A to Z of Lingerie – D is for Dessous

Once again, apologies for being a little slow in getting these A to Z of Lingerie posts ready. I’m now onto D which is for Dessous, which is my contribution for the 4th of April. Yesterday, I talked about corsets, which is a very specific topic, whereas Dessous is more general.
a to z of lingerie dessous
Dessous is a word that comes up a lot when discussing lingerie. It comes up a lot when I’m researching the topic on blogs and it’s been used in literature, for example in 1000 Dessous: A History of Lingerie by Gilles Neret. It’s also used in brand names like Dessous Chics. So, if you don’t speak French you might be wondering what it means. It literally means “worn underneath” which is essentially what underwear is. So, it’s a perfect word for this post, although traditionally it refers to petticoats or whatever is under petticoats.
Most people won’t use this word in their everyday vocabulary, although among the fashionistas, especially those whose niche is lingerie, it’s become quite a trendy word to use when discussing upmarket, expensive items, although in France it came be used as a slang term the same way that we would say “undies.” I don’t think it is used much today though.
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It’s unlikely that this word will become commonly used outside the fashion industry. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used in English outside of lingerie blogs and trade journals. It does sound fancier than saying undies though, so I live in hope that one day it might catch on!
What slang terms do you use for underwear? I’d love to know in the comments section. Tomorrow’s topic is E for Eyelet Embroidery.

3 Comments

  1. April 7, 2018 / 4:28 am

    My husband calls his U-dacks. Mine I call undies. I’ve never heard of dessous. I’ll have to look up how it’s pronounced.

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