Undergarments – A Glossary of 20 important terms

Are you someone who thinks what lies beneath doesn’t matter? 

For the rest of those who think differently, here is a list of what you should definitely have in your ‘drawers’.

A List of Undergarments

Athletic underwear

This is moisture-wicking underwear specially meant as sports underwear.


This is a close fitting hip length clothing worn on the bodice. It is shaped like a corset, but without the rigidity provided by the metal boning in corsets. The basque also has a lower back fastened with hooks and eye. It can act as a shape wear inside garments.  A longer basque coming over the hips is called a torsolette.


A bloomer is a gathered waist loose shorts, gathered at the knees as well.

Body tights

A one piece clothing made of stretchy fabric covering the body, legs and sometimes arms.


A one piece clothing made of stretchy fabric covering the torso and sometimes arms.


Brassier or its shortened version Bra is a woman’s undergarment that covers and supports the breasts


This is a strapless bra, more a corset with garter belt attached to it.


A sleeveless undergarment with narrow shoulder straps that ends at the waist. It is usually made of stretchy fabric and is worn under thin tops.


A tight fitting undergarment meant to give shape to the upper part of the body. It is fastened by lacing and stiffened with rigid metal boning. A corset may be molded to the shape of the body or made to shape the body to another more compressed shape. Know more about the 16 different types of corsets here


This is a short sleeveless undergarment with thin straps worn under dresses. Slip is an alternate name for the camisoles. A half slip hangs from the waist.

Garter belt

This is a narrow band (of fabric-encased elastic) worn at the top of leg to hold up the stockings. It prevents the stockings from slipping down. Another name is suspender belt; It usually has clips for holding up stockings.


This is a tight fitting pants made of opaque stretchy material covering the lower part of the body from waist to the ankle. 


This is originally a loose skirt worn under skirts and dresses starting from the waist. In vintage dressing voluminous petticoats are worn under gowns to give them a puffy silhouette.


These are slimming underwear – commonly used names are Waist shapers, tummy shapers


Socks is a clothing worn under the shoe, to protect the feet. It stops at any distance between mid thigh to ankle. Learn more about 40 different types of socks here.


This is a kind of socks made of thin stretchy fabric which ends mid thigh and features a band (garter) at the  top holding it in place.


This is a combination of camisole and panty like a bodysuit but a teddy is made of lace.


This is a tight semi-transparent undergarment made of thin stretchy nylon fabric molding the lower part of the body – It covers the body from the waist to the feet. It is a combination of panties and stockings. It is worn to give the appearance of flawless shape / contours to the legs and worn under dresses and skirts. 


An undergarment (vest) worn under shirts (by men)


These include clothes worn under other clothes, next to the skin on the lower part of the body; includes Knickers and Panties. Learn more about the 40 different types of underwear here.

Related posts : Variety of clothes names

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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