The Clothing, Lingerie and Apparel Dictionary

Clothing: a covering designed to be worn on a person's body

Lingerie: women's underwear, nightclothes, and intimate apparel

Apparel: Clothing, especially outer garments or attire

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Sandal Foot, Sandalfoot A type of hosiery with a nude toe, meaning no heavier yarn is used in the toe than in the leg.

An outer garment worn chiefly by women of India and Pakistan, consisting of a length of lightweight cloth with one end wrapped about the waist to form a skirt and the other draped over the shoulder or covering the head.


A loose-fitting skirt-like garment, formed by wrapping a strip of clothing around the lower part of the body.  Often used as a swimwear cover.
Satin A smooth fabric of silk or rayon that has a glossy face, a dull back, and a slippery feel.


An ornamental curved border on fabric or lace.

Scallop Edges, Scalloped Edges A decorative fabric edge shaped similar to a line of scallops (or shells) lined up edge to edge.
Scoop U-shaped curve at the neckline that can be a variety of sizes or depths.
Seamed Any bra that has seams running though the cup. A seamed bra tends to give more support than a seamless bra because seams determine the cup's exact shape and size. The best supporting bra has seamed cups made in three pieces.

A piece of clothing or lingerie without seems which is designed for additional comfort. An item made without seams. Seams can be a source of discomfort, so a seamless item will tend to be more comfortable versus a similar item made with seams.

Seamless Bra A seamless bra uses a single piece of fabric for the cups, so there's no stitching on the cups, giving a bra-less look.
Seconds, Factory Seconds All clothing and hosiery, which is not of first quality and does not qualify as "irregulars”. These clothing and hosiery items can contain minor imperfections most, of which are not noticeable but can be seen on close examination.  Seconds are usually sold at discounted prices.  Examine "seconds" closely and always, always try it on before you buy it.


Small shiny metallic discs used to reflect light and add interest to a garment.
Shape Enhancer A shape wear or foundation garment that controls the stomach plus shapes the waist and sides. It usually has hook and eyes at the waist, and boning to keep the waist from rolling. A shape enhancer can also be called a “waist nipper”.
Shaper A style of lingerie created to provide support, shape and control.
Shape wear Modern term for fitted women's underwear, especially a girdle.  Shape wear is designed to hold a part of the body in pleasing or desired shape.
Shawl A wide scarf worn about the shoulders.
Shawl Collar The collar of a garment which is made to look like a wide scarf.
Sheer Thin, fine and transparent fabric.



This is determined by a combination of gauge and denier, not by just gauge. A 51 or finer gauge stocking is sheer only if it is knitted with a thin or low denier yarn.
Sheer-To-The-Waist A phrase used to describe pantyhose without visible panty line or reinforcement in the panty portion. It is an all-sheer garment from waist to toe.
Shelf Bra Low-cut bra designed to enhance the cleavage. A demi cup (or demi) style bra means a contoured bra with under wire design that has a large portion of the upper half of the cup removed to expose the upper part of the breasts. The shoulder straps are also set farther apart or wide –set to expose as much of the chest and upper breasts without exposing the nipple. Such bras are often referred to as being décolleté‚ and are usually worn with low cut clothing or if the bodice is cut low, wide or square. Many find this style bra very attractive.  Demi Bras are also called balconette or a shelf bra.  Shelf bras do generally expose all or part of the nipple.
Shelf Cups Cups that only provide support and coverage underneath the breasts, usually exposing the nipples.

Reflective finish on fabric, usually satin, that creates a soft shine.

Shirred Material which is gathered to make decorative folds


Material is gathered into lines, for decorative effect.  “Gathered” if often used as different word meaning the same thing.
Shorts Very short pants ranging from micro shorts which resemble bikini panties, to hot pants, to Bermuda shorts which hit about mid thigh. 
Silicone Cups A type of bra cup filled with silicone rather than other fabrics, creating a smooth natural look.
Silk Fine lustrous fiber made from the cocoons of silkworms and used to make thread and fabric. Silk fabric is sometimes used for men and women's underwear and other clothing. A natural fiber produced by silkworms that is revered for it’s luxuriously soft feel.

