Burlesque Lingerie 101

Lingerie is a term for women's fashion undergarments. It derives from the French word lin for linen. The concept of lingerie being visually appealing is relatively recent. It wasn't until burlesque and the golden era of the pin-up that lingerie became fashion.

Here is my list of the lingerie items that a goddess needs to know about. These aren't the only lingerie items available, but rather my "must-know-about" list... feel free to study and become a panty expert!


What you wear under clothes.


  • Most important tip I can give you about a bra is to make sure you are wearing the right size. I had a friend who wore the wrong sized bra for years. I recommended that she visit a lingerie store where she could get help getting a proper fit—and now things are looking up for her!
  • You can add trim to transform an ordinary bra into a burlesque costume.


  • Made of stiff material, like boning, and is typically laced up in the back.
  • Originally intended to mold and shape the torso for a desired body look that was in fashion.
  • Who could forget the famous corset scene in Gone With the Wind in which Scarlett O'Hara waist was cinched up to only 18" before the barbeque.


  • It looks like a cross between a bra and a corset.
  • It reaches down only to the ribs or the waist and has a different function.
  • Its primary purpose is to push up the bust by tightening against the upper midriff and forcing the breasts to move up, while gently shaping the waist.

Merry Widow:

  • Corset with a built-in bra and garters—some have zippers.
  • First made to coincide with the release of the 1952 film The Merry Widow starting Lana Turner.

Sleepwear Formerly known as pajamas, but we're showgirls now... this is "sleepwear"... what you technically would wear to bed. Don't wait for the next bachelorette party... I have so much fun with my girlfriends dressing up in lingerie and having sleepover parties.


  • A teddy is a form of bodysuit-like lingerie, which combines a camisole and panty in one piece.
  • Unlike a bodysuit, it is typically looser and more sheer, and may be designed to slip off from the shoulders.
  • The teddy is normally worn for the seductive look, rather than practical reasons.


  • A babydoll is a short nightgown with a hemline about 6 inches above the knee, like a minidress. They are usually considered provocative in a sweet way.
  • It is said the name was popularized by the 1956 movie Babydoll starring Carroll Baker in the title role, which essentially marked the beginning of the enduring popularity of the style for adults.


  • The negligee is a knee-length nightgown
  • The negligee was made the epitome of sensuality in the 1941 photo of Rita Hayworth in Life Magazine.


  • A floor-length nightgown with matching panties


  • Many different variations of panties are available, but you should wear what's comfortable and makes you feel sexy. Consider what you're wearing as outerwear to make sure you don't show a panty line.
  • Bikini is round around the derriere. Some tie on the sides.
  • The difference between a G-string and a thong is a G-string is just a string and a thong has about an inch of fabric.
  • Boy-shorts are low-cut and have a square shape.
  • Tap pants are like large boy shorts. They are not practical to wear under day-to-day clothing, but something that you would wear as a burlesque dancer for its retro-style.

Hosiery Garter:

  • Garters are items of clothing originally used to keep stockings up, but nowadays they're used for fashion and not function.
  • A garter is often worn by newlywed brides. It is the groom's privilege to remove the garter and toss it to the male guests.

Garter belt:

  • The garter belt was the vintage precursor to pantyhose.
  • A return to retro-styled garter belts and stockings has become especially popular because the ultra feminine pin-up girls of the past have become such icons.