What The Heck Is A Merrywidow?

Explaining the names of lingerie pieces

It’s hard to walk into a store to buy something if you don’t know what the heck it’s called. It’s equally confusing if someone tells you about something using a name you’ve never heard.

For some strange reason, lingerie has some unusual names for lovely items that you might like to have in your personal collection. So today, BraWise will demystify lingerie terminology.

Let’s start with the merrywidow. This is a one-piece garment, covering you from breasts to butt, that will leave you feeling deliciously decadent. It is bra, panties and garter belt in one item. What distinguishes a merrywidow from its cousin, the teddy is that you usually have a skirt-like hem, rather than a body-hugging bottom end.

Speaking of the teddy, this is not a stuffed animal for your baby’s room. A teddy is a body suit, with a lacy bra included. It may also have strips of fabric with clips to attach to stockings like a garter – but many modern day teddies do not. Teddies will open at the crotch so that you can hit the washroom without having to strip.
Garter Belt
Corsets are another cousin of the merrywidow – but with a lot more structure. These shape and control the upper body including the breasts, but don’t cover your butt.

If you’ve never seen a garter belt, this is a soft belt that goes around your waist, which has strips of fabric with clips to attach to stockings. While not required as part of modern underwear, these used to be a staple for women before the advent of pantyhose.
Boyshorts
You can’t forget the strange names for undies of all kinds. For instance, boy shorts are not for boys at all. They are almost like a tight boxer short (from which they get their name), which cover all of your “bottom line”. So, they provide more coverage for your butt than many undies, but are lower rise like bikini underwear.
Cheekies
Then, there are cheekies. These don’t cover your cheeks fully – thus, the name. These also may not sit at your natural waist.

My personal favorite is french-cut underwear. No, they aren’t french, unless you’ve bought them from a French company! This is underwear that is cut high at the leg, giving the body a slimmer silhouette.

The stuff you wear on your legs can have some unusual monikers as well. Most of us know what stockings are – even if we haven’t worn them. What distinguishes stockings from panty hose is that they don’t cover your butt – and you need something to hold them up or they’ll slip down.

Then, there are hold ups. No, you aren’t robbing anyone: these are just like stockings, except they have elastic at the top of the leg to hold them up! Some folks may also know them as thigh highs.

There you have it! Everything you need to know for your next lingerie shopping expedition.