Why Millennial Women Are Retiring Their Thongs

by Alexa Salvato

Yesterday, the New York Times reported about a hip new trend for young women: full bottom underwear. You heard us right—thongs are no longer cool. Apparel analysts and young women themselves agree that thongs have passed, and that being comfortable is the new thing.

The research coincides with this observation: according to NPD, a research company, “Sales of thongs decreased 7 percent over the last year, while sales of fuller styles — briefs, boy shorts and high-waist briefs — have grown a collective 17 percent.”

The trend has been attributed to many factors, including young women’s penchant for “contrarianism” of popular trends, women being more likely to shop for undergarments of their own comfort than to please a sexual partner, and even “feminism.” In fact, the slogan “feminist” is displayed across the behind of new boutique label Me and You’s best-selling cotton briefs, which the Times says “has inspired countless Instagram “belfies” (that’s a selfie for the behind) from Me and You customers eager to show off their feminist convictions.”

Interesting fact: This isn’t the first time full-bottomed underwear was super-popular. In the early 1970s, during the peak of Second Wave Feminism, undies offering more coverage were all the rage. And feminism is certainly having a mainstream media resurgence again today, so does this mean that brief underwear will come along with it?

We think that feminism is more about choice than anything else, and that includes underwear choice; so-called “granny panties” are no more empowering than a thong. What matters the most is the woman wearing them! 

Image of  Julia Baylis and Mayan Toledano by Isak Tiner for the New York Times 

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