Shoppin u

Products, fashion and style

Knicker stocker glory

Pants are bursting out of the closet and into your face, as Katy McAulay discovers.

he next best thing to nakcd.‘ reads the adyertiscment for .lockey

underwear. currently celebrating 70 years of the Y—front. While

you may question the logic of such a claim in the face of Scotland‘s looming winter. it‘s clear that the slogan has come a long way from a campaign in the His and 70s that urged men to ‘cliangc your underwear any day”.

Much like the lilies of synthetic pants fayoured by department stores and lingerie boutiques. undergarment ady'crtising has often had the potential to he an incendiary business. l'ndcrwear models in the l‘)2().s wore masks to protect their identities. the first eyer aulyertisement for .lockcys in WSS lasted four titnes as long as it should have because 'Iimrg/il Show host Jack l’aar got the giggles. and the state of Louisiana is currently considering a hill that could punish girls who deliberately flaunt their thongs ahoye their waistbands with either a $300 line or a six month jail term. Superman neyer had this much trouble.

Time was. underwear was bought from a salesman in a transaction as discreet as you‘d expect from a royal butler. Whispered consultations on size were held before the required garment was retricy‘ed from a hidden storeroom with the choices of small. medium or large likely to he about as taxing as the process got.

These days. howeyer. buying yourself a pair of smalls is more like an outing to some kind of yast sweetie shop. Dilemmas and problems from style yersus comfort to Vl’l. and hum cleay‘age issues abound. To match. or not to match. for women. is often the question.

\Vhateyer the cause. with celebrity endorsements. multicoloured fabrics and designs and eyen jewels gracing the humble pant. it‘s clear that underwear is a fashion item determined to get out of the closet and in your face. While Marks & Spencer clings for dear life onto its .ill‘é share of the l'K‘s lingerie market. outlets such as (ilasgow's l'rhan ()utlitters are tempting the female population away with a range that relies on the mantra that it‘s quirkiness. not quantity. that counts.

The result is a rainbow of knickers boasting rihhons. see-through sections and fluorescent frills that. while not scoring hiin on either the comfort or practicality fronts. are great ftm to look at and wear. Deep purple thongs with black lace trim would look at home on any cancan dancer. while a green and pink colour combination is used for a pair of pants large enough to coyer a small continent. lf you'ye eyer had a craying for canary yellow underwear or silk bloomers. this is the place to come.

l’ink Piranha works in a similar \ein. Sold online at the company offers hipsters with frilled behinds and silky pink knickers with a cherry motif - ideal for girls who want to haye fun. Sensible Sallys may he more interested in the tamer styles available from Cult. Striped hipsters haye a l-‘rench feel. while paisley shorts offer actiye types a way to wear colour that won't lcaye them with their knickers in a twist.

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.\len haye a range of options at their fingertips too. (iap has a reasonably wide-ranging collection of colours and styles. including camouflage and stripes. If you‘re not keen on colour. l'elis and Oscar. in (ilasgow's West lind (but also selling online) stocks mostly black underwear with a twist hy ('hunk and Dirty Knickers.

lloweyer. with the current trend for all things retro. the hrayc among men may wish to try out .lockey's range of Y-fronts. now Venturing into colours such as red and blue. lf Brad Pitt can get away with brown and orange Y-fronts a la Smut/1. anything is possible. It seems that women are also keen to muscle in on the Y—front reyolution. Whether it‘s the lL‘Ltthl‘slilp til. .lockcy‘s first female (ll). \\liH has launched a Jockey for Her range. or the influence of Sarah Jessica Parker‘s penchant for sesily sensible Y-fronts. the direction for lingerie seems to he the bigger the better.

(iranny pant entliusiasts can get their ll\ by way of Paul l'rank's monkey-adorned briefs. or Bottth flowery designs. both ayailahle in Felix and Oscar. Meanwhile. 'l‘opshop‘s new range of girl boxers is proying that despite Louisianan politicians. our passion for smarty— pants of all shapes. si/es and colours is undeterred hy prison sentence threats. \"i\c la resistance.

Felix and Oscar, 0141 339 8585,;;; Topshop, 0141 221 4161 or 0131 556 0151,; Gap, 0141 248 8828 or 0131 220 2846,; Cult, 0141 226 6822 or 0131 556 5003.