The Case of the Tiny Knickers

Ladies, we have a problem. Someone has shrunk all the underwear in America. I suspect Lex Luther, that pervy rat.

This treacherous crime was most recently observed yesterday, while I indulged in a bit of post-holiday shopping. Victoria’s Secret, that haven of polyester lace and sweatpants with gendered colors stitched across the bum, was having a sale. A great, big, Please Back Up The Truck For Our Cheaply Made Underwear sale. Hooray! My credit card company rejoiced!

My rear end did not. There were all sorts of choices, of course. I could buy thongs, hipsters, bikinis, and even something called a cheeky panty. (That last, I can only guess is some sort of insolent, but loveable, undergarment. Perhaps it has Oscar Wilde quotes on the tag?) None of these, however, met my new underpinnings requirement: proper coverage. Even ignoring the dreaded thong, these garments were engineered not to support or flatter my body, but to seductively uncover it. The hipsters covered my hips, yes, but not most of my lower butt region. The bikinis would cover the bum, but not that odd thigh-meets-pelvis region up front. Which should be covered and which should be left shivering and exposed to the cruel winter air, for proper sexiness? It was like a Sophie’s Choice of my nether regions!

From these options, I can only assume American women are forever in danger of having our clothes ripped off by passing strangers or rogue trolley cars. Ergo, underneath our clothes, we must look as much like adult film actresses as possible. Heaven forbid someone see us in – gasp! – actual panties. Why, if my Volvo were hit by a skydiving llama, I’d be the shame of the emergency room!

This sucks. Y’all, I like real underwear. Why must I be expected to wear mere suggestions of it instead? Reasonable underwear, the kind that covers one’s entire bum and doesn’t dare venture into places reserved for Ryan Gosling, is awesome. When did it become not only unfashionable, but actively frowned upon? Last I checked, men aren’t trying to cover their cash & prizes with pieces of cloth no wider than dental floss. Yet, not only are we taught that full underwear isn’t sexy, but it’s given a derisive nickname. The granny panty. Cue lightning and thunder.

Well, whatever. I think Granny had it right. You can’t tell me I would look hotter wearing butt-floss than this:

I just don’t believe it. Real underwear makes me look better, both with and without clothes on. Ladies, there isn’t one among us who hasn’t fallen victim to unfortunate lines created by bunching hipsters or migrating thongs. Just think – it’s possible for us not to worry about what crazy antics our underwear will get up to next. We could put on a garment that not only flatters our figure, but won’t start playing a game of Twister halfway through the dessert course. Can I get a hallelujah?

There is, of course, the argument on behalf of guys. Heaven knows, we can’t leave this important wardrobe decision up to women’s delicate little brains.The male half must prefer us in these wisps of cloth, or else we wouldn’t contort ourselves into them each morning. Sorry, but I’m calling foul on this one. For generations and generations, we wore reasonable underpants. Hell, for generations, we wore too many underpants! Men seemed to enjoy them well enough. We have all their billions of descendents walking around as a testament to that fact! My new outlook is this – if a guy is lucky enough to see my underwear, he probably won’t care if they’re retro lace panties or a red polyester thong. He should just be super excited about getting to that point at all. So, why not wear what makes me feel pretty? I can tell you, it won’t be a mysterious contraption that resembles nothing so much as a mesh butt cage (Link slightly NSFW).

I am through with garment-enforced wedgies, more torturous than any junior high prank, and trips to the bathroom just to rearrange my underwear situation. In 2012, I am taking a stand against ridiculous tiny knickers. If you need me, I won’t be at Victoria’s Secret, but instead kicking it old school with the hot “grannies” of What Katie Did and Dollhouse Bettie.

- Grace

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35 thoughts on “The Case of the Tiny Knickers

  1. You had me in splits :-D

    And by the way it’s a global phenomenon not just restricted to American women. And while I still cling steadfastly to my thongs, I did have to upgrade to a larger size of Levi’s… it’s them darn thighs ;-)

    Have a great 2012!

