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'VPL splits making a comeback', says Debenhams
Feb '13
After decades spent trying to disguise the tell tale outline of underwear beneath tight outer clothes, a new trend to highlight the Visible Panty Line (VPL) has emerged, says high street fashion store Debenhams. The trend to make the most of a VPL was displayed in recent fashion shows. During London Fashion Week, several designers set out deliberately to make the VPL an essential element of their garments.
Comments Sharon Webb, Head of Debenhams Lingerie Buying and Design: “It seems that although the look is hot on the catwalk it’s not so hot on the high street just yet.” Experts believe that it may become popular again. Some people find the outline alluring and the public may be convinced to give it a try due to celebrities such as Cheryl Cole, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna who are photographed regularly with visible VPLs.
Interestingly, a photograph of the late Princess Diana standing against the light, revealing the outline of her underwear is still one of the most frequently searched for images on Google. Nor is the trend confined to women. Gymnast Louis Smith set the world of Twitter alight when he recently appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in a tight fitting suit – with a VPL very clearly visible.
But Debenhams believes the move is bound to cause controversy. The store’s research shows that fears of revealing a VPL is always a major concern during customer discussions with it’s team of in store personal shoppers. And sales of “invisible knickers” and other underwear designed especially to disguise ridges which show through outer garments is one of their biggest sellers.
Continues Webb: “We’ve spent the last three decades developing special new materials and new manufacturing techniques so that women wearing even the tightest garments can be free of a VPL.“ We’ve found ways to use lasers rather than raised seams to bond each section together, and searched high and low for underwear material which will allow a dress to flow freely along the body line.
“However, for the first time, some customers are now asking our assistants to help them choose underwear and dress combinations which deliberately show off the VPL.”
It may be the way to get the attention of every man in the room, when they walk into important business meetings. Others might want to hit the clubs with a distinct VPL showing, especially when illuminated by disco style ultra violet lights.
“The really determined VPL fans are also choosing to wear dark pants or bright red knickers under lighter clothing for the greatest effect.
“We thought we had abolished the VPL forever but now it looks like the Visible Panty Line is back - just when we thought we had put it behind us.”

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