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Babydoll Lingerie: Do's and Don'ts

Updated on August 24, 2011

God bless whomever invented the babydoll nightie. This is my favorite form of lingerie. These look good on everyone. Ok, maybe not that chick from the Drew Carey show – but if she got rid of the Crayola makeup, even she could pull one of these off. The best thing about these, is they can easily conceal a woman’s (self-perceived) imperfections, and still make her ultra sexy. More importantly, your man probably won't mind if you keep it on in bed – that’s how sexy these babies can be!

However, as I mentioned in my bodystocking article, not all babydolls are created equal. Most of them are pretty danged sexy, though, and you’d really have to go out of your way to buy a totally unsuitable one. As with most forms of lingerie, the babydoll comes in a variety of materials. They also come in various sizes and lengths. Let’s take a look at the basics. For the most part, the babydoll is a little dress-like nightie – the kind you might expect to see on, well, a babydoll. They typically consist of a lightweight material and can be fitted or completely free-flowing. The length can also vary from waist to mid-thigh.


  • Semi-Sleeves: These sometimes look alright, most of the time I’d say no. It’s a bizarre mix of sleeve/non-sleeve. Do you really want your lingerie screaming indecision? I recommend you choose one or the other.

  • Off the shoulder sleeves: These can look pretty good if they are done right. Just make sure it FITS. If you get something too small, the damn sleeves will slide up to your shoulders every time you raise your arms, which can be very, very annoying. Also, you may want to avoid anything with cheap elastic on the arm cuffs, you can end up with an obnoxious rash the next morning from the slightest movements.

  • Sleeveless: This is the most common style you will find, and they tend to be two simple straps like you would expect to find on a bra. Sometimes, however, the straps are wide, measuring one or two inches in diameter. I recommend the narrow straps regardless of your size – the wider the strap the more chubby a girl can look. This is one example of less definitely being more.

  • Straps via Choker: This is just plain tacky. The women of Dynasty wouldn’t even have worn one of these things. Imagine a lace collar around your neck and a few straps holding up your girls. Bondage and domination collars can be sexy – these aren’t. Don’t wear this unless you want to look like one of Paris Hilton’s Chihuahuas.

Breast management

  • Shelf bra: These are my favorite, as long as they come with a tight bodice. If not, and you’re big breasted, your girls will not be thrilled with the support. If you’re less ample, it probably wouldn’t be an issue for the amount of time you will have it on.
  • Underwire: This runs a close second. You can find this with the shelf-bra style, or any other style, such as bikini or demi, etc. This is great if you are busty, because it will keep you feeling like you’re winning the battle against gravity.
  • Pushup: Speaks for itself, huh? There is nothing wrong with giving the ladies a hand. And don’t think that bigger girls can’t benefit from this, if you’re a DD these are fantastic in the support department. Besides, you really can’t go wrong with anything that’s going to make your breasts more prominent. What man doesn’t want to see that?
  • Peekaboo: As I’ve said before, this is silly. And tacky. And a few other words I should probably censor myself from saying. These don’t even look good on Playmates!

Body Style

  • All One Piece: This is by far the best choice for anyone who isn’t a supermodel. If you have a little tummy action going on, this will cover it up. Just make sure it’s not skin tight, you don’t want wind up looking like you’re about to birth something out of a Sigourney Weaver film.

  • Split Down The Middle: There are two basic styles in this category – some hang open from the bustline down, and some are more peekaboo-ish. The ones that hang open don’t look bad, as long as what’s under it doesn’t look bad. The other style, in which the material is divided, but held together by a few straps, is a bit silly looking. Most of the ones I’ve seen look a bit skanky, as well. Unless you’re auditioning for a porn flick, I’d skip this one.

  • Waist length: These can be quite sexy, but if your main reason for wanting a babydoll is the coverage it affords, you will not be getting much with this style. Your panties and everything below will be fully exposed. If you feel sexy this way, go for it, there are some lovely options available.

  • Mid-thigh: This is the most common, and this is my babydoll ideal. After all, it’s supposed to look like a little dress – otherwise, why call it a babydoll? This is the one I feel sexiest in, because I don’t have to worry about him inspecting my booty too closely.


  • Sheer Lycra or Chiffon: This is my favorite, and nearly any color will do as long as it agrees with your skin tone. Black is the sexiest, in my opinion, but purple, red, green, etc, can be fun and vivacious, too. It all depends on your mood. Be careful you don’t get it in too small a size, or you will end up with a bodystocking dress. Of course, if that’s what you’re after, go for it.

  • Opaque Lycra: These can be comforting for women who want to hide stretchmarks and other such issues. Like I said earlier, you can keep these on when in bed with your man and he will not think it cumbersome – he will likely think it very sexy.

  • Lace: As with the bodystocking article, lace is gorgeous – but itchy as hell. If you really want lace, I recommend trying to find something lightly lined in the bodice, or your breasts will be rather annoyed with you in the morning. The friction can really suck. If you’re a big lace fan and want to avoid friction, you can also find something that has lace trim, thereby keeping it off the girls.

  • Silk: Everyone seems to love silk. Not me. I hate it. Specifically, I hate the way it sticks. Certain kinds of silk can get stuck on various parts of your torso and make your breasts look oddly shaped. If you can find something that actually conforms to your body, go on with your bad self. But if you can’t, this can often make you look a bit strange.

  • Fishnet: No, no, no.

  • Satin: This is pretty but poses a similar problem to silk. It doesn’t really do the female form justice. You want to show off your curves here, not streamline them. These also tend to have annoying seams in the breast area which aren’t terribly flattering.

Other things to consider:

  • Texture: You will find a wide variety of textures via stitching and other sewing feats. Some are sexy, some are not. While it might look good in the store, it could end up looking very busy on your body. Try this kind on before you buy.

  • Bows: Careful – these look sexy on some women and silly on others. Try it on and make sure you like the look before you buy it.

  • Feathers: I'm thinking Chicken Little might be a little much. If you go this route, you're on your own!

  • Faux fur: Unless your name is Ginger and you are stranded on an island with someone named Gilligan, I'd reconsider this.

  • Color: As I’ve said, almost any color will do. I recommend getting at least one in your man’s favorite color.

  • Matching panties: A lot of these come with matching panties, but they usually look ridiculous. I’ve yet to find a pair that actually fit me, they tend to make them too big, for some reason. And that can make your booty look poofy and unsexy. Don’t worry, you can sort this easily enough – when you buy the babydoll, find a pair of panties that match before you go home. In other words, have the nightie with you to compare, so you don’t wind up with something that’s completely unrelated.

  • Cost: Good babydolls can cost 50 bucks or more. Cheap ones cost less, obviously. Because I view these as a very worthwhile investment I am willing to fork out 50 or 60 bucks for one, if it’s quality. Victoria’s Secret tends to have a nice selection and you can find them in almost any mall – which is nice, cos you really should try these on before you buy, to be sure they look correct.

Alright, there you have it, special considerations for the babydoll. No matter what your body type is, you can find one that you and your man will love. Now, go get sexy!

xx Isabella


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