  2. This is so true and so well put out there!! *hi5* Grace!

    I sometimes wonder how us women put up with the 24/7 wedgies – I guess it’s whatever makes you comfortable/feel feminine? At the end of the day they’re coming off, like you pointed out ‘if you’re lucky to get to that stage’. ;) LOL! Happy New Year :)

    • Happy New Year, Ana! You’re so right – they’re coming off one way or another. We may as well like them while they’re on! I kind of admire anyone in the thong camp – I am just way too chicken to chance the sort of discomfort possible there.

  3. So true. I flourish in the thickest, most covered underwear. Wearing thongs just seems contradictory. For the whole point of underwear, you could notice some of those brands make them like string. And on top of that, all the intricate bows and buttons that take up more surface area than the actual material all together makes it rather hard to wear tight fitting pants. And they don’t get any cheaper, either, considering how little fabric they give us these days!
    Happy new year! :D

    • Oh, you have such a good point! What is with all the embellishments on underwear these days? They’re supposed to be invisible under our clothes, but they’ll put a giant, lumpy bow right in the middle. Oye ve! It may be pretty, but it is unhelpful to my overall wardrobe goal of being awkward-lump-free.

      Happy New Year!!

  4. If a man doesn’t want to see me naked because I’m wearing so called granny panties, then he probably doesn’t want to see me, ever. Let’s just put this out there, have you ever had a man REFUSE to see you naked? No. Men like women, especially undressed. They enjoy the process of us undressing. We all know that confidence is sexy. We all believe it. So if in the process of getting dressed we’re more confident in granny panties, then wear them! This confidence will make us sexier when undressing as well.

    I say we should take back the granny panty. Give up the thong, and the uncomfortable panty and go with what makes us happy and CONFIDENT.

  5. I have to say that if the average store carried granny panties like the one pictured in your post, I might be more inclined..I am a thong and/or hipster fan…but not because of the random man who may rip my clothes off of me and ravish me (I wish!)…more because I just like them…but I’m all for sexy granny panties!

    • Michaela, you have such a great point. It’s beyond ridiculous that one has to go to specialty online boutiques to find legitimately attractive full coverage underwear. If we had less nude, nylon, parachutey options in department stores, perhaps we wouldn’t feel embarrassed about the purchase.

    • Be careful, you’re about to become addicted to those sites! I swear, no mall lingerie store has come close to the kind of lust I feel for the What Kate Did line. I’m so happy to lead another retro undergarment fan to the promised land!

    • Oh, excellent suggestion, Kate. I’m going to have to try that. I can be so insistent about not sizing up, that it’s probably hurting my comfort in this area.

  6. I have *never* in my life allowed a thong creep into places it simply doesn’t belong! But then I have mostly been lucky enough to find reasonable underwear whenever I needed it. I do agree though, it is difficult at times. That might be one of the reasons why I tend to wear them until they literally fall off my derriere, then mend them and then wear them another year or two. No, not the exact same piece of course! I tend to buy 3 of a kind when I like a model.
    Thanks for calling this issue to attention, and putting it in such nice words at that.

    • Sandra, I wish I’d been as reasonable and rational as you. I have had one too many horror situations with thongs. Never again! I like your process, also – if you like something, why not just buy them out? This is one of those hyper-personal areas that it pays to be choosy and particular about what we buy, after all.

  7. YES! The number of girls I’ve seen at work bend over and reveal a thong which just looks plain uncomfortable or as they’re walking towards me parading their camel toe at me caused by their disastrous choice of underwear.

    I’m all about the boy shorts. I’ve found some really nice ones that not only look sexy but make me feel a little bit sexy and all the more important – are comfortable!

    • Jaina, I’m a big fan of boy shorts, as well! Isn’t it funny that to find something comfortable we have to go with a style that has “boy” in its name? I’m telling you, men would never put up with this uncomfortable underthings business!

