What is Plus Size Lingerie?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 25 December 2019
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The word lingerie comes from the French, meaning 'linen'. It is used to describe underwear and other delicate garments such as slips, camisoles and peignoir sets. For many people, the term lingerie is associated with sexy items such as slinky nightgowns, stockings, garter belts, corsets and other sensuous apparel. The same is true of plus size lingerie. The only difference is the sizes.

Full figured women enjoy sensuous garments and need special undergarments as much as other women do, and designers and manufacturers are beginning to meet their needs better with more plus size lingerie options from which to choose. For many years there was no such thing as plus size lingerie and the most curvaceous women had few if any choices when it came to undergarments and evening apparel that fit properly. Today, plus size lingerie is available in all the choicest styles, colors and fabrics.

Plus size lingerie, like most plus size clothing, usually runs from size 14 to size 40. There are differences in sizes depending on the brand and the style, but this is the general guideline, despite the fact that size 14 is considered by many women to be about average. There are also manufacturers that list sizes in small, medium, large, extra large, 1-X and up, rather than in typically numbered sizes.


For plus size lingerie these sizes usually run between 1-X and 6-X, although some go larger. In womens sizes, as opposed to misses or juniors, garments tend to be cut a bit larger. A 16W, which indicates womens, is therefore larger than a 16 in misses.

Generally, sizes listed as small, medium, large and up can be determined by adding two numbered sizes per increment. For example, size small is usually 4-6, medium is 8-10, large is 12-14 and X-large is 16-18. The same is true of 1-X and up. Size 1-X is generally regarded as being approximately a size 20-22 in woman's clothing. Each consecutive X adds two sizes, so 2-X would represent size 24-26.

It is very important to select the appropriate size when purchasing plus size lingerie, because lingerie is more often than not a product that cannot be returned. Remember that even in plus sizes, lingerie tends to run smaller than regular clothing. If you are unsure of your size, measure your hips, thighs, and bust and consult with a plus size lingerie retailer.

Most online shops will answer your questions so you can make a purchase with confidence. Also, visit a plus size women's store and check out their selection of lingerie. You should be able to try on selected items as long as you do so over your clothing.


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Post 3

@Mor - I don't think they will make sexy lingerie with velcro in the back. If someone is having real trouble finding a bra that fits them, they might have to go to a custom fitting place and get one made to order. Honestly, it's not all that much more expensive than getting a good quality bra in a store and they can at least pick out their own style.

Post 2

One thing you might want to consider if you have a difficult to find size, is trying out bras with bra back extenders, or, alternatively, with those clips that go between the straps and shorten them a little bit more.

I've got a couple of friends who both have small cup sizes but large bra band sizes and they find it really difficult to find anything that looks pretty, rather than just utility bras. This is one solution for that. I've also heard of bras where they have an adjustable velcro strap in the back, although I don't know if they make those in plus sizes or not.

Post 1

Often online shops will allow you to return garments if they don't fit, but remember that they often make an exception for underwear, because of hygiene reasons, so I would definitely double check their policy on that, as well as making absolutely sure that the size is right before you purchase.

It's really nice to see that plus size lingerie is getting more of a place in the spotlight. Everyone needs to feel sexy now and then.

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