With the RHS Flower Show season dawning, anticipation grows of what new materials might appear in the show gardens. And recent analysis by Twenga, the UK-based retail search engine, made we wonder about the future of one of the more bizarre recycled materials that's starred at Hampton Court in recent years.
Twenga revealed this week that web traffic seeking out - wait for it - the male thong is up by 10%.
[Pause, while we all dwell on that flesh-conjuring thought.]
I'm pleased to say that UK men still prefer something a touch more substantial - boxers and briefs made up 51% of the traffic - but if the trend abroad is anything to go by, we may be seeing rather more manly flesh than of yore. The male thong made it into the top three underwear searches in Poland, The Netherlands, France, Sweden, Germany and Italy. The Spanish, apparently, are fonder of the tanga.
But where does that leave recycled underwear plant-holders? (They hadn't gone away, you know. There are instructions for these things on e-how.) The pants in the RHS's 2009 Hanging Bra-sket Garden would have been reduced to pockets just large enough for a daisy, had the leg-holes of thongs been sewn up.
But there is an up-side: I thought the Bra-sket display was ghastly. If we all encourage our men into thongs, the chances of it happening again will be minimal.
NB The report says that thongs are increasingly popular because men (you poor things) are feeling the pressure of David Beckham's underwear ads.
I conducted my own research. Did Husband feel the need to bare, well, rather a lot, to compete with H&M's blue-eyed boy? I'm afraid I can't quote him, but his look was very pithy.
And I thought you might enjoy Twenga's underwear infographic, keeping its finger of the pulse of men's desire (so to speak):