This story was updated in January 2019.
When it comes to a 10/10 closet for women, what lies beneath is just as important as what you flaunt to the world. A closet full of couture is no good if you don’t have the right lingerie to give them the perfect fit and fall. As Dolce&Gabbana put it, “Lingerie is the maximum expression of a woman’s femininity”, and rightly so. Good lingerie can instantly uplift your mood and give you a confidence boost as no new dress can. Ask yourself, don’t you feel better about yourself, and life in general, on the days when you are wearing your favourite bra? Of course, you do!
So, we have rounded up not five, not 10, but 19 types of lingerie items that no woman should live without. From different types of bras to babydolls, here is everything you need to know about lingerie from what they are to when to wear them and why. It is time to give your drawer of intimates (and your lingerie vocab) an upgrade for a sexy feel in and out.
Types Of Lingerie
No, lingerie doesn’t refer to just your bras and panties. There is so much more to the term. Let’s find out.
A Lingerie Set
There is something about wearing a matching bra and panty set that makes you feel like you’ve got your life together. It really does! You could go for something in a fun print or girly colours, or opt for something romantic in soft satin or delicate lace, or a set that is outright daring and sexy. A matching set somehow makes you feel fashionable and poised. Take your pick…or better yet, buy at least one of each.
POPxo Recommends: Lace Bralette & Panties Set (Rs 450) by Clovia
Ah, bras! The one non-male thing in existence we have a love-hate relationship with. A bra is an undergarment worn by women to support the breasts, but they do more than just support. Believe it or not, bras do help in keeping your boobs perky, shapely, and stop them from sagging. All the bra myths that you have heard such as sleeping in a bra is bad for you is pure poppycock, and we have proof. Of course, you can only expect your bra to deliver such superhero qualities as long as you are wearing the right one for your size.
ATTENTION: One bra is not the solution to all kinds of activities and outfits. If there are different types of breasts, there are different types of bras. Your collection of bras needs to be well stocked to include all the essentials such as the T-shirt bra, the multiway bra, the backless bra, the strapless bra, the push-up bra, the sports bra, and much more. If you are in love with the shape of you, a big part of that reason are bras.
Plus, there are so many different types of bras with unique fabrics and styles. While we are all for prints, bright colours, and lace trimmings, make sure you own at least one black and one nude bra, seamless would be even better. They will always have your back (and front) when nothing else does.
Bookmark this bra guide to know all about bras and update your wardrobe with these lingerie essentials. We have one helluva exhaustive list with all types of bras for you. You are most welcome.
POPxo Recommends: Non-Wired Padded Bra (Rs 639) by Marks & Spencer
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Not just your brasiers, your underwear drawer ought to be well-kept as well, to account for any occasion or event. For example, cotton knickers for those days when you crave comfort, comfy coloured briefs for shark week, thongs for those who fancy them, seamless panties to keep those horrifying panty lines at bay, and a few silk and lace ones for you-know-when!
POPxo Recommends: Navy Blue Solid Bikini Briefs (Rs 595) by Wacoal
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Shapewear, as is suggestive, is tight-fitting underwear intended to shape, and accentuate your figure. No, it does not make you look slim but more shapely. It smoothes and tucks where you most need it. In fact, it is an excellent undergarment to hide that stubborn muffin top. Not that you need to but if it makes you feel more comfortable and empowered with yourself, then it is okay to rely on tummy tuckers once in a while for a carefree day throughout. They are an easy and comfortable option to wear. Especially underneath your bodycon dresses and low-rise bottoms, shapewear is non-negotiable. No more belly bulge!
There are different types of shapewear - body briefs, long leg shapewear, waist cincher, etc. for different purposes. Be sure to buy a good quality, practical one, preferably in black or nude.
POPxo Recommends: Pink Shaper Briefs (Rs 329) by Zivame
A Camisole And Tap Pants
A camisole is a loose-fitting undergarment or a lingerie tank top for the upper body, typically held up by spaghetti straps. You can’t always get away with wearing a sheer or semi-sheer top with just a nude bra. Hence, the need to have a selection of camisoles to choose from. Needless to say, black, white, and nude coloured camis are absolute must-haves.
Tap pants are a form of lingerie designed for women, also known as side-cut shorts or dance shorts, and are similar to boy shorts in appearance only fancier. As the name implies, they are a type of shorts, in that they cover the pelvic area and the upper part of the upper legs. Camisole and tap pants sets, especially the pretty printed ones, are such a hoot these days. You can wear them as easy-breezy nightwear or just to lounge around the house in on a lazy Sunday. They are so freeing and chic. Ditch your boxers and opt for tap pants for an ultra-feminine look.
