The G-string has fallen between the cracks

28 September 2017 - 10:13 By Claire Cohen
The G-string is all but dead.
The G-string is all but dead.
Image: Flickr

Ladies, rejoice. No more chafing, no more discomfort, no more plucking at your backside like Rafael Nadal getting ready to serve. The thong is dead.

According to a new survey by underwear company Banana Moon, the visible G-string is the one fashion trend that most women have sworn never to repeat. In England, the sales figures back that up, with M&S reporting last year that sales are hanging by a thread, accounting for fewer than one in 10 pairs of panties sold (and they shift upwards of 60million a year).

Head of lingerie design Soozie Jenkinson said "the style is decreasing in popularity as women are falling in love with bigger shapes".

The G-string first came to prominence in the 1920s, when showgirls and burlesque dancers started wearing them on stage to give the illusion of nudity.

New York dancer Margie Hart reputedly wore a black woollen version to make audiences think she was naked (she was once taken into custody after a particularly racy show), while American burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee famously wrote a detective novel in 1941 called The G-String Murders.

But it wasn't until the 1970s that the thong went mainstream. The G-string bikini was invented in 1974, in reaction to LA City Council banning nude sunbathing.

Pop stars such as Cher and Madonna started wearing them on stage in the 1980s and the aerobics craze - leotards and leggings - meant an aversion to the visible panty line.

By the early 2000s, thongs accounted for 31% of the women's underwear market and no one seemed to care that the half-centimetre of dental floss that disappeared into some or other crevice every time you put them on was making life a living hell.

Laundry drying racks in student houses were like Christmas trees hung with teeny- tiny bits of fabric. Big pants, if you had any, were dried secretly in your bedroom.

Because thongs weren't merely in fashion, they represented our entry into womanhood (even better if your G-string matched your bra) and sexual desirability. Who'd want to sleep with you if you wore granny pants?

Thank Bridget Jones. Cheer for high-waisted ''mom jeans" - but somewhere in the last decade, the bottom fell out of the thong market. Celebrities now regularly wear 1950s-style big knickers on the red carpet - even Madonna is a convert. Less is more, and that means a vintage silhouette rather than a young starlet climbing into a car with her backside hanging out. Let's hope the thong stays where it belongs - fallen between the cracks. - The Daily Telegraph

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