to them!
The garter was originally made as a practical accessory designed to hold up stockings, in the late Middle Ages. In modern times, they’ve evolved with a range of designs allowing women to express their style.
The most common type is the traditional garter belt, which consists of an elastic band worn around the waist with attached garter straps that hold up stockings.
There are also garter panties, which combine the sensuousness of lingerie with the practicality of garters to hold up stockings, & thigh garters, which can be worn as standalone accessories to add a hint of sensuality to any outfit.
Okay, stockings are another one with a long history, dating back centuries to ancient civilizations. Then, they were made from materials such as silk, wool, or cotton & were typically thigh-high in length mostly designed to keep legs warm.
Some stockings need a garter belt which offers a blend of function & elegance. The garter belt, typically worn around the waist or hips, features suspender straps that gracefully extend downwards. These straps clip onto the reinforced bands of the stockings, securely holding them in place.
But some have the garter built in! Stockings with a built-in garter present a modern twist on classic hosiery elegance, creating a seamless & cohesive look.
These are your classic, timeless, lightweight stockings, often made from nylon or silk. They offer a little hint of color & smoothness to the legs without being overly thick or opaque.
Fishnet stockings, with open, diamond-shaped patterns scream SASS! I love ’em.
These feature a line running up the back of the leg, offering a vintage & elegant look reminiscent of the 1940s & 1950s Hollywood glamour.
Thigh-Highs (Stay-Ups) stockings
These are stockings that extend up to the thigh & are held in place by elastic bands or silicone grippers, eliminating the need for garters. Hot, hot, hot.
Lace top stockings
With a pop of lace, these stockings are both elegant & sensual – perfect for a boudoir shoot.
Stockings with built-in belts, also known as hold-up stockings, support a garter belt. These stockings feature an elasticized band at the top that grips the thigh, eliminating the need for additional garters or belts.
There are also funky patterned stockings that feature various designs, such as floral, lace, or back-seam details, allowing wearers to express their unique style!
How are Stockings Different From Tights?
The main difference is coverage. Stockings cover the legs from the feet up to the thigh, ending there. They sometimes have garters to hold them up. Tights, on the other hand, extend all the way up to the waist, covering the lower half of the body entirely, making them more like a skin-tight pant.
The bustier is an old-school classic!
Early versions of the bustier were often made from stiff materials such as whalebone or metal for a cinched waist & accentuated bosom. In the 19th century, bustiers boomed. Fast forward to today & chicks are wearing these here there & everywhere with skirts or pants, adorned with lace, embroidery, or satin.
- Longline Bustier
- Bridal Bustier
- Bustier Top
- Bustier Bra
- Bustier Bodysuit
- Strapless Bustier
What Is the Difference Between Corsets & Bustiers?
Corsets & bustiers are commonly confused, so don’t worry if you’ve wondered this!
A corset is primarily designed for waist reduction & shaping the torso into a specific silhouette, typically the classic hourglass shape. It’s constructed with rigid boning, made of steel or plastic, & features a lacing system, usually at the back, allowing for tight cinching. The fabric used is robust, meant to withstand tension & sculpt the body.
When it comes to bustiers, they’re more focused on providing a lift & support to the bust area, kinda like a push-up bra! It’s wayyyy less restrictive than a corset & is usually made with lighter boning & more flexible materials.
Whatever you life more, both are going to accentuate that waist & bust!
Bodysuits are it, baby!
The bodysuit is a versatile & form-fitting one-piece garment, with roots in dance & athletic wear. It gained prominence in the early 20th century as a practical attire choice for dancers & gymnasts desiring movement & coverage.
In the 1950s, the bodysuit carved its way into mainstream fashion. This was partly due to its sleek & streamlined appearance, which was well-suited for the fashion trends of the time, as it paired with high-waisted skirts or pants, creating a clean & polished look.
By the 1980s, there was a surge in bodysuit popularity, with various styles featuring bold patterns, shoulder pads, & thong-style bottoms.
When you shop for bodysuits, you can now find casual, everyday bodysuits to jaw-dropping glamorous evening attire, as the bodysuit continues to evolve & adapt.
