The Beginner's Guide To Sexy Lingerie

Lingerie doesn’t start and stop with bras and panties, despite what the contents of your underwear drawer may suggest. Since yours is probably already stocked to the brim with everyday basics, it's time to add diversity to your selection with eight extra-sexy essentials — like bodysuits, window briefs, and suspender belts.

Modern lingerie brands are blurring the lines between traditional, sexy stock and edgier, fetish-esque items. The intimates in the slideshow ahead are flirty, innovative, and (hopefully) empowering to women of all sizes and shapes. And, in case you're wondering, the timing of this guide — right before a certain holiday — is no coincidence. Stock up.
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The Halter-Neck Bra
Why wear just any balconette or pushup bra for a romantic night in, when you can up the ante in a silhouette you maybe haven't tried yet? The aforementioned styles will work just fine, but a subversive, halter-neck bra — like Skivvies by For Love & Lemon's sheer iteration, illustrated here — will make for all eyes on you.
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In addition to its innovative shape, this velvety bra is finished with a delicate tulle bow at the back of the neck.
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Channel this season's '70s vibes into a scalloped, halter-neck bra. Agent Provocateur has you covered — partly, that is.
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Totally sheer, utterly sexy, and surprisingly supportive, care of underwire cups.
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The Thong
Some may argue that thongs are fairly tame — especially in comparison to the harnesses and garter belts of lingerie provocateurs such as Zana Bayne, Kisskill, and Kiki De Montparnasse. For women who live in briefs and boy shorts, though, thongs are the wild side. Baby steps are still steps, people. If you find yourself needing to ease into the styles that follow, we suggest Skin's neutral-colored starter set.
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A cheeky, lacy start to your Saturday-night plans.
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Negative's thongs are so silky-soft, you'll forget you're even wearing skivvies.
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A barely-there string thong with a pop of neon? Color us impressed.
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The Chemise
Chemises and slips are perfect transitional wear. Instead of going straight from going-out clothes to the night's main event — be it sleeping or something else entirely — a slinky chemise offers a playful, but subtle touch in the interim. Depending on the color, length, and fit, it can also pull double-duty in your closet as a base layer under see-through dresses and skirts.
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Purple satin is bold on its own. The cutouts — which extend into an open back — make this chemise even sassier.
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Cosabella's babydoll chemise is so sweet, the brand makes it in 18 colors.
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Sometimes, it's the simplest designs that prove the loveliest.
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The Bodysuit
The one-piece alternative to bras and panties has a name: the bodysuit. Some are racier than others (see: Curriculum Vitae and Love Haus), but plenty of options will also double as outerwear, should you so choose. Designer Morgan Lane suggests styling yours "with a blazer and tuxedo pants or a jumpsuit with a low neckline." If you're head-over-heels about the ones featured in this slideshow, we found even more for you to shop here.
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Fortnight's mauve-toned one-piece is subtle, but sexy.
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The answer to allover-lace lingerie is always "yes."
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Morgan Lane's patterned bodysuit is a must-shop for lingerie lovers.
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The Suspender Belt
You may have wondered, at some point: What is the point of suspender belts? Good question. While we know the piece offers a scintillating touch, its original intended purpose — aside from complementing whatever set a woman was wearing — was to keep stockings from slipping. These days, suspender belts are used primarily as added adornment. While you can buy matching bras, panties, and suspender belts for a complete look, we're never opposed to mixing and matching.

Feeling really bold? "Don't wear any panties at all," suggests Lane. "Garters can look even hotter just on their own." Duly noted.
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Bondage-inspired suspenders conjure up images of Old Hollywood erotica.
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Fringe is a fun, burlesque-show touch.
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Scoop up this deliciously retro, pre-order pick quick — the newly launched lingerie label is taking off fast.
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The Open-Front Bra
Bodysuits and suspender belts may seem like child's play when the open-front bra comes out. The NSFW style doesn't offer much in the way of modesty — in this case, we say good riddance. Plenty of intimate designers are catering to the growing popularity of the Fifty Shades aesthetic — Chromat and Atsuko Kudo, among others.

Not ready to bare it all? "Harnesses look great over a loose blouse," explains Lane. "I love the mix of naughty leather with a modest, collared shirt." Either way, we suggest adding the risqué silhouette to your lingerie bucket list, if you haven't already explored it.
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The strappy nature of this bra means it can be worn by a wide range of cup sizes and band widths.
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For those times when your breasts really just want to breathe...
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The Window Brief
Similar to thongs, window briefs are equally cheeky in terms of skin. That said, their construction is a bit more complex: Thongs are essentially (or at least usually) two strips of fabric, whereas window briefs can feature peekaboo cutouts, open crotches, or some combination of the two. They may not be the most "functional" underwear, but that’s really beside the point.
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A little peek-a-boo from behind is plenty inviting.
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These briefs cannot, will not be tamed.
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Irrefutably racy, the floral lace offers a romantic touch to Only Heart's open briefs.
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The Bustier
Bustiers are a popular fashion item, worn both in the bedroom and out. They also boast tons of historical context. Beginning in 16th-century Europe and reaching its greatest popularity in the Victorian era, corsetry was meant to help shape and contour the body. Today, these pieces are used primarily as the seductive centerpieces of lingerie looks. Most styles come with lace-up ties in the back for a personalized fit. Don't already own one? We found a few for you, just in case. Or, you can always take recs from Kim K.

Bonus: Valentine by Jonas & Brown's Whitney Brown and Paloma Jonas suggest wearing them with "blue jeans for a throwback '90s look."
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For under $50, it doesn't get any better than H&M's lace bustier.
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This curve-contouring silhouette is arguably even more salacious from behind.
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If the bustier fits...that's the saying, right?