The Internet Fashion Jury has dubbed a new pair of bikini bottoms from M&S ‘menstrual chic’ for their apparently striking likeness to a period.
The high street stalwarts, purveyors of twin sets and Holly Willoughby-approved denim, have caused quite a stir among those shopping for a two-piece as the summer starts to set in.
Cue: the crying laughing faces and faux-shock at this monthly taboo, because apparently this cossie is bringing new colour to the term ‘period pants’.
One woman with a beady eye (and perhaps an over-active imagination) noticed the Printed Lace Up Plunge Bikini Set, priced at AUD$65 – or £38.50 to you and me in the UK – for its sunset print.
On second glance, though, Bex Renshaw came up with a new interpretation of the ombre red print bottoms, complete with white palm leaf.
Dubbing it ‘not a look I’d want to go for this summer’, Renshaw alluded to the brief’s pattern looking like a period overspill.
I think the M&S designer was having a bad day, not a look I want to go for this summer 🤣 pic.twitter.com/afbJYkqXJB
— Bex Renshaw (@bexrenshaw) April 19, 2019
Others agreed, saying the pants were not just representative of any period, they’re ‘an M&S period’.
The catalogue describes the costume as a ‘stunning way to make an entrance when you head poolside this summer’, continuing:
Featuring a chic ombre print with a placement leaf design on it, they’ll instantly make you feel like grabbing your beach towel, sunglasses and enjoying the sunshine.
Needless to say, Fashion Twitter wasn’t convinced, and the GIFs and emojis flooded the now-viral tweet accordingly.
While some women predicted many of these would end up on the sales racks come September, others said they’d wear the ‘ingenious’ red design to hide anything your Tampax couldn’t.
Ok but think about it this way, was it a mistake or an ingenious idea? If it’s already red any accidents will go unnoticed AND you won’t have to potentially go out and buy a new pair of bottoms
— Off-Color Rays (@OffRays) April 19, 2019
🤣 this actually makes me want to buy these just to make squeamish people uncomfortable 🖕💋
— Ruffle 🌿🌿🤫 (@ruffletheanimal) April 21, 2019
Another said they’d buy them just to freak out ‘squeamish’ people poolside.
One other thought it was a ‘badass statement’ from Marks.
Is this the latest example of fashion embracing female empowerment?
Or it is just another occasion on which a designer has missed the mark in the name of good marketing, media coverage and a little boost to website traffic? Perhaps we will never know.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.