Chic to cheek
Under the Counter
Saturday 15 March 1997
VPL, or "visible panty line", is a phenomenon that appears as soon as spring has sprung. It rises with the sap at the merest blink of sunshine. It manifests itself most commonly at weddings, office parties, and even on prime-time television. A recent Blind Date contestant was a textbook example. The lovely lad may not have liked the cut of her jib, but most of Britain saw the cut of her knicks as she waddled up Cilla's stairs to the losers' dressing room. His relief at not picking her, was palpable - so was mine.
I have no sympathy for anyone suffering from VPL. This is, after all, a self-imposed affliction. Don't these people look in the mirror? Or is it the fault of complacent/well meaning/ scared partners, who to the much- voiced "I look fat in this, don't I?", reply "of course you don't, my darling", every time.
I have never been a fan of squeeze-me-quick Lycra below the waist, so VPL was not a personal challenge - that is, until this year's January sales, when I fell for a pair of skin-tight, indigo, boot-cut Sportmax trousers. They were reduced from pounds 169 to pounds 53, so I just had to have them. The assistant rather cunningly reassured me that no, I didn't look fat in them and yes, they were supposed to be that tight; and she had processed my Visa card and lovingly wrapped my brand-new purchase in tissue, before I'd even had time to consider my panty line options.
The ensuing evening gave me a new complex to mix and match with my new trews. I spent a great deal of time in Hennes, selecting a suitable, fine g-string with which to slide into this Lycra garment, and, as this shop is such incredible value, was forced to buy a slinky Wonderbra-style bikini as well. Tops and bottoms are sold separately, so I thought, what the hell, I'll get some g-string bottoms while I'm at it - nice to have a sun-kissed behind.
I thought my other half would have been unable to contain himself, as I gave him a pre-bedtime fashion show. But when it came to the (Pamela- Anderson-eat-your-heart-out) g-string bikini, he hesitated, then shook his head, saying no, this was really 18-year-old-waif gear. I haven't yet got over the fact that he doesn't think I possess the body of an 18- year-old waif. At least I can wear my g-string under my Sportmax boot- legs, and strip off to reveal it in the gym locker-room, in the certain knowledge that most of the fat old birds in there would turn up to board meetings wearing only this piece of dental floss, if they had buttocks like mine.
There is no excuse for revealing your panty line to the world. There are solutions - be they g-strings, trouser briefs, control-top tights, or simply no knickers at all. Before you RSVP to your VIP party, get to the mirror ASAP, and check out that VPL. In case there is any doubt, your reflected rear should remind you of two smooth Cox's orange pippins, not a beach ball tied tightly with string.
Smoothies to get intimate with: LOGG microfibre g-string, pounds 4.99, from H&M (Hennes), 261-271 Regent Street, London W1; Lycra and polyester "trouser knickers" with minimiser knicker-line and seam-free rear, pounds 7, from Marks & Spencer.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' must be averted, warn scientists
Life & Style blogs
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Global leader in its respective ...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...