Not Your Granny’s Panties

| Lingerie


Granny panties. It’s a term most people seem to have a natural aversion to.  They think of it as a high-rise panty that covers all of your derriere and must come in some unattractive fabric or color. It is underwear a woman would wear knowing it was for her eyes only, definitely not a showpiece. Instead, it is a no-frills comfort kind of panty. For a long time, those two words described underpinnings that, as a lingerie lover, I would avoid like the plague. However, like it or not, the undergarment known as the “granny panty” is experiencing a revival and, trust me…it’s good.

In the early 90’s, we modern women pledged our loyalty to underwear that was seamless and sexy. We decided to pack away our fuller bottoms for sleeping and laundry days. We considered bikinis and boyshorts as runners-up to the obvious winner: the thong. So, it was a bit of a surprise to us here at Journelle when our customers started requesting boyshorts to match the lovely bras they were purchasing. Women were declaring cheeky boyshorts the new “It” panty, and thongs were taking a backseat. It felt like a thong backlash! Then, bikinis started to pick up steam. Personally, I think it was the opening scene of “Lost in Translation” that inspired this move.

Scarlett Johannson, Lost in Translation

After seeing Scarlett Johansson laying on a bed wearing barely-there Araks undies, it made it necessary for all women to own a pair of sheer mesh bikinis. Below are some good examples of my favorite granny panties.




While the above-styles are certainly a modernized nod to the granny panty, their low-rise, cheeky cuts and minimal coverage (thanks to the fabulous sheer material) make them an acceptable piece to wear in the bedroom. Still, we had no idea what the lingerie industry had in store for us. As recently as last season, we have all gotten behind (no pun intended) the idea of wearing shapewear that is also fashionable. With this, higher-rise briefs entered the scene. Think black pencil skirt and high-rise lace briefs and, believe me, that’s just the beginning. Designers are realizing that there is a demand for pieces that are able to shape and streamline the body without making women feel the need to keep those garments hidden while undressing. The marriage of function and style in these pieces is making me SO excited for the fall, I can barely contain myself!

Rigby & Peller

I try to tell my friends about the Granny Panty Revolution, how the silhouettes can be as sexy, if not sexier, than their smaller, T-shaped relatives. I understand the argument from men that “less is more”, but seeing a sexy fabric like lace or mesh hugging the curves of your lady-friend, as well as the confidence she will exude from the added coverage in those hard-to-tone areas, will definitely make men rethink thong appeal.

I’m sure women will have to defend their love of granny panties for years to come, but let it be known: this lingerie buyer sees the trend sticking around for many seasons to come. I mean, just look at the amazing Rihanna and say “hello” to La Perla’s S’cult brief! (Yes, lingerie lovers, we are getting it in soon. Stay tuned!)

Photo by Tom Munro

Melissa Silvetti is the Senior Buyer at Journelle.