Dust off your hipsters and get Sisqo cranked up on Spotify because the cheek flashing micro-garment and symbol of all that was sexy in the noughties is back.
Sales of thongs have sprung up by 72 per cent in the last year according to John Lewis’s annual shopping trends report. After a steady decline in popularity since the heady days of Britney Spears’ 2006 sparkly thong-jeans, 2018 saw them sky-rocket. Also soaring are robotic lawn mowers, sustainable water bottles and giant televisions.
Perhaps, the retailer muses, the surge in this most microscopic of vestments could be down to Love Island, and the liberal quantities of clenched and dimple-free rump that it bounced across the small screens of Britain this summer. Or it could be down to that other pillar of pneumatic flesh-flashing: Kim Kardashian, and her recent breaking of the internet in a Gucci thong the same age as Kylie Jenner.
Either way, it’s catching. They are IN FASHION once more.
Which places me firmly at the vanguard of fashion, because thongs never left my knicker drawer at all.
Kim Kardashian is not why I love wearing thongs. I do not wish to grease up my flanks and grind against a selfie stick because she did it. I don’t feel pressured to look like a Love Islander as I shuffle from dropping my jeans to brushing my teeth at bedtime. I don’t even love them because the Daily Mail hates them. I love thongs because they are extremely and unerringly practical.
As someone who worked for Agent Provocateur for several years, I have drawers full of knickers. I have boy shorts and frenchies aplenty, I have flipperies and whatzits galore. But no amount of filigree French lace stretched across my glutes can atone for how deeply UN-sexy I feel when I get a hit of the dreaded VPL trailing behind me. It follows me around like a shadow. Scratching. Taunting. When I’m on the escalator up from the tube it’s a flashing neon VPL sign pointing out my bum to the person behind me. At yoga it's a bright light above other peoples’ bums as they downward dog, shouting loudly about itself as I try to focus my breathing. At Agent Provocateur, we were told the VPL was sexy. To me, it’s a big, glaring mistake.
Anyone who says thongs are uncomfortable just hasn’t found the right one yet. Hard straps of garrotting dental floss are a thing of the past: the current breed of airy g-strings are made of modern micro-fibres that caress rather than bisect the bum cheeks. No, you don’t need to spend all day poking around in the seat of your jeans to get comfortable. Once on, you’ll forget they were ever there. Intimissimi makes the Rolls Royce of seamless knickers. I only wish they had a loyalty card for the rainbow of abbreviated briefs I’ve collected there over the years. Also worth a shout out are Cosabella, also Italian-owned, and Commando.
The key to finding a good one is to choose one with decent ‘coverage’ and a strap of about half an inch up the back. It’s also a good idea to get yours in a size up for maximum comfort.
Then there’s the matter of sex.
Are thongs actually sexier than normal briefs? A quick poll of my male friends suggests not. It would seem men are entirely desensitised to the extra 20cm sq of quivering flesh offered up by the thong. My husband even described them as ‘sensible’. It would seem that to be provocative these days you’ve got to wear those twangs that are so high cut you basically sling them over your shoulders, Borat-style.
Ordinary thongs are for the girls, not for the boys.
And, in case you needed any further convincing, there’s the environmental benefit. Think of all the washing powder you’ll save laundering knickers approximately 1/8 the size of your big pants.