The Top 13 Types of Lingerie (And What You Need to Know About Them)

Shop our guide to all the sexiest styles—plus how to wear them.
two different types of sexy lingerie: a black bodysuit and a white chemise
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
by
Monica Mercuri
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
Monica Mercuri
Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
  • Monica writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in fashion commerce content
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Monica was an assistant style and market editor at House Beautiful
  • Monica holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs
Updated Nov 30, 2022
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Whether you're looking for lingerie for your wedding night, honeymoon or just because, sexy intimates are a fun purchase. First things first, though: What is lingerie? To put it simply, "lingerie" means undergarments or sleepwear that are typically fancier than your everyday pieces. But there's a bunch of other lingerie lingo you should keep in mind while you're shopping. Chemise or camisole? Bustier or corset? What's the difference, anyhow?

We've got the lowdown on the most popular types of lingerie and how to wear each style for an unforgettable look—no matter the occasion. And to jumpstart your inspiration, we've included shoppable lingerie pieces—from sexy corsets and bustiers to sultry bralettes and camisoles—so you can snag your favorite looks.

In this article:

Bikini Underwear

A sexy pair of underwear can stand solo or be paired with a matching cami or bra for a low-maintenance (but high-impact) look. A bikini is a classic cut style that's rise is low—but not too low—and offers coverage in the back while still looking cute and flirty.

Savage X Fenty Gilded Chains Embroidered Mesh Bikini Panty in Lux Purple Dusk

purple and black lace embroidered bikini

Sexy lace embroidery meets daring mesh paneling on this gilded bikini from Savage X Fenty. Available in sizes XS to 4X, it boasts a high-leg, mid-rise design with a satin bow detail at the center. For a coordinated lingerie ensemble, pair this piece with the matching bra or bustier.

ThirdLove WonderKnit™ Bikini in Wild Ginger

scalloped lace bikini underwear

We're simply obsessed with the scalloped lace edging on this bikini underwear. Why not go for the matching lounge shorts to tie the look together? Also, check out all of those colors and prints—you'll have a blast picking out your favorite styles.

Gifts Made For You Shop Lace Wedding Underwear in White

personalized bridal panties with lace

Celebrating your first night as newlyweds? Go for a pair of personalized panties customized with your new married name or another cute saying like "wifey." These flirty lace pieces are stretchy and fun, plus you can choose the color of the script from gold, rose gold, white or black.

Bodysuit

A bodysuit is basically a bra and underwear in one (and is sometimes referred to as a teddy). Although a bodysuit offers more coverage than two separate pieces, it's somehow sexier. Probably because it's a go-to "special occasion" style, making it a perfect pick for your wedding night, honeymoon, Valentine's Day or anniversary.

Cosabella Paradiso Plunge Teddy in Congo

semi-sheer tri-color teddy bodysuit

You'll fall in love with all the dreamy details on this Cosabella teddy bodysuit. It has a captivating plunge neckline with semi-sheer tricolor lace and a scalloped edge. Better yet, how sultry and romantic are those green and pink options?

Torrid Satin and Lace Bodysuit in Black

plus-size black bodysuit with harness detailing and strappy back

Looking for sexy lingerie with straps? This plus-size bodysuit features strappy harness detailing on the front with an alluring strappy cutout back. Bonus: In addition to Black, it also comes in Wine, so choose the color that makes you feel your absolute best.

Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Wicked Unlined Embellished Balconette Teddy in Coconut White

one-piece lingerie teddy with lace and sparkly embellishments

This one-piece lingerie teddy combines two of our favorite things: sexy lace and sparkly embellishments. It also includes the brand's signature shine straps and is studded with shimmering crystals for an effortlessly bridal lingerie piece.

Bra

Obviously, you know what a bra is—but a delicate bra and underwear set alone can make a sexy statement on the wedding night and every other day of the year. Bras come in a variety of styles, including triangle, push-up, demi, balconette and more, so you can really choose the fit that you love most. Look for a bra embellished with embroidery or lace to elevate it to special-occasion status.

Skims Woven Shine Underwire Bra in Raspberry

vibrant pink demi bra with straps

If you're just as obsessed with the Barbiecore aesthetic as we are, you're in luck. This ultra-chic demi bra comes in the most vibrant Raspberry shade. Whether you want to pair it with the matching bikini underwear or string thong, you won't regret having this colorful bra in your lingerie rotation.

