From the tantalizing runways of fashion to the sizzling shores of tropical beaches, the thong has become an icon of sensuality, confidence, and liberation.

As a staple in lingerie drawers and swimwear collections, the thong has a rich and intriguing history that spans centuries.

We dive into the captivating journey of the thong, exploring its origins, cultural shifts, and the role it plays in modern fashion and self-expression.

  1. Ancient Beginnings: Believe it or not, the thong’s origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations. Both the ancient Egyptians and Greeks are believed to have worn loincloths, a distant precursor to the modern thong, for practical reasons such as protection and hygiene.
  2. Roman Influence: The Roman Empire took the concept of the thong a step further. Known as the “subligaculum,” this garment was worn by gladiators and laborers for its minimalistic design. Over time, the subligaculum evolved into a status symbol, with more elaborate versions worn by Roman aristocracy.
  3. The Middle Ages: As the world transitioned into the Middle Ages, undergarments like the thong faded into obscurity. The focus shifted towards bulkier clothing and layers that prioritized modesty over sensuality.
  4. The Bikini’s Arrival: The modern thong as we know it today owes much of its popularity to the bikini’s revolutionary debut in the mid-20th century. The first modern bikini, designed by Louis Réard in 1946, featured a daringly small bottom piece that left little to the imagination. This marked the resurgence of minimalistic swimwear styles and paved the way for the thong’s reemergence.
  5. The Dance Floor and Pop Culture: The thong’s journey from beachwear to pop culture icon gained momentum in the 1980s. Celebrities like Cher and Madonna showcased the thong’s daring allure in their performances, making it a symbol of bold self-expression. As dance and fitness culture flourished, the thong leapt from the stage to the gym, becoming a staple in activewear.
  6. High Fashion and Couture: The 1990s brought the thong into the realm of high fashion. Renowned designers incorporated thongs into their collections, emphasizing the garment’s potential to create seamless silhouettes under body-hugging outfits. The thong’s delicate straps and minimalist design added an elegant touch to lingerie collections, blending comfort and allure.
  7. Empowerment and Self-Expression: In recent years, the thong has evolved beyond a mere fashion statement. It has become a symbol of empowerment, body positivity, and self-expression. Modern consumers embrace the thong as a means to celebrate their bodies and showcase their individuality.
  8. Sustainable and Inclusive Design: Contemporary fashion brands have recognized the demand for sustainable and inclusive design. Thongs are now available in a variety of fabrics, sizes, and styles, catering to diverse body shapes and preferences. The eco-conscious movement has also influenced the production of ethically sourced and environmentally friendly thong options.

The thong’s journey through time is a captivating tale of shifting cultural norms, self-expression, and sensuality. From ancient civilizations to modern runways, the thong has transcended centuries, reflecting societal attitudes towards modesty, sensuality, and liberation. It has empowered individuals to embrace their bodies and celebrate their unique style.

As we continue to explore the ever-evolving world of fashion, let’s appreciate the thong’s rich history and the role it plays in modern self-expression. Whether it’s lounging by the pool, dancing the night away, or adding a touch of allure to everyday wear, the thong is a testament to the enduring power of fashion to evoke confidence, creativity, and a celebration of individuality.

About the author

Alice Cash is the Marketing Manager for Jubilance by day and an award winning Theatre Director by night.  Leading the podcast Weekly Woman, she loves her candid conversations with women from all over the world about how they live and the amazing things they are doing to make a difference. Alice is also the editor of the bi-monthly newsletter the Jubilee, a blog dedicated to the power of female wellness especially concerning menstruation.  She’s worked in France creating theatre pieces and taught drama and filmmaking to women and children in Haiti.  She graduated from Georgetown University and holds two master degrees from NYU and The New School.  Alice has traveled to  40+ countries, including Tibet.  She is a New Yorker and can often be found in Central Park, searching out the best bubble tea, or directing a play, you never know where she’ll show up. @alicesadventuresinwonderworld
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