In the noughties the VPL was like the sweat patch — something so disastrous that it was to be circled in an alarmist red ring in weekly magazines. In this Perez Hilton-era where every week there was another celebrity with a DUI mugshot, the Hollywood set all had Chiwawas that were smaller than their Starbucks and made sure no VPL ever showed through their Juicy joggers by wearing thongs, or no underwear at all. But the thing is — we all sweat, and we all wear knickers. Often very big knickers. And it isn’t something that needs a comment, let alone a big red circle.
In 2018 we are moving past the Bridget Jones dilemma of ‘thong’ or ‘Spanx,’ and finally just wearing knickers that cover both bum cheeks. And Kim Kardashian-West is showing that comfortable pants that create a line through your leggings and jeans can actually be sexy too. Yesterday Kim Kardashian-West was photographed in Calabasas wearing a pair of Yeezy scuba leggings, with a very distinct line around her briefs. These aren’t ‘sexy Hollywood pants’, but look like the sort of knickers that I buy in a multipack from M&S.
This wasn’t a one-time mistake, it was deliberate. If you look though the past few months of Kim in paparazzi pictures you’ll see that very visible knicker line again and again. She isn’t the only one encouraging the death of the VPL — designer of the moment Jacquemus included a blue sheer dress in his spring/ summer 2018 collection, worn with a pair of white simple cotton briefs visible underneath.
“I think that women worry too much about the VPL,” Sarah Shotton, creative director of Agent Provocateur, said to Who What Wear in 2016. “I actually think that wearing a knicker, where you can see it, is actually really sexy. My old boss Jo and I, we used to sit and talk about the lumps that you get sometimes over a knicker line and that VPL and we would talk about how sexy it is and how you shouldn’t worry too much about it. I still sometimes wear a G-string and my bum isn’t good enough for a G-string. If you’re wearing a tight skirt you’ll wear a thong, but I think you should embrace [the VPL] more.”
For more of Schotton’s thoughts on underwear, see her guide to the mistakes we all make.
Opening image: Getty