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Unpack your underpants - the trashy noughties trend is back

Stephanie Vinzens
Zurich, on 01.07.2022

Panties up, waistband down: Flashing thongs in combination with low-slung pants, as we know it from the late 90s and noughties, are back in vogue. I tried out the polarizing trend.

As we head relentlessly towards the noughties in terms of fashion, our waistbands are sliding lower and lower towards our hips - revealing yet another relic from the days when Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan still lived largely scandal-free lives: the panty-flasher, the tramp stamp in textile form. The signature trend of the millennials.

In the early 2000s, when the flashing panties had reached their maximum popularity, they were omnipresent on red carpets and concert stages. Whether it was reality TV icon Paris Hilton, pop star Christina Aguilera or Oscar winner Halle Berry, the trendsetters of the day loved the provocative look. And although the underpants flash was long considered a prime example of the tastelessness of the decade, the comeback is hardly surprising given the ongoing hype for fashion from the late '90s and early '00s.

Influencerin Sandra Heinrich Sauceda lässt ihren Marken-Slip von GCDS herausschauen.
Influencerin Sandra Heinrich Sauceda lässt ihren Marken-Slip von GCDS herausschauen.
Instagram: @filis\_pina
Model Stefanie Giesinger zeigt dezent ihren String.
Model Stefanie Giesinger zeigt dezent ihren String.
Instagram: @stefaniegiesinger

Personally, the whole 2000s revival has left me pretty cold so far. Probably because, as a child of '95, I've already participated in many of the currently revived trends in round one and am reluctant to walk around like my 12-year-old self. I was just old enough for spaghetti tops with butterfly motifs and bootcut jeans from Miss Sixty that were as low-cut as they were tight - but not for the slip-on trend. That probably explains my soft-spot for all the thongs, boxers and bikinis sticking out of low-slung pants that have been showing up for months on social media and runways from fashion houses like Chanel, Miu Miu and Prada.

Stilbruch bei Chanel: Trashy Schlüppi-Blitzer zum eleganten Tweed-Stoff.
Stilbruch bei Chanel: Trashy Schlüppi-Blitzer zum eleganten Tweed-Stoff.
Imaxtree
Auch in der Männermode, wie hier bei Prada, ist exponierte Unterwäsche angesagt.
Auch in der Männermode, wie hier bei Prada, ist exponierte Unterwäsche angesagt.
Imaxtree

The test look

Alright, so I decide to give in to my curiosity and test wear the look. But not all underpants flashers are the same. Starting in the mid-90s, R&B icons like Aaliyah or the girl group TLC wore branded briefs with baggy low-waist pants, so that the thick logo waistband peeked out of the top of the pants. Over the years, the look became increasingly blutter - for example, in his high-fashion debut. In 1997, Jean Paul Gaultier generously flaunted the Y-part of the thong above the bottom; a year later, Tom Ford made the thong protruding from both sides of the hips an integral part of his collection for Gucci. I like the less revealing version and opt for a combo of baggy jeans and high-waist briefs.

Meine Style-Inspo kommt von Influencer Nathan Hopkinson.
Meine Style-Inspo kommt von Influencer Nathan Hopkinson.
Instagram: @curlyfrysfeed

In the store, I order my first pair of low-waist pants in about 14 years: The "90s Straight" model from Calvin Klein. Because I'm unsure how loose the jeans really fit, I order several sizes at once. I already have the matching thong of the brand in my closet.

90s Straight
Calvin Klein 90s Straight
90s Straight (26)
120.–
Calvin Klein 90s Straight (26)
90s Straight
70.20
Calvin Klein 90s Straight

The first fitting

My regular size 26 fits best here, too. With the 27 I have the feeling that the pants slip down every moment, the 25 again is not oversized enough for me. Regardless of the fit, however, I can't get comfortable with the low waistband at first. I find the proportions that a hipster pant creates unflattering on me. Instead, I long for a high waistband that emphasizes the waist and visually stretches the legs.

My opinion changes abruptly, however, when I try on the jeans for the first time in combination with the high-cut thong from Calvin Klein. Best of both worlds: high-waist silhouette, low-waist look. I'm honestly pretty excited and decide to test the look right away when posting at the grocery store.

Die bequemste Jeans, die ich besitze: das 90s Straight Modell von Calvin Klein.
Die bequemste Jeans, die ich besitze: das 90s Straight Modell von Calvin Klein.
Bild: Laura Scholz

The reactions

My fear of getting stupid looks or comments turns out to be unfounded (I can only speak for the city of Zurich). Sure, every now and then one or the other curious eye gets stuck at waist level, but that's about it. So I feel comfortable enough to put the underpants flasher to the test the next day in the office.

There I'm immediately greeted with euphoria by my colleagues. Nati loves the look, Laura thinks: "You look like Aaliyah or a member of TLC" - and orders the 90s straight jeans herself in the evening. Teamlead Olla at least didn't give me a warning for the outfit. So a complete success.

Office-Look mal anders.
Office-Look mal anders.
Bild: Laura Scholz

The conclusion

After testing the underpants blitzer for several days now, I have to say: I'm a fan. The look is mega relaxed, yet exciting - and above all: really nice and nostalgic. I don't have to walk through the world with exposed briefs every day, but in the right mood I'm happy to let myself be carried away by this detour into the past.

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Has endless love for shoulder pads, Stratocasters and sashimi, but a limited tolerance for bad impressions of her Eastern Swiss dialect.


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