The main difference between Negligee and Lingerie is that the Negligee is a sheer or heavily trimmed woman’s nightgown or dressing gown and Lingerie is a historically, linen and lace components of a woman’s wardrobe collectively; now generally elegant undergarments.
The negligee or négligée (French: négligé), literally meaning “neglected”, known in French as déshabillé, is a form of see-through clothing for women consisting of a sheer usually long dressing gown. It is a form of nightgown intended for wear at night and in the bedroom. It was introduced in France in the 18th century, where it mimicked the heavy head-to-toe style of women’s day dresses of the time.
By the 1920s, the negligee began to mimic women’s satin single-layer evening dress of the period. The term “negligee” was used on a Royal Doulton run of ceramic figurines in 1927, showing women wearing what appears to be a one-piece knee-length silk or rayon slip, trimmed with lace. Although the evening-dresses style of nightwear made moves towards the modern negligee style—translucent bodices, lace trimming, bows, exemplified in 1941 by a photo of Rita Hayworth in Life—it was only after World War II that nightwear changed from being primarily utilitarian to being primarily sensual or even erotic; the negligee emerged strongly as a form of lingerie.
Modern negligees are often much looser and made of sheer and diaphanous fabrics and trimmed with lace or other fine material, and bows. Multiple layers of fabric are often used. The modern negligee thus perhaps owes more to women’s fine bedjackets or bed-capes, and up-market slips than to the nightgown. It spread to a mass market, benefitting from the introduction of cheap synthetic fabrics such as nylon and its finer successors. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the trend was for negligees to become shorter in length (e.g. the babydoll of the 1970s). Negligees made from the 1940s to the 1970s are now collectible vintage items.
In the UK in 2004, negligees accounted for only four percent of women’s nightwear sales, women’s pyjamas having dominated since the mid-1980s. However, UK negligee sales are said to have been the fastest increasing sector of the market since 1998.
Lingerie (UK: , US: ) is a category of women’s clothing including at least undergarments, sleepwear and lightweight robes. The specific choice of the word often is motivated by an intention to imply the garments are alluring, fashionable or both.
Lingerie is made of lightweight, stretchy, smooth, sheer or decorative fabrics such as silk, satin, Lycra, charmeuse, chiffon or (especially and traditionally) lace. These fabrics can be made of natural fibres like silk or cotton or of synthetic fibres like polyester or nylon.
alternative form of négligée
Women’s underwear or nightclothes, now especially when lacy or designed to be seductive.
Linen goods collectively.