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Lingerie for Crossdressers: What's the difference between a Bustier and a Merry Widow?

Any crossdresser summoning up the courage to go lingerie shopping for the first time (or even for the hundredth time!) has enough to deal with without trying to navigate the terminology of fine lingerie – all those words and phrases that women seem to have been born already knowing.

Anyone can shop online, of course, but there is no experience like walking into the rarified atmosphere of an upscale lingerie shop – being able to caress the sheer fabrics, feel the exotic, imported laces, smell the new perfumed silkiness of each piece. So, for all of you brave girls who are about to enter the inner sanctum for the first time, or just want to know more about lingerie lingo, here is a little gift from the knowledgeable Mistresses at Femphone to you - your very own Lingerie Primer:

Types of Garments

Baby dolls: a sleep garment made from sheer fabric, consisting of shaped bra cups with an attached loose-fitting skirt that comes down to anywhere between the navel and the hips; usually includes matching panties.

Basque: a long-lined body briefer or corset which includes full-coverage bra cups and extends down over the hips; may or may not include garters.

Body Briefer: a shaping, supporting garment which covers the torso; differs from a corset in that its support comes from elasticized fabric such as lycra/spandex rather than boning.

Bustier: a shorter version of a corset, usually includes bra cups and ends at the rib cage.

Camisole: an undergarment with shoulder straps, that covers the bust and hangs down to the waist, either tight-fitting or loose; originally designed as a cover for a corset.

Chemise: a loose-fitting dress/slip that hangs straight down from the shoulders; can be worn as an undergarment or a dress.

Corset: an undergarment reinforced, in the past, by whalebone (boning), and now by metal or rigid plastic strips for the purpose of re-shaping the torso; is traditionally worn from the breasts to below the curve of the hips.

Negligee: a sheer nightgown with lace trim, usually designed to be revealing and usually made of sheer fabrics and trimmed with lace or bows; often made of multiple layers of fabric.

Peignoir: a woman's floor length dressing gown; usually sheer and made of chiffon.

Merry Widow: a short, strapless corset with half-cups and long garters.

Teddy: a one-piece undergarment, somewhat like a loose bathing suit, usually made from silky fabric and trimmed with lace.

Teddiette: a type of teddy with detachable garters.

Types of Lingerie Fabric

Allover or Embroidered Lace: fine stitching on a fine net background; a very delicate lace.

Alençon Lace: very fine lace with motif designs outlined with a heavier silky cord, called cordonnets, that create a raised outer edge.

Chantilly Lace: lace woven in a floral pattern, sewn with thread and ribbon, on a net background. Named after the northern French town of Chantilly.

Venise or Guipure Lace: characterized by lose stitches and a heavy raised design; often used in bridalware.

Charmeuse: A very soft, slippery satin, often with a matte, or brushed finish.

Chiffon: a fine, almost transparent fabric of silk, nylon, or other sheer fabric.

Fishnet: an open-mesh fabric that looks like netting.

Velvet: a fabric made of silk, cotton, or nylon that has a thick, soft pile.

Velveteen: velvet made of 100% cotton, usually has a shorter pile than regular velvet and is matte rather than shiny.

Satin: a fabric made of silk, rayon, or other such material, very tightly woven to produce a smooth shiny appearance.

Silk: fabric made from fiber produced by the material a silkworm uses to make it's cocoon. A very fine, strong, lustrous fabric.

Spandex/Lycra: man-made fabrics that are strong and durable while still remaining light and elastic; often woven in combination with other natural fibers to add stretch.

Other Helpful Terms

Appliqué: a piece of fabric or lace which is overlaid on another piece of fabric and sewn around the edges; usually made of lace.

Bias-cut: a garment that is cut on the crossgrain of a fabric, giving it a very drapey sensuous look.

Denier: a unit of measure to identify the fineness of silk and man-made fibers, especially stockings. The lower the number the more sheer the fabric.

Embroidery or embroidered fabric: decorative needlework in the form of a picture or pattern which is sewn onto another fabric.

Piping: a thin cord covered with fabric used decoratively along the edges of hems.

By Ms Veronica of Femphone.com