A few years ago I wouldn’t have been seen dead wearing a pair of high-waisted panties. They were seen as unfashionable even before the now iconic scene in the “Bridget Jone’s Diary” film. Bridget, played by Renée Zellweger, had been conflicted about her imminent date with the sleazy character played by Hugh Grant. Would she choose skimpy, sexy knickers or the enormous, off-white, pair that would hold in her ample curves? When she held the high-waisted ones aloft the whole female audience, myself included, laughed and cringed. Those panties represented everything that we didn’t aspire to be.
I was as surprised as anyone with the unexpected decline of the thong and the rise of the “Brazilian” style instead. Nowadays, panties are big and they seem to be getting bigger. Sales of larger knickers are booming as women relegate skimpier styles to the back of their underwear drawer. Boy shorts and high-waist briefs reappeared on the high street and now sales are booming. One reason for this is the fashion for “underwear as outerwear” promoted by Lady Gaga and Lily Allen among others. The other trend that has revived interest in them is the popularity of all things retro. The eager acceptance of 1950’s waist-cinching styles has done more than anything to help big panties lose their “Bridget Jones” image.
When I was shopping in Marks and Spencer recently I made sure I had a look at their high-waisted knickers. I found out that they’d changed a lot. Instead of the cringeworthy styles I had expected there was now more detailing: lace, ruffles and accessories that accentuated rather than just covered up what can be a woman’s best asset. They still looked huge when I picked out a pair that was my size. I bought them anyway without knowing if I’d ever wear them.I got them home before I tried them on.
They were much sexier than I was anticipating and I knew I had to feature them in a photo-set.I settled on a mismatched 50’s style that paired a nude-coloured bra with the cerise-coloured high-waisters. The bra’s black trim really worked against the panties as I hooked my thumbs into their waistband and began to play. In a nod to the retro style I styled my long red hair in tight, bouncing, curls. Then I enhanced its coppery tones with glossy red lipstick and classic calendar girl eye make-up. My pale skin began to look even paler under the hot lights.
High-waisted panties have come a long way since “Bridget Jone’s Diary”.
Photography by Guy Moberly.