POPxo Recommends: Cotton Camisole (Rs 209) by Jockey
A bralette is a type of bra that can double up as a top and is often worn for style and comfort. It does not have any wires or moulded cups. It has thin, delicate straps, the design is predominated by lace and lace inserts, and it provides a reasonable amount of support - ideal for women with a small to average build. A bralette can be thought of as that super cropped top that you can wear as it is, without a primary layer underneath. It has been the most popular fashion item to team with pantsuits among celebrities in 2018. Oh yes, it is fancier than you think!
POPxo Recommends: Lace Bralette with Adjustable Straps (Rs 1,124) by Marks & Spencer
Considered a medical necessity in the Victorian era, a bustier is a form-fitting intimate that pushes the bust up by tightening your midriff and thereby, forcing your breasts up. It also shapes the waist gently at the same time. You can choose from strapless, seamless, push-up, and underwired bustiers among others.
People often don’t understand the difference between a bustier and a corset. But more on that in the next section.
POPxo Recommends: Strappy Lace Bustier (Rs 4,021) by NEW!
Known for its slimming powers, the corset came into being around the 1550s when Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France during the time, banned ‘thick waists’ at court. Ever since then, the corset has been in vogue for the shapely look it lends an ensemble. It is a tightly fitting undergarment extending from below the chest to the hips, worn to shape the figure. What it does is cinch the waist and thereby emphasize the bust and hips, giving one a curvaceous figure.
|A bustier's focus area is the bust.||A corset’s focus area is the waist.|
|A bustier ‘boots’.||A corset ‘cinches’.|
|A bustier can be thought of like a fancy bra-meets-shapewear. That is, it comes with an inbuilt bra.||A corset, on the other hand, can be underbust as well as overbust. That is, it can be worn with a separate bra as well.|
|A bustier is typically shorter than a corset ending just above or right at the waistline.||A corset usually ends below the waist, either at the hips or lower, to create an hourglass shape.|
|A bustier is less confining to wear since they are made from flexible fabrics and elastic, stretchy panels.||A corset is traditionally stiffened made with steel boning, which is strong enough to take inches off your waistline.|
True that bustiers are more common and comfier than corsets but lately, women have started enjoying corsets more than ever. The trendy corset belt is proof!
POPxo Recommends: Crochet Lace Corset (Rs 7,466) by Victoria’s Secret
A Teddy/ Bodysuit
A teddy is an all-in-one undergarment and it is for this reason, often referred to as a bodysuit. A piece of lingerie that combines the functions of a camisole and panties, the teddy (also known as a cami-knicker), is swimsuit-style one-piece lingerie that covers the torso and crotch area. It works great if you want to get rid of panty lines or wear under short dresses. And a sexy one, we mean the lacey one, can be quite handy in the boudoir as well *wink wink*!
POPxo Recommends: Lace Body Shaper (Rs 2,249) by Marks & Spencer
A thong is a garment generally worn as either underwear or even as a swimsuit in some countries. It is super skimpy, with only a small strip of fabric covering just your crotch area while at the back the material is reduced to a bare minimum. When viewed from the front, thongs typically resemble a bikini bottom.
POPxo Recommends: 3-pack Lace String Briefs (Rs 699) by H&M
Did you know? A thong is a very popular bridal wear for the wedding night in the western culture owing to its high sex appeal.
Thongs are an excellent undergarment to get rid of visible panty lines after seamless panties and, of course, going commando. There are two types of thongs - the G-string and the C-string.
Very similar to thongs, G-string panties provide very less coverage. The front and the back fabric directly connects to the waistband which is nothing more than a tiny little string. You can say, it is the ‘string’ holding up the cloth.
If, like me, you are also wondering why is a G-string called a ‘G’ string, Quora has an explanation - The lowest string on a violin is the G-string, it is directly related to this. The lowest string on your body to cover the groin, ‘goods’ or ‘G-spot’, is a G-string. Hence, the name. Interesting, right? It is also called by some as a V-string because its shape looks like a ‘V’.
Extremely sexy and sensuous, C-string is the new age underwear and swimwear, which has been a bikini trend for some time now. The C-string style actually has no strings at all and covers just the bare minimum like a clamp around your area. I guess, it is called a C-string because it looks like a ‘C’. In my opinion, the C-string is the most challenging lingerie as I can’t tell how much support can these little ones offer. But hey, this will spice up your underwear collection with no string attached!
