“Oldflyer” has a question:
I presume everyone saw the picture of the lovely Duchess of Cambridge’s dress blowing up and revealing her perfectly formed posterior. Now, I am quite old and not up to date, but someone please elighten me. Is it fashionable for fashionable women not to wear underwear these days? Have I missed something, I should not have? Is there a thong which is not visible?
I am probably not all that much younger than Oldflyer, but I can offer an answer to his final burning question in that paragraph:
Yes, there is almost certainly a thong which is not visible.
And for Oldflyer’s earlier questions: yes, you are missing something. And yes, lack of underwear is more common than it used to be. Of course, many many years ago (we’re talking several centuries here), lack of underwear used to be common as well, at least in the sense of underpants. Women wore corsets and petticoats and all sorts of undergarments, but not what you would call panties with a crotch (for those historically inclined, see this) until relatively recently:
Crotchless panties are not a new thing. They are only a salacious version of what had been the style of women’s underwear for centuries. Whatever form of pantalets, pantalettes, drawers, or pantaloons a woman wore, they were usually open from the thigh up. This was for a variety of reasons. Bunching up all the yardage in even the humblest dress of centuries past to try and get a comfortable position over the chamber pot left no hands to pull (or “draw,” thus the term “drawers”) down underwear. Plus it was considered healthy and hygienic; a lady’s bits needed proper ventilation. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century buttons began to appear on the crotch of drawers, giving ladies the option to close up shop if they wished.
There’s a host of information at that website, including the fact that what you might call briefs for women were invented some time around the 1930s. And if you’ve always wondered what a dimity pocket is (and who among us hasn’t?), that’s the site for you as well.
The thong is of fairly recent origin in terms of being popularly used as women’s underwear (1990s?), but of ancient origin as a piece of clothing, usually for men. Women seem to wear it in order to reduce panty lines and to feel sexy and trendy, although some claim it is more comfortable than regular underpants, be they bikini or briefs. I am here to say that they are sadly mistaken, IMHO.
Which brings us to the Duchess and her recent wardrobe malfunction at the hands of the capricious Australian breeze (that link rather discreetly covers what was indiscreetly revealed, but you can find the full picture quite easily if you use Google; I’m going to make you work for it).
The following would seem to be a solution for her problem; I wonder why she hasn’t done it. Maybe the clothes don’t hang quite right when you do this?
But despite a string of such incidents, Kate has yet to take a leaf out of the Queen’s book.
Her Majesty’s skirts are always fitted at the hem with small lead curtain weights, which cost just £1.50 for a pack of four, to prevent the royal hemline from flying away in a gust of wind.
Seems the queen has thought of everything.
There’s also another old-fashioned solution: slips that are not full, and cling to the body under the dress. Or my own favorite from the 60s and miniskirt era, petti-pants, which were slips in the form of pants rather than skirts. Women of a certain age might remember them; I had ultra-short ones that didn’t show under the mini, but protected me on the subway.
Or, if all else fails, wear non-thong underwear. Could that be so difficult?