How to mention the unmentionables

February 12, 1992|By Valli Herman | Valli Herman,Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES -- If it weren't Valentine's Day, security guards might have cause to worry.

Either alone or in groups, men of all ages tend to gather in front of lingerie stores, nervously eyeing the traffic and merchandise inside. They aren't waiting to stage a heist, but to make a purchase.

But, often, men lack an essential tool in the process -- the terminology to mention unmentionables.

You are forgiven, gentlemen.

Liss Hydinger, a buyer for the Lingerie for Less stores, offered her list of terms for unmentionables.

And, men, there's one more thing to know: Beautiful. That's the most important word to tell her.

* Bustier: It's not a description of her body, but a waist-length, strapless garment that looks like a long bra. It may have detachable straps and garters. If you need help, ask for the BOOS-TEE-AY department.

* Bandeau: A stretch-lace or Lycra strapless, bralike garment built without the support features of bras. This one, guys, is a BAN-DOE.

* Thigh-high stockings: Hose that come up to midthigh, have gripper elastic cuffs and stay up without garters.

* Stockings: Hose that come up to midthigh, but need a garter belt to stay up. Many have seams in the back.

* Teddy: An all-in-one garment. Can be strapless, short-sleeve or long-sleeve. Often built with bralike support and worn in place of a bra and panties or as outerwear. May have detachable straps and garters.

* Tanga pantyhose: Pantyhose with a heavier inset at the top that looks like a built-in high-cut panty. Some have a T-shaped built-in panty.

* Sleep teddy: One-piece garment cut fuller on bottom, with flare leg and usually without a snap crotch.

* Bodysuit: Similar to a teddy but used most often in place of or under a shirt.

* Bikini panty: Panty with waistline about 3 inches below navel.

* Brief: Top of panty comes up to the waist; usually has a longer leg line.

* High-cut brief: Leg opening comes up high on the leg.

* High-cut bikini: Lower waistline, with high-cut leg opening.

* Hipster: Panty cut a little higher than bikini, about 2 inches from the navel.

* Thong: A panty with a strap in back, often called a T-back.

* G-string: The back consists only of a string.

* Camisole: A tank top worn either as underwear or outerwear. Often sold with half-slips or tap pants.

* Tap Pants: Women's boxers with short, full, high-cut legs. Takes name from tap-dancing costume of the 1930s. Worn as a panty or slip, sometimes as sleepwear.

* Body stocking: Pantyhose with an attached top; often sold in stretch lace.

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