A wardrobe malfunction is an accidental instance of indecent exposure of intimate parts. It is different from flashing as the latter implies a deliberate exposure. There has been a long history of such incidents, though the term itself was coined in the mid 2000s.
The term 'wardrobe malfunction' was famously used by singer Justin Timberlake on February 1, 2004 to explain the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, the incident during Super Bowl XXXVIII in which Janet Jackson's right breast was bared. The print version of the Urban Dictionary describes it as "an accidental or supposedly accidental failure of clothing to cover parts of the body intended to be covered, made famous by Justin Timberlake during a Super Bowl halftime when he tore off Janet Jackson's clothes". After the Super Bowl incident the term "wardrobe malfunction" appeared in 5,028 stories in major US consumer and business publications, newspapers, and major TV and radio broadcasts. Journalist Eric Alterman described the incident as "the most famous 'wardrobe malfunction' since Lady Godiva".
Nipple slip, an associated term, is the accidental exposure of a woman's nipple in public. Nipple slip is one of the most common forms of wardrobe malfunction and occurrences are popular among the paparazzi, and on celebrity gossip blogs and websites. Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction may be the most well known nipple slip of all time, but Amy Winehouse, Paris Hilton, Tara Reid, Lindsay Lohan, and many other celebrities have endured or in some cases apparently courted the publicity. A nipple slip can, in some cases, be avoided with the use of lingerie tape.