Garters are intimate clothing items that are essentially narrow bands of fabric fastened around your mid-thighs. They come in a set of two, one for each leg, and can be worn at the end of your stockings. They are usually connected with straps to hold the stockings in place and keep them from slipping.
POPxo Recommends: Lace Garter (Rs 395) by Hunkemoller
A Garter Belt
A garter belt is like a suspender belt of the lingerie world. It has an attached panty with clips on the lower end and can be added over almost any type of underwear. The whole scenario works something like this - You have your regular underwear underneath over which you wear the garter belt. The belt is then clipped to the stockings holding them the right side up. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
POPxo Recommends: Floral Lace Garter Belt (Rs 795) by Hunkemoller
Pantyhose are extremely thin and close-fitting legwear or nylon tights covering the wearer's body from the waist to the toes. They are ultra sheer and considered a convenient alternative to stockings since they have both the panty as well as the socks attached. With pantyhose, you can forget all about the garter and garter belts. They won’t move a millimeter from their place.
POPxo Recommends: Beige Sheer Pantyhose (Rs 384) by Pink Flamingo
Stockings are longer, sheer socks that are worn under mini skirts and mini dresses. Not as tight as pantyhose, they are close-fitting elastic garments covering the leg from the foot up to the knee or possibly part or all of the thighs. They come in many different colours, designs, patterns, and sheer levels, and are more of a fashion statement than lingerie item today especially during winters. Style them with tall boots and see how they stylishly transform your outfit.
POPxo Recommends: 20 Denier Nylon Stockings (Rs 399) by H&M
Nipple covers, as the name suggests, are small adhesive patches to cover your nipular area. They are also referred to as pasties and come in different sizes and shapes. They are usually disposable, one-time use intimates. Their coverage is strictly limited to the nipples and are worn with backless, super deep V-neck or front cut-out necklines to avoid a nip slip. No more refraining from cut-out dresses, ladies.
POPxo Recommends: Disposable Flower Shaped Nipples Covers 5pairs (Rs 202) by Shein
A Babydoll or Negligee
Want to knock the wind out of your partner? A classy yet utterly sexy babydoll is the way to go. It is a short, mostly sleeveless, loose-fitting dress or negligee, intended as nightwear for women. Sometimes, it comes with formed cups too in addition to the flowy attached skirt that falls till the upper thigh. If you don’t already own one, you need to get your hands on one now! Head to the link below without further ado and pick out one as sensual as this one right here that even Christian Grey would approve of!
POPxo Recommends: Strappy Babydoll with Lace Inset (Rs 1,599) by Sweet Dreams
A chemise is a short slip dress that is simple to (literally) slip into. Historically speaking, a chemise was a simple garment worn next to the skin to protect the clothing from sweat and body oils.
People often get confused between a babydoll and a chemise. But, the primary difference between the two lingerie dresses is that a chemise is slightly tighter around the hips while a babydoll is completely free falling. While a chemise can be worn under a dress as an underslip, a babydoll can be considered an intimate bedroom outfit in itself.
You should definitely have one in your wardrobe for yourself. It will make you feel super feminine and flirty.
POPxo Recommends: Underdress with Lace Panels (Rs 1,995) by Hunkemoller
You have your camisole and tap pants set, right? A romper is basically the two joined into one. In other words, a one-piece with short-shorts attached, consider it a lingerie version of a playsuit. They tend to have a playful vibe and are typically made of cotton or other comfy materials making them cosy enough to lounge around sall day. To amp up the sex appeal, opt for one in other materials such as see-through mesh, tulle, soft satin or elegant lace.
POPxo Recommends: Frill Trim V-Plunge Romper (Rs 630) by Shein
There is something about slipping into a stylish silk or satin robe, say while you are doing your hair and makeup before a night out, that can instantly make any woman feel like a diva starring in her very own glamorous movie. A robe is a long, loose-fitting outer garment with the length ranging from the mid-thigh to the ankle. It comes with an attached fabric belt to tie-up in the front. Oh, and let us not forget that robes are equally good to lounge in or carry on vacations too. Are you thinking resort wear too? Bang on! Throw on this pretty robe on your camisole and tap pants set and wander around the house in comfy chic style.
POPxo Recommends: Red Lace Inserts Robe (Rs 1,145) by Dorothy Perkins
What are you waiting for? Stock up on these everyday essentials already!
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