Silk Knit

Silk fabric designed with a stretchable blend to fit and stretch with the body. Silk fabric that stretches and clings to the body.
Skirtini A mini skirt with attached garters.  A Skirtini is also known as a Garter Skirt and may or may not have an attached panty.
Sleep Wear, Sleepwear Garments designed to worn for sleep, such as boxer shorts, slips, camisoles, pajamas, etc.
Sleep Teddy

A loose fitting teddy usually worn as sexy sleepwear

Slide Top Often called a triangle slide top because the cups are shaped like triangles that slide along the band for adjustability.  A triangle slide top is frequently used for bikini swimwear.
Slinky Knit A soft, elastic knit fabric that conforms to the shape of the body.
Slip A woman's undergarment of dress length with shoulder straps.
Slit A narrow cut in the fabric usually made for ease of movements or sex appeal.
Snap Crotch Crotch snaps and unsnaps for convenience.  This term may also apply to clothing or lingerie with a hook and eye or Velcro closure at the crotch.
Sock A short stocking reaching a point between the ankle and the knee.
Soft-Cup Bra, Soft Cup Bra A soft cup bra uses elastic under the cups for support, as opposed to wire.

Synthetic performance fabric with advanced absorption and wicking power.


Synthetic stretch fabric or fiber made from polyurethane.  Generic term for elastic thread. It takes just a small percentage of spandex to make a fabric stretch, so a typical cloth might be made of 95% polyester and 5% spandex.

Fabric created from elastic thread that helps a garment to stretch. Lycra is a well-known brand of spandex.

Sports Bra A sports bra is specially designed to eliminate bounce (as much as possible), for use in any activity that involves a lot of movement. The cotton-lined cups are high at the front and sides for support, and they have a comfort under band with non-curl elastic to stop it from riding up. They may also have a non-slip Velcro fastening strap.  Some styles do use hook and eye closures.
Sports Sock Sock with extra padding which changes according to where the protective padding is placed - ball, toes, instep, heel, arch, shin - how thick the padding is and what materials they are made of.

Stay-up, Stay Up, Stay Up Stockings

Stockings with rubber grips inside the tops that help to prevent them from slipping down the legs. These stockings are usually worn without a garter belt, but they can usually be worn with a garter belt, if desired. Stockings with a rubber grip inside the top that helps to prevent them from slipping down the leg.

Hosiery providing coverage from over the knee or mid-thigh to the toes. Almost all modern stockings stretch and can be worn without a garter belt, but because the stockings may still slip down the leg, a garter belt will keep your stockings up.


A garment without bands of material or shoulder straps over the shoulders.

Strapless Bra A strapless bra has no shoulder straps, and is especially designed for wear with evening gowns and other sleeveless wear.
Stretch Any clothing or lingerie item that is made with Lycra fabric, which lends a smooth, sleek look as well as freedom in movement, comfort and fit.
Stretch Lace Lace designed with stretch ability to create form fit Lace that stretches (providing a better fit and more comfort).  Often used to make stockings or pantyhose.
Stretch Straps Stretch straps use low-stretch elastic to give more control and comfort, while reducing bounce.
String Bikini A swimsuit that has a bikini style panty with high cut leg line, thin string sides and full back.
String Bikini (swimwear)

A swimsuit that has a bikini style panty with high cut leg line, thin string sides and full back.  However, these may also include bikinis with a thong style panty with high cut legs and thin, string sides.

Studs A sharp, cone-shaped metal fastener that goes through the fabric and is flattened out to form a flat head in back.
Studded Any lingerie or clothing that uses studs as decoration.
Support Panel

A support panel is another name for an inner sling. An inner sling can be a curved strip of fabric that follows the natural curve of the bra similar to an under wire, except soft. This fabric is rigid and sewn inside the cup to provide additional support. An inner sling can also go around the entire breast circumference, or just be panels on the sides of the breast.  Support panels are also used in maternity clothing and foundation lingerie.

Surplice A long flowing robe or gown with wide cut sleeves (think choir gown style).
Suspender Style Stockings, pantyhose or bodystocking where an attached waistband holds up the legs, sometimes styled to look like a garter belt. The front and back are usually open, so some may prefer to wear a g-string or thong under or on top (more convenient) of the hosiery.
Suspender Thong This can either refer to an article of lingerie or dancewear that is similar in style to a teddy or a style of thong bikini bottoms that have extra long sides which come up and around the shoulder like suspenders.
Sweetheart, Sweetheart Neckline

As this phrase refers to clothing and lingerie, a curving neckline of the bodice, cut to look like a heart.  This style neckline may have straight or scalloped edges. (Think of the neckline on Snow White’s dress)




Contact us at: Please let us know of any lingerie or clothing names, terms, and phrases that we have missed.  We also want any special laundry hints and your tricks for dealing with difficult stains.  We are trying to make this Lingerie Dictionary a complete as possible and your suggestions are always welcome.