  8. This post is so true! I actually do love Vicky S stuff and how it makes me feel. My BF could care less what I wear because he just wants it off anyway, lol! So, truthfully, all undergarment shopping is for me and me only. It does have to be comfortable and the boyshorts/hipsters/whatver they are called just don’t cut it. I’m iffy about thongs or any strings either. I do like a bikini, but sometimes, you get the panty line. Funny you should mention it, but the lace cheeky is actually the only thing that is comfy, makes me feel sexy, AND leaves no panty lines.

    I will say though, those are the sexiest pair of granny panties I’ve seen in a while. Usually, when one thinks of granny panty…its a bit different than that…lol.

    • Anne, our dearest Kate also just informed me that she swears by those lace cheekies. Apparently, I’m missing out by dismissing them so quickly! Anything that combines comfort and loveliness is definitely worth trying out.

      Also, aren’t those to die for? If only stores would start stocking granny panties like those, we might get rid of the stigma! Hot, hot, hot!

  9. This post had me giggling out loud. I enjoy a variety of panties for whatever occasion my body needs, my mind desires, or my pants call for, and that includes a couple of so called granny panties. Life I think is about choices, which I want to make for myself. Not because some fashion desire tells me it isn’t vogue. I’m the one who has to walk around with the supposedly seamless underwear catching my dress funny.

    • Jami, I’m so glad you liked the post! Also, you have exactly the right mindset. Our choices, especially in this area, should be our own. As someone else who has experienced that supposed seamless underwear lie, I can’t tell you how freeing it is to finally start thinking this way. I shall wear my granny panties, or whatever I choose, with pride. :D

  10. Wearing granny panties might be all good and sensible but do you want your neighbours to see them on your clothes line? I think you still need a backup skimpy thing or two. Great fun. Good work.

  11. This essay makes me ridiculously happy. From start to finish, it is fabulously smart and funny and true. On the mystery of the disappearing underpants fabric, what finally did me in, personally, was the return of French-cut drawers.

    Whose genius idea was it to expose the least attractive vantage of a woman’s leg— the part where the top of the thigh rises to the hip? It makes no sense. None!

    Okay, once again– I love this essay! And good for you to standing up to the tyranny which is contemporary Victoria’s Secret! Viva la real undergarments!

    Oh, one more thing— my only issue with retro undergarments, and I own a few quite nice ones, is that they’re typically made of retro, unbreathable materials.

    If you manage to find a retro designer who makes real cotton ones (not just the token cotton liner), or cotton underpants with minor synthetic embellishments, will you let me know? Thanks!

  12. Totally agree. I just turned 30 and by definition should be the prime target for the Victoria’s Secret mob, but am not, I am all for the panties that hold in and shape and form and don’t show under any underwear when so is not desired!!! My husband loves me in any kind of panties, and I feel better when I can walk around without something that chafing into my bum. So huge HALLELUJAH for you!!

  13. My personal solution: bag underwear from target, as in Hanes underwear that comes from a bag. full coverage, no ride up, 8 dollars for 5 pairs. Are they sexy? No. But going to walmart in sweatpants before eating a platonic dinner with the fam doesn’t call for lace. Also, I believe that thrift can be sexy.

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  15. I recently had to deal with this myself – and being one of ample derriere, was flummoxed.

    In order to actually cover my whole rear end I have to buy the ‘shorts’ version of underwear, generally in a size bigger than I would buy in pants (which is weird right, because I wear them UNDER my pants). While I actually enjoy these undies and find them quite comfortable in specific brands, it bugs me that I have to move out of general underwear territory and into the crossover shorts category to find full coverage.

    Maybe my butt is truly larger than I believe it to be, that or underwear sales and creation really have been taken over by forces of evil. I’m leaning towards the latter.

  16. I have never had a man undress me to the point of panties alone, take a look and say, “Actually, I think I’ll just be getting going now.” Right? I mean, to tell the truth I don’t think they even see them 99% of the time, as they’re so quick to pull them off with the pants all together. And if they did, I doubt they’d actually have an opinion. After all, it’s what’s underneath that they’re excited about.

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