The Decoy Thong

Imagine, if you will, a world where people wore thongs with low-rise jeans. A world where having one’s underwear visible was considered desirable. But consider, what if thongs were uncomfortable and you didn’t actually want to wear one to achieve this fashionable effect? Or worse, what if your child wanted to wear such a getup??

That was our world in 2007, when the garment with integral faux thong extension and associated method was filed:

A drawing of a pair of jeans with a fake thong sewn into them.
USP 7,574,752, FIG. 1

The patent focuses on the apparent need of parents to control their children’s clothing choices:

This combination causes the top border of the thong to extend beyond the top edge of the low-cut jeans for a more “sexy” look. Needless to say, mothers and not to mention fathers, of teenaged and younger girls do not wish for their daughters to dress in this manner. At the same time the young teenage girl has a great desire to look and dress similar to persons they see on television, movies and in fashion magazines.

USP 7,574,752, col. 1, lns 37-43

It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for me why this is supposed to solve the problem of the clothing being too sexy. If seeing the underwear is the problem, why is it better to trick everyone into thinking they see underwear? The outward effect would presumably be exactly the same.

Although it is not directly stated, I suspect that the problem is more in the low-rise jeans themselves. The notes:

One skilled in the art understands that the waist line 2121′, 21″ will drop below the buttock crevice 12 when a user bends over or squats, for example. Therefore, although FIGS. 1-3 don’t show the waist line situated below the buttock crevice 12, it is apparent understood that conventional leg wear such as jeans have this problem.

USP 7,574,752, col. 5, lns 3-9

As one skilled in the art, I do recognize this to be true. Also, the patent refers to the term “buttock crevice 12” a lot. Always appreciated when the person drafting the patent is consistent with their terminology.

Anyway, the patent expired in September of last year for failure to pay a maintenance fee. And wouldn’t you know it, apparently fake g-strings came into style (briefly?) mere months later! This article from the Daily Mail reports on the trend in January of this year, with no mention of its recent entry into the public domain. I have to question their priorities…

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