From fit to fashion the world of lingerie has grown to rely on its own special list of terms. Sometimes fancy, mostly technical, but always slightly confusing. As a lingerie lover or maybe simply, a woman in need of some basics - these terms can be a bit intimidating and make an already confusing process worse. We want to help!
In this post we will explain some terms that we think you may run into often (some you may know, some you may not) - for an in-depth glossary of terms check out the Herroom Lingerie Glossary.
Lingerie Terms -
1. Balconette/Demi-Cup - These two terms are often used synonymously and refer to a style of bra that are designed to give breasts an upward boost and look as though they are corseted. Designed to put the focus on the upper part of the breast, the cups are cut away on top and are usually wider-set. Fun fact - The name balconette was derived from the term balcony, wherein men would sit looking down upon women (and their chests) - as the balconette bra could not be seen from above. A fittingly risqué origin, no?
2. Contour/ T-shirt Bra - This style bra is defined by cups that hold their shape, even when not on the body. Often seamless, molded, and shaped with foam, this style is designed to hide nipples and offer more control/coverage. It is a great style for those who are in-between sizes or have uneven breasts.
3. Convertible - Not the summer friendly car, though we love those too! In lingerie Convertible refers to a bra style that has straps that can be worn in multiple ways. This usually includes conventional, halter, one shoulder, criss-crossed, and sometimes strapless. Often times convertible straps are designed slightly longer to allow for this versatility, so keep that in mind and be doubly sure to adjust the straps on these styles!
4. Plunge - Inherently sexy, this style bra is designed with a very low center, to enhance cleavage. With angled cups and a thin center gore, these styles push your breast together, rather than up and are often not as heavily padded.
5. Push-up - A favorite among the lingerie world, the push-up style features padding along the bottom portion of the cup to help lift your breasts to give the illusion of a larger cup size. If the bra features padding that is removable it’s called a ‘cookie’. Fun Fact - TLBC product tips include a padding scale to give you a clearer idea on how much of a push-up each style will give you!
6. Boning - No, not the slightly dirty frat boy term (but if you giggled we get it). In lingerie boning refers to a steel or plastic piece that is incorporated into the vertical seam of a bra to give the style more support, structure, and body. Fun (slightly disturbing) Fact - This term came into play because actual bones were originally used in undergarments to give them support. Ew with a double side of yuck!
7. Center Gore - Also known a Center Panel, this is the piece of fabric at the center of your bra, connecting the two cups. Its size helps determine the bra’s support level. A more supportive style will have a gore that rise’s higher and is thicker. While a less supportive style will tend to have a lower and thinner center gore.
8. Cut and Sew - Referring pretty simply to the manufacturing technique used to produce this style, Cut and Sew bras consist of cups with multiple parts sewn together. Since these cups have seams, they usually feature a lace overlay. Cut and Sew bras are also often used when producing demi cup styles.
9. Molded - Similar to the aforementioned, contour bra, molded bras have cups that are machine molded from a single piece of fabric, into a shape that best mirrors the natural breast shape. Usually unlined, and either wireless or underwire - they are used to create a smooth silhouette.
The Little Bra Company