A Response To The New York Times & New York Magazine Granny Panty Stories
Recently, a New York Times article stated that young generations of women are buying full coverage “granny panties” and ditching lacy thongs. The article takes a few scant data points and extrapolates a nation-wide (or perhaps world-wide!) trend.
The article points to a niche designer selling high-waist granny panties with the word “feminist” on the rear. Yet out of all the lingerie and underwear brands out there, only two companies are cited in the article. Moreover, the article is backed with one data point. The one data point from NPD Group states “sales of thongs decreased 7 percent over the last year, while sales of fuller styles – briefs, boy shorts and high-waist briefs – have grown a collective 17 percent.” Perhaps the sales were all in boyshorts. Nowhere in the NPD study doies the word Granny (Or Grandma) appear.
The Granny-Panty Weigh-In: A Biased Perspective
Author, Hayley Phelan is a senior Editor for Fashionista.com and has credits with Teen Vogue, Interview, Elle, and luckymag.com. Although Phelan has deep of experience in fashion (she recently covered New York Fashion Week), she does not necessarily represent the average woman nor seem to have any sense of trends outside of the island of Manhattan.
Although many of us love to check out the new styles that fashion leaders put on the runways, we have to agree with our friend Alison Davis at New York Magazine’s The Cut, who responded “who is buying them? Certified grandmas? Wannabe grandmas?” There are certain trends that never go beyond the West Village.
Granny Panties vs. High Waisted Panties
High waists are undoubtedly in. But high-waisted and granny should not be conflated. Anyone in the lingerie industry knows that “high-waist” could mean a variety of options. The term granny panties brings to mind white, thin, cotton, loose-fitting underwear with heavy coverage in the front and back that also happens to be high-waist. However, high-waist could apply to thongs and G-strings too. Cuts between the waist and the backside are two different measurements, not to be used interchangeably. Although thongs sales may have decreased, their competition is a much larger spectrum of styles.
31 Flavors of Underwear
Granny panties v. thongs is the way the New York Times framed the debate, yet there is so much more to underwear than a full on diaper or a few triangles here and there. Tangas, bikinis, G-strings, boy shorts, there are many different styles to choose from. Waists range from the ultra-low-rise to the nipple grazing – and height of rise does not dictate the coverage of the bum. We are not advocating a return to Britney Spears circa 2007 flashing her thong, nor do should we all mimic Chloë Sevigny in her fashion-insider couture granny panties. Ladies, lets revel in all the options of panty styles, rather than limiting ourselves to the two options dictated by a navel-gazing fashion insider. (Plus, her navel would presumably bee covered by her granny panties, no?)