Trendlet: Boy shorts (for women)

Whether it's plaid fingernails, a white-blonde reverse bob, or a sweatshirt emblazoned with the word kale, whatever Beyoncé dares to don, we feel we must, too.

Even if we're talking about unmentionables.

The trendlet

Men's underwear - boy shorts or briefs with flies - seem to be the current girly-girl's underwear of choice in a very Victoria's Secret-meets-Fruit of the Loom kind of way.

Where's it come from?

Although menswear-inspired fashion has trended in and out of style since the 1920s, undies were always rather gender specific.

In the 1980s, Calvin Klein introduced men's tanks and tighty whities with modified fronts to the women's market. It was radical, and everyday ladies stayed away. Yet when Kate Moss modeled them with Marky Mark in the early 1990s, she was catapulted to supermodel status.

Then, in 2000, a cheating-on-Aidan Carrie Bradshaw was seen brushing her teeth and prancing around her crib in briefs during a string of Sex in the City Season 3 episodes. Fashionably speaking, they were among the series' most talked about.

In November, Beyoncé released a music video for the song  7/11 where she and her homegirls bop around balconies and bedrooms in boys' underwear.

Who's wearing it?

Britney Spears, model Gisele Bündchen, and blogger Alex Spencer wear them - at least in photo shoots. They are a go-to for stylists trying to give models the girl-next-door vibe or, as Bey sings, the "I woke up like this" look.

Models in ads for American Eagle and American Apparel, where they have been selling since fall, sport the undies on billboards. And we can assume that women who buy British model David Gandy's underwear love them, too. The tabloids there report the briefs are a big hit with the softer sex.

Would Elizabeth wear it?

Yes. But how will you ever really know?

Should you wear it?

Why not? They are fun, freeing. Do not, however, let the bands peek from under low-slung jeans. That's just unacceptable.


ewellington@phillynews.com

215-854-2704 @ewellingtonphl