Here are the most popular:
- Turtleneck Bodysuit
- Off-the-Shoulder Bodysuit
- Plunging Neckline Bodysuit
- Thonged Bodysuit
- Lace Bodysuit
- Long Sleeve Bodysuit
- Bodysuit with Cutouts
Not to be confused with the cute toy, the Teddy is a sensual lingerie piece, that dates back to the 20th century. Early variations of them combined silk or satin fabric with lace detailing, & they were designed to be both practical & seductive.
Teddies come in various styles, each offering a unique look & level of coverage:
- Classic Teddy: A one-piece garment that combines a bodysuit with lingerie elements, such as lace, satin, or sheer materials.
- Teddy Chemise: Like a classic teddy but often a looser fit.
- Lace Teddy
- Sheer Teddy
- Crotchless Teddy
What Is the Difference Between Bodysuits & teddies?
A teddy is very much lingerie, designed with *that* in mind. You won’t see many chicks flaunting a teddy in public like they may a body suit. (But, hey, I am not judging!)
Teddies often have beautiful luxurious fabrics like lace or silk & may include playful details such as cut-outs, sheer panels, or intricate embroidery.
A bodysuit is a much more versatile piece, playing for both underwear & outerwear. Bodysuits typically have a simpler, more streamlined design, ranging from comfortable cotton to sleek, form-fitting materials. They often include practical elements like snap closures at the crotch for ease of wear.
The baby doll is ADORABLE!!
Babydolls are charming yet flirtatious & were first introduced in the 1950s. By the 1970s, the babydoll was designed using silk, satin, lace, & sexy sheer materials, adding a touch of sensuality to its innocent & playful design. I love the flowy design & the flattering way it drapes over the body.
Shape wear is totally in the lingerie world!
Shape wear is designed to streamline the body, offering a more polished silhouette. Shapewear’s fun cause it comes in my types including high-waisted panties, bodysuits, thigh slimmers, & waist cinchers. Majority of shape wear you’ll come across is made from stretchable, compressive materials such as spandex, nylon, or microfiber. Modern shapewear often features seamless designs, breathable fabrics, & targeted compression zones, ensuring both effectiveness & good amount of comfort!
FAQ for the girls
I’m a girl’s girl…what can I say? Here are all those questions you may have been wondering but too shy to ask.
How often should lingerie be replaced?
Bras usually need replacing every 6-12 months, depending on wear & care. Panties & other delicate pieces should be replaced when they start to lose elasticity or show wear & tear. You should avoid wearing the same bra 2 days in a row, to give the elastic time to recover & help the garment last longer.
What’s the best way to care for lingerie?
Ladies, hand washing can be your best friend when it comes to lingerie. Delicate lingerie should be hand-washed in cold water using a mild detergent. For machine washable items, toss ’em in lingerie bag & click “delicate” cycle. Always air dry to maintain the shape & fabric integrity!
How do I choose the right style of lingerie for my body type?
Go forth & try it all, my dear. Choose whatever makes you feel comfortable & confident! Oh, and get fitted for your bra by a professional! Its usually free at most places & then you can finally place your girlies in the right cup!
How do I know if a bra fits correctly?
Glad you asked. A well-fitting bra should have a snug band, cups that fully contain the breasts without spillover, comfortable straps that don’t dig in, and a center gore that lies flat against the chest.
What’s the difference between seamless & seamed lingerie?
Seamless lingerie is made without visible seams, offering a smooth look under tight-fitting clothing. Seamed lingerie, on the other hand, has visible seams & can provide more support and/or shaping.
Voila! Class is dismissed 😉
How fun was that class? Seriously, though, how else would we learn these details?! So, be sure to share this guide if you found it helpful with all the lingerie-wearing friends & family in your life.
I also have a ton of suggestions for where you can get your paws on beautiful lingerie yourself:
- 10 + Black & People of Color Owned Lingerie Brands You Need to Know About
- Ethical Lingerie Guide
- Sexy & Self Assured: The Best Colorado Lingerie Stores for your Boudoir Photography Session
Time to grab your fave lingerie & showcase it in your very own boudoir shoot! Sign up today.