What’s The Difference Between A Bodysuit And A Babydoll?
The lingerie world is nothing if not complex. With dozens of different kinds of bras and countless other pieces to choose from, shopping can feel overwhelming. Not only are you tasked with figuring out your size, but also which styles are best suited to your body type. Two of the most popular lingerie items today are the bodysuit and the babydoll. And while they are often mixed up, you may be surprised to learn that they’re very different — in terms of their cut, shape, and overall look.
So, what’s the difference between these two products? In the guide, we’ll explore what sets them apart, as well as the pros and cons of each.
What is a bodysuit?
A bodysuit is a one-piece garment that’s typically very form fitting to the body. It covers the entire torso. It essentially has the same shape as a leotard— you can think of it as a camisole attached to a panty. The top style can range vastly, from strapless and sleeveless to one-shoulder, cap-sleeve, and long sleeve. Even the bottom can range from a thong to a full-coverage bikini. Some styles may snap at the crotch for convenience. Bodysuits come in a wide variety of fabrics and colors. Some may have a built-in bra with separated cups, while others may not. There are both underwire and wire-free bodysuits as well.
While a bodysuit can indeed be worn as lingerie, some styles can double as outerwear and others are explicitly made to be worn as an alternative to a tank top or blouse. While bodysuits made with ultra sheer fabrics might be meant as undergarments, for example, others can be worn under a blazer or jacket with a skirt or pants. For example, a high-neck bodysuit with ornate detailing would look super chic with high-waisted black skinny jeans.
Allure Bodysuit A1497 in Dazzling Blue (This beautiful bodysuit is from our sister line, MOD By Parfait!)
Related: How To Define Your Lingerie Style
What is a babydoll?
In essence, a babydoll is a super short nightie. With a form-fitting top and a flowy skirt, it usually only covers the tops of the thighs. As such, a babydoll is often worn with a matching panty. A babydoll has a distinctly seductive yet innocent look, making it a popular pick for bridal lingerie.
Like with bodysuits, you can find babydolls with separated cups (occasionally with underwire). Also, like bodysuits, they may be made out of a multitude of different materials — though typically, they are semi-sheer, they come in such fabrics as satin, silk, and chiffon as well as lace.
A babydoll has an inherently flirty look — sultry in the subtlest way. It can double as a nightgown but is also perfect for impressing a special someone at home.
Lulu Unlined Wire Babydoll P5618 in Black/Pewter
Which one is right for me?
The fit is what differentiates a bodysuit and a babydoll the most.
While a bodysuit is extremely form-fitting throughout, a babydoll has a flared bottom. And whereas a bodysuit can be layered underneath other bottoms and tops, a babydoll is meant to be worn by itself.
If you’re looking for a super versatile piece of lingerie that can be worn both in the bedroom or at the bar, a bodysuit is your best bet. It’s also the ideal choice if you’re looking for something that doubles as shapewear — it can smooth out your silhouette, making it an ultra-flattering piece no matter what your body type is.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a playful piece that you can wear around the house — either to wow your SO or simply indulge in your sexy side no a solo night in — then a babydoll is the perfect pick. Due to the way it fits, a babydoll is particularly flattering for those who are looking to accentuate their bust line or draw attention to their legs.
The bottom line is: A bodysuit and a babydoll each have their own benefits, and each has a place in any woman’s lingerie collection. That said, these pieces provide a very different look. It all comes down to where you plan to wear it and what assets you’re hoping to highlight. But you can’t go wrong with either of these timeless garments.
Adriana Unlined Wire Babydoll P5488 in Mulberry
Related: How To Shop For Sexy Lingerie
We Highly Recommend
Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.
Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.
If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.
Happy bra shopping!