The Men’s (And Women’s) Style Guide To Lingerie Terms

What Are All Those French Words And How Do I Wear Them?

Lingerie. Even the word can be a bit daunting. But that is not our intention. Instead, we want to make shopping for and finding the right lingerie gift fun and simple. That’s why we keep our lingerie sizing simple with no cup sizes, bands or complicated measurements. As a result, we get the size right 98% of the time. That means you get a gift that fits her correctly  on the first try. Our Lingerie style guide is designed with the gift-giver in mind. Rather than impress you with our vast knowledge of petticoats and basques, we’ll guide you through a few basic terms and categories to help you find the perfect gifts for the woman in your life.

Bralettes & Bralette Sets

A bralette is the underwire bra’s little sister.  A bralette is a soft, unpadded bra that has no underwire or structured cups, and usually is sized XS – XL. We pair our bralettes with matching knickers or panties, for a fun, relaxed look making it a “bralette set”. Bralette sets are often made of soft lace or mesh, and can be made from either sheer or non-sheer fabrics.

How And When To Wear A Bralette Set

Think of the bralette set as the favorite sweatpants of the lingerie drawer. She loves to wear them, she feels sexy in them, but she doesn’t always wear them out. Wearing a bralette is similar to wearing a bra, but can sometimes also be used as outerwear. Whether used for lounging about or worn out, she can style her bralette set under sheer tops, backless dresses, or just on its own.

Bralette Sets As Gifts

Unlike traditional bras which have a band and a cup size, most bralettes come in the basic sizes extra small through extra-large, and this simplicity explains part of their appeal to gift-givers. Pair the bralette with a matching knicker, and you have a perfect gift pairing. One note, if the woman has large non-augmented breasts, this may not be the best style for her, as bralettes tend to not have as much breast support. (If her breasts are augmented, no problem, bring on the bralettes!)

Fun Bralette Set Style

Chemises And Babydolls

A chemise or babydoll is similar to a nightie or nightgown, but usually shorter, and often has a matching bottom. Babydolls are a specific style of chemises, typically with tighter fitting tops around the breasts and under the ribs, and then fitting looser around the bottom half of the torso. Furthermore, babydolls usually can be made of sheer chiffon. A chemise on the other hand, is not characteristically sheer and comes more tighter fitting through the hips rather than flowing.

How And When To Wear A Chemise

Chemises can be worn in the same way a nightgown can. While a chemise can be worn peeking out of an outfit – perhaps under a blazer – that is where it is different than a babydoll which is typically too frilly and sheer to be worn as outerwear.

Chemises And Babydolls As Gifts

Are you ready to have some fun? If yes, then a chemise or babydoll is spot-on. These styles are ultra-flirty. As chemises and babydolls are usually paired with a bottom, think about what styles of bottoms she is comfortable in. We can pair her chemise with a g-string for something super-sexy, or match the babydoll to a side-tie bikini for a more cute look.

Flirty Red Chemise Style

Garters, Garter Belts & Suspenders

A garter belt is used to hold up stockings (Known as suspenders in the UK.) Usually fastened around the body at the hips, alternatively they can also be attached to the panties themselves. The garter belt has clips that attach to the stockings, keeping them up on the thigh. A garter on the other hand is a single piece worn around the thigh, usually adorned with lace or embroidery and often in blue, white or black. While in the past garters were used to hold up stockings, today they are usually seen only at weddings.

How And When To Wear A Garter Belt

First you may be surprised to learn that the stockings are optional. Garter belts can be worn simply as a flirty accessory, even if she is only wearing them for a moment in the bedroom. Garter belts can of course be worn under clothing.

How And When To Give A Garter Belt

Giving a garter belt is advanced lingerie gifting, and not for the novice. Usually paired with a full matching set of bra and panties, this piece can complete a set for a very finished 3-piece look. Note that getting the size right on a bra and panty and garter belt is extremely hard. Hence, at Enclosed we sell removable garters attached to panties so that the woman can optionally add the stocking and style as she wishes without any of the extra complexities.  

Sultry Garter Belt Gift Style

Nighties, Negligees And Night Gowns

Also known as a Nightdress, Slip or Nuisette, a nightgown or nightie refers to a lingerie piece that most resembles a dress. These usually fit more tightly at the tops and hang loosely towards the hips and below. A nightie can be made of lavish silk, satin or fine lace, usually with thin shoulder straps. Depending on the material and length, these items can be simple, comfortable sleepwear or loungewear, or be super-sexy come hither wear. If a piece is called a gown or nightgown, it is usually longer, hitting the knee or below.

