The Visible Thong Trend's Complete History: From 1930 To Today
The exposed thong is an undeniable hit with Hollywood A-listers and the fashion set, just look at any red carpet style roundup if you need evidence. But the boudoir-inspired trend has a long history that goes beyond its early 2000s heyday — all the way back to the 1930s, in fact.
Since its beginnings, the butt-baring look has always been controversial. It was reserved for cabaret dancers for the majority of the 20th century and only entered the swimwear vernacular decades later, in the ‘70s. But it was by no means considered fashion.
It wasn’t until French designer Jean Paul Gaultier shocked the industry with several thong-centric looks in his eponymous line’s Spring 1997 show. And the rest, as they say, is fashion history.
Lil’ Kim, Britney Spears, and Halle Berry were among those who brought the look into the mainstream — inspiring devotees to rock the trend off the red carpet. Today, the trend is now more closely associated with Dua Lipa, Julia Fox, and Florence Pugh, among others, who have gone viral for the exposed undies look in recent years.
From its beginnings on the stages of burlesque shows and the height of the “whale tail” in the early aughts to the sheer thong-baring styles celebrities favor now, here’s everything you need to know about the rich (and unexpected) origins of the visible thong trend. The garment may be flimsy, but its history is anything but.