This is the stuff of nightmares. I am walking down the road pushing a buggy when I have to bend down to pick up a dropped toy. 

A passing van driver leers at me and then beeps his horn. But it?s not because of my blonde hair: it?s because I look as if I forgot to put on any underwear that morning. 

That?s what happens on my first day wearing the "C-String", a bad dream in underwear form. According the promotional blurb, it is "sexy, elegant and completely unique". 

If you?re an ordinary-shaped person, that?s one out of three, and it ain?t the first two. 

The C-string consists of the front part of a thong-style pair of knickers, held up with a little bit of wire at the back. The idea is that you pop it on, and it stays put. Think of an unevenly shaped wired headband, and you?re half-way there - the name derives from the C shape. Then imagine wearing it on your bottom. 

The manufacturers suggest that you wear it with outfits that might show a panty line, or even as swimwear so that you don?t get tan lines across your bottom. 

Personally, I would rather go to the beach wearing full ski-gear than wear a skimpy headband as a part of bikini bottoms. But then, after two children, I feel racy wearing a coloured bra. 

However, I have agreed to road test the C-string for a week. I receive my consignment by post in a minute envelope. No extra postage needed on this item. Then I dangle the C-string thoughtfully from my finger. It doesn?t look big enough for a child?s bottom, never mind one belonging to a decent-sized woman. 

My two-year-old son Archie wanders into the study and his eyes light up. "What?s that, Mummy?" he asks. 

I?m momentarily stumped. 

"It?s pants," I admit. 

He giggles. "But where?s Noddy?" Ah. Most pants in our house have Noddy on them. 

"There?s no room for Noddy to live," I explain. 

He seems satisfied. 

While the C-string consists of less material than a gnat?s handkerchief, it is not easy to get on being so springy and slight. 

Once I have struggled into it I glance in the mirror and am horrified. You need the limbs of Elle Macpherson to carry this look off. 

Thankfully my husband has gone to Spain for a few days with his friends, so is unable to laugh at me - or be sick at the sight of his wife looking like a lapdancer at 7am. 

Dressed in hipster jeans I wander gingerly downstairs. Already the pants are chafing. I rapidly realise that hipsters are the wrong item of clothing for the C-string. 

I take the children to the park and fall into conversation with a pleasant-seeming couple with a child a little older than Archie. 

Our children smile shyly at each other and take turns on the slide. And then Oscar, my youngest, falls down and I bend apparently underwear-free mother. The couple make their excuses and leave the park quickly, glancing behind them as they leave. 

My aunt comes to stay for the weekend, and I show her my racy underwear. I tell her, quoting directly from the manufacturers, that the C- string is: "Ideal for the beach or the bedroom". 

"Wouldn?t it be a bit uncomfortable to sleep in?" she asks. 

When I have stopped laughing we agree that that?s undoubtedly not what they meant. 

When my husband returns from his boys? weekend away I canvass his opinion. 

"I?m testing out a new pair of pants," I announce. 

My husband doesn?t even look up from the telly, where Jeremy Clarkson is telling him something about cars. I try again. Still no response. He is really tired. 

Then I announce: "They?re invisible." The weary head whips round and the tired eyes pop open. Ha! Got him. Unfortunately, when I show them to him he is faintly repelled. 

The next day I drop Archie off at nursery and grab my fellow mummy friend Zoe as she is scooting off. 

"I need to ask you about my pants," I hiss. She looks at the sample C- string I am holding - if I showed her in situ I?d be arrested - and exclaims in horror "It?s awful. It must dig into you!" 

"Is it terribly painful?" she adds sympathetically. I grimace bravely and hobble home. 

My innate fear is of being carted off to hospital in the wrong underwear, so I find myself driving particularly carefully and crossing the road with extra caution. Any medic seeing my bottom would be laughing too hard to carry out life-saving procedures. 

On the fourth day I have to wear a skirt because it?s so hot. As well as feeling vulnerable, I am absolutely terrified that my pants are going to fall off. How will I explain as I scoop my C-string hastily off the pavement? 

But it stands fast, which relieves me, but whenever a small child tugs at my skirt I feel it slipping inexorably down. You can?t push away a one-year-old who has only just started to walk, so I solve the problem by not leaving the house. 

I am impressed to note that there is no apparent panty line to ruin the line of my skirt, but again, I?m afraid I just look as though I?m not wearing anything, which frankly looks worse. 

However, when I try on an evening dress I am impressed. Normally I can see the smallest of thongs, but with the C-string nothing is visible, and the dress does look more elegant than usual. 

I am nothing if not thorough. While there is no way I am going to test out the C-string while sunbathing in our overlooked London garden, I do have a shower wearing one to see if it would stand up to the rigours of a swimming pool. The practical answer is yes, but the mirrors in the bathroom say a firm "no". 

A girls? night out seals the fate of my new pants. A host of giggling and tipsy thirty-something friends confirm that although they undoubtedly have a place in the drawers of the idle rich, size eight, 20-year-old models, they don?t quite work in day-to-day life. 

C-strings? Frankly they?re pants. 


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