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Latest research from MINTEL shows that when it comes to knickers, bigger really is better, as British women turn their backs on thongs in favour of fuller maxi pants. Women’s spending on thongs has fallen 14% since 2003 to some £89 million this year or just 23% of the pants market value, down from around 28% two years ago. By contrast, sales of maxi pants have ballooned by 36% over the same time period to just over £100 million this year, with larger sized ‘boy shorts’ or ‘French knickers’ well and truly back in vogue. Indeed today, maxi pants account for the largest share of the market (26%), up from 20% in 2003. The control bottom pants sector also looks to be good shape, having grown 15% over the past two years, as women increasingly look to get a handle on unwanted sagging without going under the knife.