How And When To Wear A Nightie

Nighties are often worn as sleepwear, but the super-sexy ones make not facilitate shut-eye. Furthermore, nighties can be simple and elegant, or instead can have decorative elements such as embroidery, cut outs, laces, or ruffles. More demure nighties can be worn around the house and are especially lovely over a lazy morning of kisses and coffee.

Nighties And Night Gowns As Gifts

If you want to give a woman some romance, a nightgown or nightie is perfect. These styles are ultra-feminine and usually loose around the hips and legs, making the sizing very forgiving. These pieces are made of soft, elegant fabrics that embody luxury at its finest. At Enclosed, we do not sell nighties with cup-sized bra tops for this reason. Nighties and gowns are also perfect for the lady whose top and bottom are relatively different.  

Perfect Nightie Gift for girlfriend

Pajamas And Sleep Sets

We all know what pajamas are, but here at Enclosed, we elevate the term to a fine gift-giving art. We use the phrase “sleep set” as what we offer transcends the traditional shirt and pants offering in a variety of alluring styles.

How And When To Wear A Sleep Set

Well, this one is pretty self-explanatory. With a luxurious silky satin finish, our sleep sets are designed to fit loosely and comfortably, ideal for lounging around the house or sleeping in. But she needn’t sleep in her set the whole time, as some of what we offer can be rather beautiful and she may want to show it off . . .

Sleep Sets As Gifts

Because the style is less form-fitting than some of our other lingerie options, this is a terrific gateway to lingerie gift. Also, sleep sets can accommodate ladies whose top and bottoms sizes do not match.  

sexy silky sleep set

Robes, Kimonos And Dressing Gowns

Robes and dressing gowns were originally designed to be put on over an outfit so that hair could be combed. Today they can be as short as just below the bum, or as long as dripping to floor length. A kimono is a wide-sleeved robe with a belt which is inspired by traditional Japanese wrap-dress.

How And When To Wear A Robe

Robes are the most regal, refined item in one’s lingerie drawer. Robes and dressing gowns may be worn over lingerie, or with nothing underneath. Currently, kimono style robes are having a fashion moment with many women wearing them outside the bedroom as outerwear.

Robes And Kimonos As Gifts

If you are looking to give her a luxe and decadent gift, a robe is a wonderful choice. These pieces are often pricey; therefore, a robe is often given on a special occasion such as an anniversary or birthday. If you are unsure of her size, robes are a perfect solution as most run one-size-fits-all.

Playful Robe Gift Style


As every lingerie brand defines these styles differently, the same style that one brand calls a teddy might be called a romper by another and called a bodysuit by another. While teddies are typically form-fitting with sexy details, rompers are often made of comfortable, softer fabrics and are intended as to be worn as sleepwear or loungewear. Rompers run a bit looser, with usually a tap pant or boyshort bottom.

How And When To Wear A Romper

When she is ready to romp (duh!) But in all seriousness, rompers are fun. The ultimate classy loungewear, feminine rompers are best worn to bed, for lounging around the house, or for a lovely start to a date-night-in evening.

Rompers As Gifts

Rompers are one of our top recommendations for a “starter” lingerie gift. As rompers are often cinched in above the hips to showcase her waistline, and this lingerie option is forgiving as it covers the waist, yet still accentuates her best assets.

Elegant Romper Wife Gift

Teddies Or Bodysuits

A teddy, also known as a bodysuit, is usually made of lace or mesh that looks similar to a one-piece swimsuit. These items are typically form-fitting, yet made of materials that have a considerable amount of stretch and can be adjusted to suit her style preferences. They can have either full back coverage or thong coverage, often with sexy details such as plunging necklines, garter attachments and more. These styles may also be “clandestine” with details such as open backside or crotchless.

How And When To Wear A Teddy Or Bodysuit

Teddies and bodysuits are the traditional “let me slip into something more comfortable” wear. While they can be worn underneath clothing – even peeking out and worn as a shirt – these items are usually in the bedroom-only category.

Teddies And Bodysuits As Gifts

The lovely thing about teddies and bodysuits is that they come in a range of styles from relatively conservative with a full bikini bottom to va-voom sexy with garters, deep-v plunge, crotchless features and more. Teddies and bodysuits make great gifts, but make sure to stay away from styles with defined cup sizes as those make extremely challenging gifts to fit.  As teddies are usually intended to look sexy in the boudoir, we don’t recommend this style if you are in a brand-new relationship.

Sexy bodysuit gift style for her

Giving Lingeire Gifts

We hope you have found our little guide helpful, as helping people find wonderful lingerie gifts is literally our business. See a few examples of the lingerie we carry, or start customizing a lingerie gift for the woman in your life . . .