What is a Teddy?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A teddy is an undergarment for ladies intended to be worn ornamentally in the bedroom or as sleepwear. At first glance, a teddy might look like an ornamental swimsuit or leotard, since it is a one piece garment which combines panties and a revealing top in a single piece of clothing. A teddy is not generally appropriate for wear outside the bedroom, however, unless it is being worn under clothing as a support garment. Many department stores carry teddies in their lingerie sections in an assortment of sizes, styles, and colors.

A teddy is a women's undergarment designed to slip off the shoulders.
A teddy is a women's undergarment designed to slip off the shoulders.

Depending on the style, a teddy can be loosely fitting or snug, to highlight the figure of the woman wearing it. The materials are often sheer and lacy, with silk and synthetics being popular options for teddies. Embroidery, beading, or lace trim may be added to make the teddy more dressy. As a general rule, the garment is designed to slip off the shoulders, and some designs include straps to adjust the teddy for fit.

It's recommended to wear a clean pair of underwear underneath a teddy when trying on the undergarment.
It's recommended to wear a clean pair of underwear underneath a teddy when trying on the undergarment.

The most basic teddy has full panties and a top which resembles a camisole, often providing bust support for the breasts. Cut out variations on this basic design are very popular. A cut out can have an open back or cutouts along the side to show more skin. The built in bra may also be cut in a peek-a-boo style, so that the majority of the breasts are outside the garment. Fuller figured women sometimes prefer to wear teddies which come in two separate pieces, with a loosely fitting slip camisole and a pair of full coverage panties.

Ideally, a woman should be able to try on a teddy when purchasing one, wearing a clean pair of underwear underneath for sanitary reasons. This ensures that the teddy fits properly, and that the woman will be comfortable while she wears it. If a woman finds a brand and size which fit comfortably, she can purchase future garments without having to try them on. The best teddies have adjustable straps so that the garment can be customized to the body of the woman wearing it.

While looking at lingerie, women should also inspect the quality of construction. Taking a glance at the cleaning directions can reveal which textiles were used, and how the garment needs to be cared for. Women should also check the seams to make sure that they are tightly sewn and even, and that they will not scratch the body while the teddy is being worn. Since a teddy is worn over bare skin, it is important to check the comfort and breathability of the fabric as well.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


A teddy is a bodysuit type lingerie, like a bathing suit and is designed to slip off the shoulders from there, rather open from the crotch. There are sexy teddies that are a g-string and backless.


a teddy is a stuffed animal, usually a bear, and they are cute.


A lingerie teddy may also come in a variety of fantasy costumes such as a police teddy, nurse teddy, or a school girl teddy, and many more. They also come in both cupless and crotchless as well. Sincerely, Your Fantasy Lingerie

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