There’s a difference between women’s underwear and sexy panties. Underwear is functional. It is worn for sanitary purposes. Sexy panties are about femininity, self-expression, and style. Sexy panties are perhaps the only item of clothing that can influence the mood of both women and men.
While panties may have evolved over the years as the embodiment of female sexuality, they did not start out that way. Their original purpose was to cover-up and minimize a woman’s feminine features.
The first “panties” were the brainchild of Elizabeth Miller, but Amelia Bloomer revised them during the 1850’s. They were essentially long, baggy pants ending at the ankles (a.k.a. “bloomers”). In the late 18th century bloomers got two other nicknames – knickers and knickerbockers.
When the roaring 20s arrived, signaling the end of World War I, young women began wearing shorter skirts for greater comfort while dancing. With all of the high leg kicking that was taking place, undergarments went from being a private article of clothing, to potentially being a public display of intimate fashion apparel.
As a result the first pastel panties were designed and the word “lingerie” first appeared in public. The term lingerie derives from the French word ‘lin’ which means linen. During the beginning of the 20th century it was still being called underwear and was worn mainly for hygienic purposes. It was at this time that bloomers began to shrink in size.
FREDERICK’S of HOLLYWOOD
In the 1940s, Frederick’s of Hollywood opened shop in Hollywood. They began turning out prettier undergarments, lingerie, and corsets. Many viewed these more fashionable undergarments as “hooker” attire. After all, why would a respectable woman need raunchy panties?
Thus, any pretty and/or fashionable garments worn under clothing were deemed as lingerie; which was associated with bad girls who did bad things…that men liked. Frederick’s of Hollywood still carries this stigma today and as a result, has been overshadowed by Victoria’s Secret as a more “respectable” undergarment retailer.
Colorful, bright, sexy, and flashier fashions of women’s lingerie were becoming available. More fabrics such as cotton, satin, lace and silk began to be incorporated into the makeup of women’s lingerie, making them more desired by females and more sensual to males.
This is perhaps the great turning point when panties became more than simple hygiene products and were viewed as a symbol for sexuality and eroticism worldwide.
During the 1960s, there was a stir about the old, traditional views of women’s undergarments, which some people wanted to look more like females’ anatomies. Female anatomy was largely misunderstood due to censorship of the subject. Some feminist women were complaining that traditional women’s undergarments were created to impose control and distort the appearance of women’s figures (which it originally did).
This movement caused many females to have a new outlook on their undergarments. The underpants began to be made more like women’s anatomy, as designers experimented with different cuts and fabrics. The underpants got smaller and skinnier and began to be more openly sexualized.
Then the 70s and sexual liberation arrived. Inhibitions diminished and so did the tolerance for grandma panties (which is what bloomers were now called).
While many credit Rudi Gernreich with introducing the first modern thong back in 1974 – in this country – it was actually the Egyptians, conceptually, who were one of the earliest people to wear them. The loincloth, worn thousands of years ago by them, is likely to be the first undergarment worn by humans and it evolved into the thong over the years. So, ironically, it was first worn by men in ancient times before it evolved into part of women’s lingerie in modern times.
The thong, originally called a V-back, are a special type of underwear that ride high on the hips and leave the bottom almost completely exposed. They were also worn for many years by exotic Brazilian dancers during festivals. Thongs also grew in popularity during the 80s in South America and were used as swimwear at the beaches. The popularity of the thong spread to various parts of the world in the late 80s.
In the US, the thong had to gain acceptance before it gained popularity. In the early 90s R&B vocalist Sisqo and his famous “Thong Song” helped with both. Today, the thong is one of the best selling styles of undergarment in the world. The size of the lingerie industry is said to be over $2 billion a year. The rest is history.
Because most articles of this nature are written by women, I thought it would be nice to offer a male point of view on the sex appeal of various types of panties and why men love them.
Commonly referred to as “butt floss” because they are made with the least amount of material, G-Strings are a woman’s best defense against panty lines. They are virtually invisible under snug or tight fitting pants. G-Strings look best on the woman who has a rounder, more well-defined ass.
For women who lack plumpness in that area, a G-String with a triangle back will add more definition to your buttocks and make them appear rounder in the way that thongs do. Thongs are best for visually enhancing and adding definition to less defined buttocks.
This is a relatively new G-String. It has a low front panel, which makes it smaller than a G-string. While I like the concept and the visual, Micro G-Strings seem very impractical and slightly uncomfortable, but very, very erotic. Perhaps best for “situational” use.
These are a hybrid between Thongs and G-String. They have more material and cover a greater portion of the buttocks than G-Strings. They also provide greater ass definition for those who need it, but lack the comfort of G-strings.
A C-String is a type of thong that has only a thin string connecting the front piece covering the vagina. Unlike the more popular G-String, V-String, and T-String, the C-String does not contain a waist band. It is held in place by a flexible frame which “clamps” onto the body. It looks more like a space age medical device, but clearly it’s easy to remove…which can have its benefits.
T-BACK THONGS OR T-STRINGS
This thong has a wide waistband going around the back. The T shape is made by the juncture of the waistband part merging into the back material of the thong. This version of the thong is perhaps the least favorite among men. It looks and feels like a belt. The material in the waist seems excessive.
Boy shorts, also known as boy short panties, boys’ cut, booty shorts, shorties, tap panties or boy-leg briefs are a sort of lingerie that goes all the way down the hips. Some stop short of the length of the hip to reveal a portion of a woman’s “cheeks” for titillation. They are similar in style to male boxer shorts – but are tighter and of course, much sexier. Men like them because they are fun, flirty, and sensual. If you have nice, plump, round buttocks, boy shorts will accentuate your assets.
The classic bikini is still sexy – subtle, but sexy. They come in many variations. Bikini underwear can refer to virtually any undergarment that provides less coverage to the midsection than traditional underwear, panties or knickers. As much as men love the aforementioned panties, bikini briefs tend to outnumber most panties in a woman’s undergarment supply.
INTERESTING TRENDS…THE ASS BRA?
The ass bra allegedly enhances the lift, shape and volume of the ass while also flattening the lower tummy and shaping the thigh. That’s quite a lot to deliver on. My research revealed their average price to be $64.
How does it work? According to one website:
“Constructed of 3 high-tech layers…an inner and outer silky-soft layer made of a Nylon/Spandex blend creates a smooth seamless look under clothing. A high-compression latex middle layer provides breathable and flexible slimming of the tummy. A creative solution for those who want the illusion of slim and trim thighs, a tummy-tuck and a butt-lift without the use of padding.”
BUTT CLEAVAGE PANTIES
These are Bikini-style panties with either a peephole or a lace-up in the back, so named for the “cleavage” view they create. They don’t do much for men; though they seemingly provide women with more air, should they desire it.
These are…interesting panties which do away with backside fabric completely and are held up by a tight band underneath the buttocks which make them appear to be falling down. Hmm…can’t see the point of them.
On the Flirty Lingerie website I read the most powerful and intelligent statement about sexy panties…which was written by a woman:
“When a woman passes a mirror she may pause to see if she is all put together. That includes her hair, makeup, teeth and so on. Never is the focus on the panties she is wearing and perhaps rightfully so. I don’t advocate that a woman should check out her underwear throughout the day for obvious reasons. On the other hand…the clothes a woman wears make a statement about her sense of style, fashion sense and personality; therefore the choice of panties can, and does, make a difference in a woman’s wardrobe.”
I couldn’t agree more.