Mad Men Brings Back Big Girl Underwear

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It is final vindication for the Bridget Jones attitude to underwear.

Big pants are making a fashion come back as women discard their thongs in favour of larger knickers.

The trend for high waist briefs is being credited to a revival in Fifties and Sixties waist-cinching styles, made famous by curvy actress Christina Hendricks on US TV drama Mad Men, which has helped big pants shake off their Bridget Jones image.

Up to twice the size of normal knickers, waist-nippers flatter the hourglass figure by trimming in a woman's stomach and pushing out the hips and breasts.

Lingerie retailers say a surge in demand for larger styles is also due to the patronage of stars, such as Lily Allen and Lady Gaga, who have sparked an 'underwear-as- outerwear' trend.

Sales of the G-string have been falling dramatically over the past four years - ever since the thong became associated with football WAGs and chav culture.

Unflattering pictures of celebrities - such as Melanie Blatt, a singer with girl group All Saints - flashing their G-strings as they fell out of taxis and nightclubs, fuelled a backlash against the tiny string briefs.

TV presenter Trinny Woodall described women who wore thongs showing above their trousers as 'disgusting' and supermodel Elle Macpherson, who has her own underwear range, also described them as 'uncomfortable,' adding: 'Girls want real knickers now.'

According to a recent survey sales of big pants have soared dramatically in 2010 - up 42 per cent in just three months.

Like the thong, they have the benefit of wiping out the dreaded VPL (visible panty line) under clothes.

But fans argue they have the added advantage of being more comfortable, as well as hugging and holding the derriere, providing far more support.

Rigby & Peller, which made the big briefs worn by Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones, has recorded a 15 per cent swing from thongs to larger styles this year.

Online retailer Figleaves says sales of such items are up 28 per cent in the past 12 months. Both outlets are now selling about two pairs of fuller briefs or shorts for every G-string.

Some labels, such as Lepel, stocked in House of Fraser, and Charnos, have even decided to axe thongs altogether from several of their ranges.

Nicky Clayton, creative director of Rigby & Peller, said: "This season big is definitely beautiful. They are sexy as well as comfortable.

'There is now more detailing: lace, ruffles and accessories that accentuate rather than just cover up what can be a lady's best asset. It's been championed by the underwear-as-outerwear look.

'Women want glamour as well as comfort now and G-strings are definitely being squeezed out by this trend.'

A spokeswoman for Marks & Spencer, which sells more than a quarter of Britain's pants and bras, added: 'We have seen a big shift away from the skimpier shapes. Gone are the days of the off-white Bridget-Jones-style knickers.'


how big yo undies is, girls?