About the Bustier
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A Gentleman's Guide to Ladies Lingerie.

OK, Guys, here's the deal.  To paraphrase Dennis Hopper, "There are RULES to giving a lady intimate apparel, Jack!"

  • Giving lingerie to a woman who you are not being intimate with will creep them out. You must know someone very well to buy underclothing for them.  You must know them intimately to buy them sexy lingerie. If you give lingerie to a woman too early in the relationship, you will blow your chances with her right out if the water. 

  • Men simply cannot buy a woman a bra. Carve this into your brain. Women have a hard enough time buying themselves a bra, and unless you fit bras for a living (or you plan on pulling it off her in short order), you will almost certainly buy her something she will never wear because it is uncomfortable. If you insist on buying her a bra, spend enough time looking at her clothing she wears every day until you determine which bra is her favorite, then buy the EXACT same bra, if it is still being made. Ask her best friend for help.

  • What you can do, and believe me you get more brownie points if you do this, is spring for a custom bra fitting at a boutique and foot the bill for 1 bra from this shop. Your lady will be blown away by you giving such an extravagant gift.  Notice the "extravagant" part, and budget accordingly.

  • Remember that women like fine everyday underclothing as much as they like special occasion lingerie. Women will seldom buy themselves very high grade everyday underwear. This is a perfect chance for you to show her that she means more to you than just her physical charms.  Buy her something luxurious that she would never buy herself and she will think of you every time she wears it.

  • You can NEVER go wrong with a silk camisole or a silk tank top. In fact a camisole is about the only piece of lingerie you can give to a lady with whom you are not yet intimate.

  • Don't cheap out. There is no cheap fine lingerie. Fine lingerie is made with very high attention to detail, and of the very highest quality fabrics and workmanship. This means it will be the most expensive undergarments you will ever buy, will last for years, and the most comfortable (and pleasant to wear) for your lady.

How to Identify Different Types of Ladies Lingerie.

A Camisole is a light smooth garment that covers the upper half of the body, but does not provide any support.  Camisole's are similar to a tank top, shoulder straps holding a bodice that covers the breasts and extends to the midriff or lower, but usually no further than the navel. Camisoles are essentially a slip for the top of the body, worn to help smooth out the outer garments, or to put a more comfortable fabric against the skin.

Camisoles are also finding acceptance as outer wear in their own right, and many are made for this purpose today.

Claire Pettibone Athena Cropped Camisole
Notice the straps in each example, the lack of an actual "cup" for the breasts, the light form fitting but non supporting fabric, and the length. 

Babydolls are a camisole that is long enough to extend past the waist.  They may come just below the hips to just below the crotch. 

Babydolls almost always have bra like cups built into them called a bralette, and a skirt of fabric sewn to the bottom of the bralette that is not form fitting and covers to below the hips and often to the bottom of the crotch. When buying a Babydoll, always remember to buy matching panties.

Corsets cover from the breasts to the hips or just past. The function of a corset is to chinch in the waist.  All corsets have some sort of rod or stay sewn into them that causes it to assume a particular shape when properly fitted. Originally made of whale bone, these stays today are plastic or metal, but still referred to as "boning".  A garment without boning is not a corset. Corsets often have garters attached to them, may have decorative shoulder straps or be bare shouldered, usually close at the back, many times with lacing that can be used to tighten the corset. If the shoulder straps are there, they do not serve a support function and are often pulled down to the sides of the arms, peasant style.

Modern Bustiers, Basques, and Corsets are all derivatives of the traditional lace up corset.

A Bustier is similar to a corset, but it has no boning, and usually comes to the bottom of the ribcage (some may go as far as the top of the hips). They may or may not not have garters attached.  A bustier, as its name implies, is primarily designed to enhance the appearance of the bust. To do this a bustier gently slims the waist and pushes the breasts up.  This enhances the bust in two ways: by increasing the cleavage visible, and the slimming of the waist makes the breasts appear larger.

A bustier may have padded shaping seams but there will not be any boning.  A bustier also transfers the weight of the breasts off the shoulders and onto the torso, and is a popular choice for club wear and bridal wear because of this.  Like camisoles, bustiers are becoming outer wear in their own right as well.

Copyright 2011-Naughty Under Here     |     Guide to Ladie"s Lingerie  |     ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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A Basque, at least today, is a corset without boning that usually has garter straps. Initially it was a tailored jacket worn as outer wear that mimicked the shape of the corset, so that the lady's figure was not hidden by the outer jacket.  As an homage to this history some basques will open at the front instead of the back like a traditional corset, many basques today are pullovers..  The difference between a bustier and a basque is that a basque does not slim the waist and push up the breasts, and does not transfer weight off the shoulders to the torso like a bustier does.  A basque contains the breasts providing some support,and covers the torso, form fitting the body to slim a little and sometimes holding up stockings.  While often having evenly spaced seams for shaping purposes, these seams to not have boning in them. The basque is smoother under a dress than a corset, and doesn't enhance the breasts like a bustier.
Types of  Bustiers


Bras:  Bras are used to support and display the breasts.  There is so much information about Bras, they will have their own page.  (refer to the second rule above)  Bras may be built into other garments, and are not considered bras when used in this fashion.

Bustiers, Basques, Corsets, Camisoles, Babydolls

Bustiers, Basques, Corsets, Camisoles, Babydolls, cover varying parts of the upper torso, and have different functions and features.  Since these do not cover the lower half of the body, these garments are usually paired with a pair of panties, thong, or g string. When you look at the examples on this page, remember that the models are wearing both, but the lingerie on the top of the body is the garment we are talking about. It goes without saying that if you buy your lady one of these pieces of lingerie, you should include matching panties of some type.
Notice the similarity to the camisole except the babydoll has the bralette, the longer length, and the "skirt" does not hug the body like a camisole.

Babydolls, similar to a camisole...


Notice the evenly spaced vertical seams in the garment holding the 'boning" in place, the lacing at the back, and the length to the hips..



Notice the lack of boning, the raising of the breast to accent cleavage (like I had to point that out to you), the slimming of the waist that accents the hips, and the length usually stops before the navel.  Don't forget a matching thong!
Notice the lack of boning, the cups do not push the breasts up to increase cleavage, the form hugging bodice, the length to well past the waist, and the attached garters. Don't forget bottoms to match.