woman wearing underwear image by Francois du Plessis from Fotolia.com

Women wear undergarments every day and the style of these undergarments changes depending on the activity, event or occasion and outer garments. Underwear, bras, warm undergarments and lingerie are a few undergarments that can be found in a typical wardrobe.


Bras are undergarments worn to support and shape breasts. They come in cup sizes starting with AA (the smallest cup size) and going up to E and higher. There is also a numerical band component that depends on a country's sizing. This measurement may be in inches or centimeters and measures the circumference around the chest just below the breasts. Bras can be purchased in padded or non-padded styles. Examples of bra types include demi-cup, push-up, racerback, sports bras, strapless, backless, adhesive, bandeau, convertible, nursing, T-shirt, seamless and water bras. Bras are made from synthetic and organic materials like cotton, nylon and spandex.


Women typically choose underwear appropriate to their outer garments to ensure that panty lines are not visible. Thongs, G-strings or V-strings can usually be worn beneath tight pants or skirts without creating panty lines. This type of underwear has thin sides and leaves the buttocks exposed in the back. The width of the thin back part of the material depends on if it is a G-string, V-string or thong. Bikini and string bikini briefs cover the entire backside but have thin, narrow side strings. Classic or full brief underwear covers the entire bottom and can be high-waisted. High-cut or French briefs are similar in style to a bikini bottom with sides that are high and narrower than classic briefs. Boy shorts are like mini shorts with more coverage and wider sides.

Cold Weather Undergarments

During the winter months, more undergarments may be worn to preserve body heat. Stockings, leggings, thermal underwear and sports-type undergarments can be layered over underwear and under clothing to retain and maintain heat.


Lingerie can be worn over underwear or without underwear. Babydolls, teddies, corsets and nighties can be worn as pajamas or for special occasions. Lingerie comes in a range of materials and styles, patterns and concepts. Typically, lingerie is worn at home, but corsets, slips and shapewear can be worn under everyday clothes.