With so many different types of undergarments and lingerie available, it is no wonder that even the most fashion-inclined are unsure what is what. Some pieces of lingerie are so similar that just a few minor adjustments change its classification. Either way, you can spice up your wardrobe, your confidence and your romance by adding in a few new pieces.



The chemise is a classical choice of nightwear for women who want to feel sexy before bed. It is comparable to both a shirt and dress, though it is much shorter than something you might leave the house in. Chemises hang down to the waist loosely, though a bit tighter than most baby dolls. They are typically decorated with frills and lace and often called shifts or smocks.

Baby Dolls

A baby doll is a short nightgown, also known as a negligee. These pieces of lingerie are typically short and may come with panties to be worn underneath. Length ranges from hips to the top of the knee. They are often loose fighting, much more so than a chemise, with thin straps. It is common for some baby doll nighties to come with cups to support the bust, and they are often decorated with ruffles, ribbons and lace. While the top might be form-fitting, the skirt usually flows.



A camisole is considered a very light tank top, usually with spaghetti straps. It is short, occasionally exposing the midriff and often made of cotton, satin or nylon. Some camisoles are sold with matching panties. Camisoles are versatile, as they can be worn as undershirts or as pyjamas. Some camis even have built-in bras.


A teddy is a piece of lingerie that looks like a bathing suit. It is form-fitting with small straps. It is comparable to a body suit, usually made of sheer material. Some women wear teddies underneath their clothing to avoid a panty line. Some teddies have cut outs along the chest or back for a sexy look.



A bustier is typically a very tight top that fastens in the back and emphasizes the bust. It usually pushes the breasts up and may reveal part of the midriff. Some women wear a bustier instead of a bra when they wear a dress with a lower back. Some bustiers reach down to the waist and include garter belts to help hold up stockings.


While corsets are often associated with historical garments, they still have quite a following. Corsets are bodices that fit very tightly around the torso, much tighter than a bustier. They usually have several laces or hooks going down the back and require extensive effort to wear. They shape the torso into an hourglass shape, often with long lasting results.

Pasties & Tassles

Pasties are decorated patches that women can wear over their nipples with the help of adhesive tape. Tassles, which include dangling fringe, may be worn on pasties. While they are often seen in burlesque shows, these accessories are also common for women who would like to avoid a wardrobe malfunction in sheer clothing.


Boy Shorts

Boy shorts are panties that resemble boxers that men wear. In contrast to these boxers, however, they are tight and may include fake buttons. The top is also low cut, though the underwear covers most of the bottom. They usually have a bit of lace or a cute pattern to distinguish them from their masculine counterparts. Many women prefer this style because it does not create a panty line and it is a comfortable alternative to thongs.



Hosiery encompasses a wide range of leg wear, including knee high socks, panty hose, leggings, tights and thigh highs. These pieces of clothing fit tightly and usually provide sheer covering for cold weather. Garters typically contain elastic and wrap around the leg to keep socks and stockings held up. Some women choose to wear garter belts, which are worn around the waist and use straps to hold up stockings.


A G-string and a thong are very similar, with a narrow strip of cloth covering the bottom. While a G-string includes a very small strip, the thong offers a bit more coverage. In addition to working as panties, there are also G-string bikinis.