Fashion File: Undies Are Catching Up To Fashion'S Retro Trend

"I see London, I see France ... I see some funky underpants."

From Cameron Diaz shaking her Spiderman-clad booty in Charlie's Angels to the return of days-of-the-week panties, it wouldn't be too surprising if you heard this refrain on the tips of fashionistas' tongues.

In line with the new nostalgic trend, Underoos, the bright kid's "underwear that's fun to wear," is introducing a new line of underpants — for grown-ups — this summer.

The folks at Fruit of the Loom, the company that makes Underoos, have long been barraged with pleading e-mails from fans who wore the undies as kids and aren't ready to grow up.

"Please, please, please. ... I need help finding Underoos that come in adult sizes ... (and no, I'm not some weirdo)," wrote in one man who identified himself as only as J.P.

And Underoos heeded the cries of funny-undie-craving folks such as J.P.

"Since we've leaked that we're going to do adult version, [the response] has been unbelievable," said Tom Witthuhn, Fruit of the Loom's vice president of marketing.

For now, the company is focusing on Superman and Batman, "the classic nostalgic properties," for men only. It'll come out with undies featuring these superheroes in June — followed by Spiderman in the spring of 2002.

But despite pleas from female Underoos fans — "Please make Wonder Woman Underoos available for adult sizes. My daughter wore them years ago, and now that she is a medical student, in the army, leading a choir, in a band, and just plain 'wonderful,' I need to give her those Underoos" — women will have to wait for the colorful underthings.

The girl's version will come out later in the spring and plans for women's Underoos are on hold. However, ingenious women — such as Diaz — can fit into the boy's or men's sizes.

"There's a fashion statement of women wearing men's briefs," said Witthuhn.

Contrary to popular opinion, Diaz doesn't wear Underoos in Charlie's Angels. She actually sported boy's Spiderman briefs — which Fruit of the Loom also makes — in her bedroom rump-shaking scene.

True Underoos include a matching T-shirt that creates a "uniform or costume" look, according to Witthuhn.

"Cameron is a big Spiderman fan, we've been told," he added.

Monday, Tuesday, Happy Days ...

For those women who aren't big cartoon fans, but who still like to wax nostalgic about their childhood, days-of-the-week undies are a definite possibility.

British designer Toby Mott has a hipster version of the childhood classic in sets of, well, seven, which read, "Monday girl," "Tuesday girl" and so on.

The trendy store Kirna Zabete in New York City's Soho, which has carried the undies since December, has been selling the panties like hotcakes.

"We had to express another shipment from London before New Year's," said Delphine Boilley, the store's manager.

"A lot of husbands and boys love to buy them for their wives or girlfriends," the Paris native added. "I used to wear those when I was a kid, I think. It's funny."

Boilley attributes their popularity to the desire of aging Gen-Xers to relive their childhood and hang onto their youth. "It's like, 'I'm still bad. I can still wear them. I'm still young,'" she said.

Sam Drouin, a spokesperson for Toby Pimlico, the company that makes and distributes the panties in London, said, "They seem to be ever so popular. ... I suppose it just reminds you of being a kid as well as being quite practical."

But customers do have to have a grown-up bank account to afford the kitschy accessory — they cost $95 for a complete set of the cotton pairs.

Retro Mania

Not all fashionable undergarments directly poach from childhood fantasies. Frisk, a start-up lingerie company in Philadelphia, has been riding the retro wave with their own unique designs influenced by past eras.

"We actually collect vintage objects ... We have cases of them at home and we design things based off of that," said designer Heather Thomson.

Their "innerwear," as Thomson and her business partner Nicole LaGreca call it, is influenced by such objects d'art as a 1950s bread slicer and an Electrolux vacuum cleaner.

Their "Hello Nursie Girlbriefs" feature a bright red cross that calls to mind a 1950s doctor's bag or an Army nurse's uniform.

"The nursie is retro modern, sort of '50s inspired," said LaGreca.

Frisk's throwback innerwear has been popular with celebs and their stylists. Retro Frisk briefs have been reportedly ordered for Christina Aguilera and Madonna.

And the appeal of funky undies won't die anytime soon. After all, as Thomson puts it, it's "an inexpensive way to have something special. It's like a secret, but you know it's there."