Free People Entice Underwire Bra in Pure Purple/Cashmere

sultry lace lingerie bra with scalloped eyelash trim

This lace bra was made for romantic nights together, thanks to the cups that are covered in a sultry lace pattern with scalloped eyelash trim. We're digging the dreamy purple shade, but it also comes in a rainbow of hues, from Terracotta to White.

ThirdLove Lace Balconette Bra in Black

black lingerie bra with memory foam

What about a pretty lace bra that's as comfy to wear as your softest T-shirt bra? This style has cups fitted with memory foam, making it a bra you'll love to rewear—not just on sexy occasions.

Bralette

A bralette is a bra without underwire or other structural elements, so it tends to offer less support. For some, that's a draw, but for others, it's a dealbreaker, so try the fit out for yourself. Note: Some bralettes don't have clasp closures and need to be removed over your head.

Journelle Scoop Bralette in Brown Motif

floral embroidered scoop lingerie bralette

We adore the delicate floral detailing on this scoop bralette. With adjustable straps and a convenient hook-an-eye style, you can wear this piece with the matching high-waisted briefs for a coordinated look that's sweet and sensual.

Maidenform Women's Casual Comfort Convertible Bralette in White

affordable black lingerie bralette with convertible straps

Shopping for lingerie on a budget? This convertible bralette is an affordable and versatile option that can also double as a going-out top. The convertible straps can be worn as a halter, criss-cross or traditional—so you can easily create three different looks with this one piece.

Savage X Fenty Sharp Dresser Lace Bralette in Black Caviar

metallic foiled lace bralette with scalloped design

A deep V-neckline and metallic foiled lace fabric make this bralette something special. This unlined style also has a front clasp closure, adjustable shoulder straps and a power-mesh-lined back. Take this fit to the next level and pair it with the lace hipster or Brazilian panties.

Bustier

Want to add extra va-va-voom to the wedding night? Wear this lingerie style to accentuate your cleavage. A bustier is an extended bra top that usually covers all or most of the torso, though there are bustier bras that end well above the belly button. For an ultra-bridal look, go white and lacy. Or, if you're looking to pump up the sex appeal, go for a strappier style in black or red. Want something more extravagant? Buy one with attached garters so you can add thigh-high stockings.

Seven 'til Midnight Lace Underwire Bustier and Cutout Briefs Set in Lavender

plus-size lace bustier lingerie set with matching cutout briefs

Guess what? This plus-size lace bustier set comes with matching cutout briefs, so you don't have to worry about buying a separate pair. Best of all, the sultry cutouts and removable garters are the perfect way to help you go all out. Choose from two colorways: swoon-worthy Lavender or daring Black.

Lovehoney Boudoir Belle Plum Push-Up Basque Set in Purple

purple lingerie bustier set with sheer ruffled lace trim

Available in plus and standard sizes, the sheer ruffled lace trim and satin ribbons on this bold bustier set are all seriously seductive touches. You'll also be pleased to know that it comes with four removable garter straps to attach to the hem and a matching G-string thong.

Va Bien Strapless Plunge Backless Bustier in White

white strapless bustier lingerie piece for the bride

If you prefer a more subtle and sleek look, this white strapless bustier might be the one for you. It still keeps things special though with understated lace detail on the center of the bodice. Oh, and did you check out that open back? You won't regret purchasing this backless style.

Camisole (and Tap Short)

A camisole (aka cami) is a lingerie tank top usually with spaghetti straps. Choose one in a silky or satin fabric with lace accents for a luxe vibe, and pair it with tap shorts (which are lingerie short-shorts). It's an excellent option if you want something comfy and pajama-esque for the wedding night and beyond. Plus, a cami can also be worn with a thong (or any other underwear bottoms) to show a little more skin.

Eberjey Malou TENCEL™ Modal Short PJ Set in Ivory

white lace cami and shorts PJ set

Crafted from buttery soft fabric, this beautiful cami and shorts PJ set is ideal for wearing again and again, but especially for those big nights thanks to the romantic lace details. (Bonus: It also comes in soft blue—an excellent way to sneak in something blue for your wedding night or honeymoon vacation.)

Lane Bryant Cami and Short Set in Black

plus-size leopard-printed cami and short set

Spice up your pajama game with this plus-size leopard-printed cami and short set from Lane Bryant. The flirty V-neckline, adjustable straps and soft microfiber fabric make this type of lingerie equal parts comfortable and cute.

Lulus Sweetest Dreams Satin Ruffled Two-Piece Pajama Set in Navy Blue

navy blue two-piece satin cami and short set

You can wear this two-piece satin cami and short set in the bedroom or around the house on lazy Sunday mornings. Our favorite parts? The slightly cropped bodice and the adorable ruffled hem on the matching satin lounge shorts.

