historically, linen and lace components of a woman's wardrobe collectively; now generally elegant undergarments

Lingerie is a term for women's underclothes.[1] In advertising, it suggests fashionable and alluring undergarments. Materials include silk, cotton, polyester, satin, nylon and lace.

Assorted lingerie
A négligée on a mannequin

The 20th century brought big changes in women's underwear. The idea of lingerie as a visually appealing undergarment was developed in the late nineteenth century by Lady Duff-Gordon of 'Lucile'. She was a pioneer in developing lingerie that freed women from more restrictive corsets.

The wordEdit

The word lingerie comes from linge, meaning 'washables' in French. Faire le linge is "do the laundry" in French.

Brassieres (also known as bras), knickers and negligees are basic examples of female lingerie.


  1. Oxford English Dictionary