Guide to Types of Lingerie With Reference Photos

Two types of people shop for lingerie: those looking to wear it and those selecting it as a special gift for a partner. If you’ve ever done the latter, you know the pressure that comes with selecting lingerie that your partner will love and feel sexy in.

That’s because it’s not just about what you want to look at — it’s also about what your partner feels comfortable in and finds empowering. And that varies wildly!

Even if you have the slightly easier task of buying lingerie for yourself, there are many options. And since lingerie isn’t exactly a subject covered in grade school, you may not know what all of the terms thrown around mean.

So let’s demystify the lingerie-buying process for you and break down the main types and terms for lingerie out there with some photos.

Why Lingerie?

We’re not trying to patronize you — we just want to break it down a little. Often, lingerie isn’t seen as a necessary part of your wardrobe. It’s a little something extra, and not everybody has it; in fact, many people can even feel uncomfortable around the idea of wearing it.

But the simple fact that looking good helps you to feel good, we think that should change! Wearing lingerie under your clothes, even if nobody’s going to see it, can help boost your confidence.

Wearing lingerie for your partner can help to increase their desire for you, and it can also work as a subtle-and-sexy hint to a partner that sex is on your mind.

We think it’s important to remember lingerie can be everyday wear if it makes you feel good. You don’t have to have a partner, and you don’t have to plan to get up close and personal with anybody to put on something that makes you feel strong and beautiful.

Let’s break down some common types of lingerie, so you know where to start as you build out your lingerie wardrobe.

Lingerie Tops

We’ll break lingerie options down by how you wear them, starting with tops. You can mix and match your lingerie however you like, although some of the lingerie we recommend here may be part of a set.


You know them, you may or may not love them — and if you don’t, it helps to remember sometimes that bras can be fun as well as functional.

If you’re looking for a sexy pop of color, the Eyelash Lace & Charmeuse Halter Bralette set is both comfortable and easy on the eyes. It’s the ideal thing to wear under your dull, errand-running or hanging-out-at-home outfit to spice things up. 

Even if you want to keep things simple and steer clear of lace, matching your bra to your panties can also help you to feel put together and signal to a partner that you thought about what they’d see before stripping you down completely, which is sexy in its own right.


Bustiers sit in the middle of the bra-to-corset spectrum. They can help give your cleavage a lift, and they look amazing no matter where in the alphabet of A-DD you fall. Bustiers tend to have boning along the seams to help create that lift and structure, and they often nip in around your waist to emphasize an hourglass figure.

Bustiers are often held in place at the bottom by an attachment to a garter — but more on those later. We love this Sheer Strappy Chest Bustier in black because it comes with garters to help pull the whole look together. 

Bustiers are great for pulling together a sexy look with minimal effort — they go great with matching panties (or without them).


If you’re not already into lingerie, corsets may conjure images of Renaissance Faires and period pieces — but the truth is, they’re one of the sexiest things you can have in your arsenal. In addition to boning similar to bustiers, they typically have a lace-up or adjustable fastening aspect in the back or front.

Adjusting these fixtures allows you to pull your waist tight and seriously lift your chest. Corsets are incredible at accentuating your natural shape or creating the illusion of a shape you want to play with for the night. 

They’re also especially fun because they can be so elaborate and beautiful — and that means you can wear them with jeans or beneath a blazer or jacket for a really daring look anybody would want to see more of.

This fun and Flattering Print Twill Corset comes in a lively leopard print that’s both sexy and casual enough to be worn as a top.

Lingerie Bottoms

Sometimes you might want to forgo the bottoms if you’re feeling really risque, but when you’re looking for a full set, lingerie bottoms are the perfect way to complete your look.

Garters and Hosiery

Garters are fasteners that help to hold up tights or hosiery that otherwise wouldn’t stay. This means thigh-high tights, ideally with a bit of lace at the top. 

Imagine how sexy you’ll feel knowing that it looks like you’re wearing normal tights — but beneath the hem of your skirt is our Sheer Stay Up Silicone Lace Top Thigh High Stockings. Yeah, you’re welcome.

Everything Else

Not to paint with too broad a brush, but pretty much everything else you’re going to wear on the bottom is a variation on underwear. There are, of course, many different cuts and styles to choose from, not to mention colors and patterns!

But in addition to the classics, there’s one type of underwear that stands out as one of the sexiest possible options when you’re exploring the wonderful world of lingerie, and that’s the g-string. 

G-strings like our Sweet Not Sweet G-String are more string than panty — like the grown-up version of a thong. They look equally stunning when paired with another lingerie piece or simply worn with your everyday clothes for a bit of a surprise.

One-Piece Lingerie

This is probably where your mind automatically goes when we say “lingerie.” But what are the different terms for different pieces so you can zero in on what you want? Let’s break it down.


Babydolls are ideal because they’re sexy enough for a striptease but comfortable enough to wear to sleep if you’re just having a self-care night and want to feel special. They suit every body type and come in an infinite variety of colors and styles, including festive options like this Velvet Babydoll with Marabou Trim and a Santa Hat.


Where babydoll dresses are flowing and loose, chemises are the bodycon dress of the lingerie world. They usually hit around mid-thigh or even lower — so if mini-dresses or tiny panties aren’t your ideal lingerie, a chemise may be perfect for you. 

This Neons Chemise comes with a g-string to complete the look, and when paired with a flowy robe is the perfect look for sprawling out over the couch so that you can give your partner that “who, me?” look when they come home and see you.


Teddies are a classic. They’re basically bodysuits, but the really sexy version. That said, they’re also super versatile because, depending on what your teddy looks like and your comfort level, they’re a great option for wearing under a blazer or jacket for an edgy, bold look on a night out. 

For instance, the Aria Mesh Plunge Halter Teddy in dazzling blue could easily be a cute top for a night out with friends that works over time if you go home with someone.

But while many teddies can double as a sexy top, other teddies are on the more risqué end of the spectrum. This Rene Rofe Walk Away Strappy Teddy in burgundy doesn’t leave much to the imagination, but it gives your partner’s imagination a serious head start on your way to the bedroom.

In Conclusion

Lingerie isn’t just for your wedding night or special occasions. It’s a great, simple way to spice up even a boring, run-of-the-mill day. It is also a great way to remind your partner why they’re so lucky to be with you and to give yourself a little more confidence when you strip down in the bedroom. 

But whatever your reason for wearing it, we hope this guide has helped you confidently choose your lingerie!


Look Good, Feel Good | Penn State

Women’s Use of Intimate Apparel as Subtle Sexual Signals in Committed Heterosexual Relationships | National Library of Medicine

Enclothed Cognition | Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.