Chemise/Babydoll

A chemise is a short slip dress that you can literally slip into, and it can be paired with a matching bikini or thong. They're often confused with a babydoll, which is slightly shorter and typically falls just below the panties. Both will make you feel so beautiful and flirty—kind of like a wedding dress, only skimpier.

Journelle Charlotte Short Slip in Cream

silky white chemise lingerie piece with lace

The effortlessly elegant silhouette of this silky chemise is both sultry and super comfy. Crafted from 100% silk with delicate eyelash lace accents, it's an unforgettable lingerie style for any occasion—from your wedding eve to a casual night with your significant other.

Yandy Plus-Size Yank Her Chain Babydoll Set in Green

plus-size babydoll lingerie piece with chain details

For those who prefer an edgier kind of lingerie, this plus-size babydoll is impressive in the style and comfort department. An empire-waist silhouette, sheer mesh bodice and rhinestone chains work together to create this incredible piece of lingerie. And it comes with a matching G-string that can be worn underneath—all for the price of $36.

Cosabella Never Say Never Curvy Foxie Chemise in Maldives

curvy something blue lace chemise

An allover lace chemise? Sign us up. This curvy piece is specially designed for those with fuller busts (DD cups and plus) and small waistbands. It's covered in ultra-soft scalloped lace, creating a body-hugging appearance that will keep your partner wanting more.

Corset

In the past, corsets tangibly cinched the waist and had grommets and ties that would be pulled tight, squeezing the midsection. Today, some corsets are still worn as shapewear that can help smooth the appearance of the torso. But a wedding night corset isn't about slimming anything—it's worn just for fashion's sake. Some may have boning in them for style and support, but avoid any corset styles with painful squeezing! For your special day, look for a corset with details such as lace, grommets, satin straps or attached garters.

Adore Me Vira Set in Black

semi-sheer black corset set with lace up back and tulle details

Available in standard and plus sizes, this semi-sheer Black corset set from Adore Me is seriously decadent. It's completed with a lace-trimmed straight neckline, tulle details, a lace-up back and adjustable shoulder and garter straps. What's not to love?

David's Bridal Dominique Embroidered Lace Torsolette in Bone

white lace corset lingerie piece with strapless neckline

Guess what? You could wear this lace corset as bridal shapewear under your wedding gown or sport it completely on its own. Either way, it's a guaranteed showstopper that deserves a spot in your lingerie collection.

Victoria's Secret The Fabulous Full Cup Corset Top in Lipstick

 bright red satin corset with romantic lace details

We're all for something fiery and vibrant. The bright red satin corset with romantic lace details offers full coverage while still being undeniably hot. It will accentuate all of your natural curves, thanks to the structured boning and three-piece cup construction.

Garter or Suspender Belt

A garter belt (aka suspender belt) has clips that allow it to hold up thigh-high stockings. Plus, you can add it to almost any type of lingerie. Match it with a coordinating bra and panty to take it from ordinary to super sultry.

Bluebella Nova Suspender in Ivory

white suspender belt with delicate floral appliqué details

Available in sizes XS to 2X, this white suspender belt has delicate floral appliqué details that really pop with the matching bra and panty. We love the Ivory hue for brides for their wedding night or honeymoon, but the Black is equally captivating for every day.

Torrid Lace Garter Belt in Black

flirty black lace garter lingerie belt

Pair this flirty garter belt with your other favorite styles of black lace lingerie. It features a two-gate hook-and-eye back closure with four adjustable garter straps attached. Incorporating this alluring piece into your lingerie rotation will be a breeze.

Adore Me Enny Garter Plus in Pink

soft pink playful suspender belt with satin bows

Add a splash of color to your spicy outfit with this pretty-in-pink playful suspender belt topped with satin bows. All you need to add are a sheer pair of stockings to the adjustable straps.

Hipster

This underwear cut sits low on the hips and covers the back side with a little extra length on the bottom (but it's not as long as a boy short). Instead, it has more coverage and lends a more youthful and trendy look than traditional cuts, like the bikini.

Third Love Lace Back Cheeky in Taupe

lacy pair of hipster underwear for lingerie option

With a floral lace back and a solid paneled front, this lacy pair of hipsters comes in so many beautiful hues, from this soft Taupe shade to eight limited edition colors for every vibe. Best of all, these size-inclusive bottoms come in XS to 3X.

