Taylor Swift and Beyonce flashing their panties! Granny panties?

2011-08-19T08:00:00Z 2011-09-06T09:32:33Z Taylor Swift and Beyonce flashing their panties! Granny panties?BY DEBRA D. BASS • Post-Dispatch Fashion Editor • dbass@post-dispatch.com • 314-340-8236 stltoday.com

Has the granny panty lost its stigma?

I would think not, but you wouldn't know it by the quantity of options available. And then you have characters like Lady Gaga wearing them onstage during performances as if they were outerwear.

Taylor Swift caused an internet stir during her St. Louis concert when she walked too close to a wind machine in a swing skirt. She had clearly not intended the Marilyn Monroe moment, but when you have an auditorium of tens of thousands watching your every move, you learn to roll with the mishaps.

She's not the only one. Spanx released paparazzi images of Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Blake Lively and Katie Holmes -- all accidentally flashing their shapewear.

Will this make it less of a faux pas for us mere mortals? And if these slim, toned and expertly coiffed celebrity elite needs shapewear, what does that mean for the rest of us?

Blake Lively does NOT need Spanx for crying out loud, so I can only assume that she's trying to make the rest of us feel bad.

The latest in the "sexy" shapewear offerings is a high-waisted, tummy and butt shaper that is being marketed as a Pin-up Panty from Rhonda Shear.

The promotional material relate the look to the voluptuous "Mad Men" star Christina Hendricks, but we've seen this look on women who were not considered as glamorous. The panty is a pleasant enough mix of lace and heavy duty spandex, but I'm wondering if it's fair to call shapewear sexy.

For many, Hollywood celebrities, it's apparently necessity (the baby bump patrol are pretty ruthless), but it's clearly underwear that most would rather not advertise, right? I mean unless you're Lady Gaga and you need something to wear in your egg or skeleton outfits.

I'm on the fence. I've been at far too many events and noticed a "flesh" colored garment peeking out from the hem on someone's upper thigh. I cringed for them, especially an announcer on a raised stage I saw at a charity event.

But I wonder if I was the only one emphathizing with her presumed mortification. As I looked around, no one seemed to be tittering or glancing about to see who else was tittering or glancing about.

I relaxed minutely, but tensed up again. I don't even like it when my bra strap is showing, so I'd die if someone noticed me in shapewear. And to answer your question, no I don't wear it. I just don't wear clothes tight enough to warrant it.

But if I did I'd be in good company, celebrities like Jennifer Alba, Selma Hayek and Victoria Beckham have all been spotted in the form-fitting granny panties. Still I'm not sure, they'd be happy to be associated with the trend.

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Debra D. Bass

Fashion editor Debra D. Bass is a native of Las Vegas who now calls St. Louis home. She believes that fashion can be glorious, exalting, frustrating, capricious and humorous, but good style is above reproach.

Follow Debra on Twitter at twitter.com/debrabass.

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