When it comes to putting together a ‘fit, underwear is often overlooked. Sure, thoughts like ‘Will these cream cotton undies look cute with my gray trousers?’ usually aren’t top of mind when getting ready in the morning — but that’s about to change. Believe it or not, fashion girls are making a convincing case for the exposed underwear trend, a styling technique that allows your briefs to peek out from beneath your bottoms. And no, we’re not talking about the whale tale look that unexpectedly became a huge thing in 2022; instead, influencers are showing off their comfortable briefs, or “granny panties,” if you will.
It’s no secret the industry loves nostalgia, and Turner Turner, a celebrity stylist whose clientele includes Grimes and Lorely Rodriguez (aka Empress Of), believes this emerging trend stems from its fixation on iconic fashion moments. “Growing up in the ‘90s, it reminds me of Aaliyah when she was wearing Tommy Hilfiger briefs [for everyone to see],” she explains. Turner adds that the singer’s outfit was a product of ‘90s hip-hop culture. “People should understand that’s where that [look] came from.” More recently, Yara Shahidi brought back the legendary outfit for a 2020 episode of Grown-ish.
Miu Miu is also partially responsible for reviving the trend. “They made it look so undeniably cool, we couldn’t look away,” New York-based stylist Beverly Nguyen says, referring to the luxury label’s Spring/Summer 2023 runway show, where It girls like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski were seen rocking its white underwear. Turner adds to the discussion: “You see previous generations being referenced in runway shows because people are influenced by a certain era, [like the ‘90s].”
Intimidated by the styling technique? Fortunately, it’s not as daunting as you might lead it to be. Nguyen offers some advice: “It's [all] about proportions and layering for your body which can be helpful if the idea of being caught outside with your underpinnings showing is too much.” As for a full-proof outfit to test-drive, the stylist suggests a silk or satin bodysuit underneath the briefs and then a layering piece, like an oversized leather jacket.
For more styling inspo, ahead, explore seven ways to showcase your underwear.
No need to have your underwear on full display — just let a tiny sliver of fabric peek out. Doing so will add a cool factor to your outfit but in a low-key way. For extra coverage, top off the look with a warm puffer.
Have a pair of undies with a fun designer logo stamped on them? Give ‘em a moment to shine by teaming the briefs with a dangerously low-rise mini skirt. Throw on a long trench if you happen to get chilly.
It would be a shame not to allow Miu Miu’s chic underwear the exposure it so rightfully deserves, so consider opting for a crop top and low-rise bottom. Additionally, the Bermuda shorts and knee-high boots mash-up here is a nice balance.
Yes, it is possible to make your exposed underwear ‘fit look elevated. The trick is incorporating polished separates into your outfit, like work-ready trousers and a classic cable knit pullover. (Wearing the above combination to the office is definitely a stretch, but a Saturday afternoon out and about will do.)
“I love the mix of textures between satin and denim; there is something ‘90s and casual about it,” Nguyen says. Allow your fancy undies to take center stage by keeping your jeans unbuttoned at the top and slightly flip the waist over.
This up-and-coming trend is the epitome of fun, so don’t be afraid to get experimental throughout the rest of your look. Pull out a preppy zip-up, trendy mini skirt, and buzzy ballet flats for a playful and polished outfit.