ETAM Eternelle Embroidered Hipster Panties in Blue Lagoon

floral hipster panties with embroidered botanical details

There are so many details to love about these floral hipster panties, from the embroidered botanical details to the pops of tulle and lace. Plus, the allover mesh appearance makes them simply irresistible. Pair them with the matching sheer bra for a memorable ensemble.

Skims Cotton Rib Mid-Rise Brief in Bone

ribbed cotton hipster brief

If you'd rather go for a more subtle lingerie look, try this hipster brief from Skims. The ribbed cotton material is breathable and comfortable on the skin, while the soft elastic waistband and mid-rise silhouette will show off your curves. And look at all those size options? Choose from XXS to 4X.

Robe

A sumptuous bridal robe can be worn prewedding while you're getting ready. Afterward, in the honeymoon suite, open it to reveal the underthings of your choice—or nothing at all. Skip the typical terry cloth bathrobe and treat yourself to a more luxurious fabric.

Homebodii Georgina Long Lace Robe in White

floor-length lace lingerie robe

A floor-length lace robe is a daring move that's sure to pay off. This one is crafted from the most beautiful lace fabric with eyelash trim. It's even embroidered with floral accents throughout the long silhouette. Swoon.

Birdy Grey Claudine Lace Robe in Satin Sage

personalized lingerie lace robe for special occasions

From the bridal suite to the bedroom, you'll get tons of use out of this lace robe (and we guarantee that you'll wear it for other special occasions, too). Another bonus? You can have this piece personalized with text up to 15 characters long—so feel free to get creative.

The Knot Shop Women's Personalized Embroidered Floral Satin Robe with Pockets in Blush Pink Blissful Blooms

The Knot Shop personalized embroidered floral satin robe

Or, maybe you'd prefer something more colorful? This eye-catching satin floral robe from our very own store comes in a range of colorful base shades, from Blush Pink to Light Blue to Black. You'll also enjoy the luxurious and lightweight feel, as well as the tie sash belt that can be easily removed.

Romper

In the lingerie world, a romper is basically a cami and tap short in one (or a one-piece with short shorts attached). Rompers tend to have a playful vibe and may be made of cotton or other comfy materials that are cozy enough to lounge around the house. Others are made of mesh, tulle and lace, while some are completely see-through—so choose the style that makes you feel your best.

Yandy Midnight Infatuation Lace Romper in Navy

sheer lace romper with deep plunge neck

This stunning piece is made for the bedroom only. From the deep plunge neck to the sheer lace fabric, this festive and seductive piece of lingerie is bound to impress in every way.

Lulus Spend the Night Satin Lace Lounge Romper in Ivory

ivory satin lingerie romper with plunge neckline and lace accents

This satin romper offers more coverage than our first option and comes in a bridal-worthy Ivory shade. You'll love the look of the plunging lace neckline and the revealing open back. Trust us: You won't want to take this effortlessly sexy romper off.

Kilo Brava Satin and Lace Romper in Hot Pink

satin Hot Pink lingerie romper with delicate eyelash lace trim

Lingerie that doubles as cozy sleepwear? We're so in. The super-soft satin fabric of this Hot Pink romper is elevated by the delicate eyelash lace trim that lines the neckline and leg openings. The elastic drawstring waistband also offers a custom, comfortable fit without feeling restrictive on your body.

Thong

Thong underwear is one of the most revealing types of lingerie, with only a small strip of fabric in the back to show off your backside. For the big night, you can pair your thong with a cami, chemise, bustier, corset and/or a garter belt and thigh-highs—or nothing at all.

Adore Me Kourtney Thong Plus in Black

classic black lace thong

Equal parts naughty and nice, a classic lace thong is always a good choice to keep in your lingerie drawer. This one, available in plus and standard sizes, is crafted from soft cotton-jersey fabric and features a flirty lace trim around the waist and legs.

Cosabella Abri String Thong in Varanasi Gray

soft blue sheer thong with detailed floral embroidery

You'll feel confident and beautiful in this string thong from Cosabella, thanks to the eye-catching double strap detail at the waist and the detailed floral embroidery with soft sheer mesh. Choose from two matching bras to style it with—an underwire or bralette.

Savage X Fenty Velvet Vixen High-Leg Thong Panty in Purple Heat

velvet high-leg thong lingerie panty

It's our first time seeing velvet thongs and we're so impressed. Savage X Fenty's velvet high-leg thong panty is a sumptuous option that's available in two captivating shades: Purple Heat and Honeycomb Yellow.

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