I used to work in the cosmetics industry and became very familiar with the term coined to describe the impact times of financial and political uncertainty had on lipstick sales. ‘The lipstick effect’ observed that in times of unrest cosmetic sales increased. Customers weren’t willing to commit to bigger purchases and instead treated themselves to smaller, more purse-pleasing items to lift their spirits.

I was listening to the radio on Monday and heard market research giant Mintel and other trends companies claiming the lipstick effect is now branching into lingerie. The ‘underwear effect’ is set to take hold over the next few years and sales of undies and other innerwear (sleepwear, lounge wear and hosiery) are expected to rise by over 10%.
Whether or not it’s a response to Brexit, one things for sure, my drawers are definitely full of more leisure wear in the last year or two. I know this is due to the fact I spend more time at home then ever before but I think most of us are looking to be more cosy and cocooned when we’ve got some well earned downtime.

From a hosiery perspective, I was very nearly persuaded to spend £22 on a pair of tights recently. Yes really. I still haven’t ordered the Heist 80 denier tights but I’m hooked on the marketing message that there are tights that exist that ‘don’t dig, sag or itch, but are actually a pleasure to move in.’ £22 though. My husband thought I was crackers when I mentioned it to him. If anyone has them please do let me know if I’m missing out on anything or shall I just stick with my £2.50 Primarni ones?

Back to our smalls and a quick poll with the team suggested we’re buying our underwear based not only on style but on comfort too. When it comes to knickers specifically three brands emerged as our favourites:

  • For inexpensive designs in a range of styles we love a bit of H&M.
  • M&S for their VPL-free range and frequent 3 for 2 offers
  • Calvin Klein for their comfort and multipacks. In Charlotte’s own words they ‘fit SO well, don’t ride up, look “nice” and flattering rather than showing too much bum cheek/looking like a granny pant. Dead comfy. Wash well too.’ What a summary. We all need some CK in our lives.

On the loungewear front I have some grey cashmere joggers I bought from Gap a few years ago and nothing else come close. They haven’t gone baggy at the knee and are so comfy yet shapely too. I haven’t seen anything similar and I’m more than annoyed at myself for not buying several pairs at the time. You know that saying ‘nothing haunts you like the things you didn’t buy’ for me it’s ‘nothing haunts you like the things you should have bought two of.’

Are you buying more underwear or more affordable luxury items? What are your favourite stores to hit when it comes to knickers and the rest of your smalls? Do you favour comfort over style too?