Working in a lingerie shop is quite the delicate task, as shopping for bras and underwear can get pretty personal. With conversation ranging from the newest shade of Essie to the inner-workings of a customer's relationship with their significant other, sales associates get a clear insight into our customer's psyche -- which includes learning exactly what the shopper wants. And these days, the ladies want briefs. So while the demand for thongs will always be there, there's nothing like being sure a panty line won't sneak its way into your little black dress. Women are longing for simpler, more minimalist trends when it comes to their wardrobes, and a need for a practical, comfortable (but not frumpy) panty experience is following.
A Brief History: Literally
To fully understand this return to innocence, let's examine the history of the brief. Prior to the 19th century, women went commando. Shockingly, those who donned pantaloons were considered somewhat of a floozy However, once it became acceptable for women to wear some kind of undergarment, it involved a slit from front to back. Split knickers or bottomless styles allowed for easy access (talk about an imposition!)
"James Monroe's daughter, Maria Hester, is said to be the first person to wear pantalettes, a feminine version of pantaloons. Unlike their male counterpart, pantalettes are worn under clothing not as pants." (Taken from "The Lingerie Handbook" by Rebecca Apsan).
The beginning of the panty we know today all started with an ambitious lady that loved to ride bikes. In the 1840's, Amelia Bloomer wanted to adhere to the trends of her time but believed she had the right to feel comfortable while engaging in her favorite pastime. As a women's activist, Amelia felt that wardrobe issues shouldn't stop her from riding her bike. This prompted Ms. Bloomer to pioneer the "bloomer." Researchers have said the blousy undergarment that resemble a fancier hammer pant, ended at the ankles with a button closure that held them securely around the ankle. Eventually they were a cut a bit shorter to fasten around the knee. Of course these are not the panties we know and love today. This was just the beginning!
As time went by and women became less oppressed, so did their garments (including what went under them). Fast forward to Paris in the early 1900's, think The Moulin Rouge. Known as the birthplace of the ever so lustrous can can dancer. This is the native soil of our panty. Of course, leave it to the French to chop off 90% of a garment for the purpose of showing more leg. Kudos ladies!
From then on the full coverage panty was the go to underpinning. As it evolved and got smaller we ended up with the thong. Today women are standing strong in their quest for comfort, always on the lookout for smart yet fashionable full coverage bottoms. Much like Amelia fighting for women's rights, are we reclaiming our right to wear comfortable panties? While you ponder that, here are a few images to drool over:
Aubade Always Does a Body Good. Find our Aubade selection here.
Here are some of our favorite briefs found right here at La Petite Coquette:
The prima Donna Rio Brief. Buy it Here!
Eres Tulle Priscilla High Wasted Brief. Buy it here!
Hanky Panky Silky Skin Hi-Rise Panty. Buy it here!
I hope you enjoyed this trip through panty history. Whether you're following the brief trend or not, don't hesitate to visit the girls at LPC. They'll take care of you whether you want to cover it up or bare it all! And remember, whatever you're wearing, wear it with pride.
"I'm a woman
~ Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou