“Men need help buying lingerie!” says lingerie firm ahead of Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s little surprise to see the PR industry taking full advantage. Take this classic playing of the ‘men are hapless’ angle, from Martha de Lacy in the Daily Mail last month:

Men are pants at buying knickers! £100m of underwear bought as gifts lie unworn in our drawers because men keep getting it wrong
– One in five women NEVER wear the lingerie their partner gives them
– Women most dread receiving crotchless underpants and leather knickers
– Men in Edinburgh spend most on lingerie sets for women: £55 compared to national average of £42
– Welsh women most likely to hate lingerie gifted by their partner

Lingerie has always been a popular Christmas gift for a man to give his girlfriend or wife. But that doesn’t mean he ever gets it right.

Over £100m-worth of ‘lingerie let-downs’ lie gathering dust under beds and in the bottom of drawers thanks to bad choices made by men when it comes to purchasing underwear gifts for the women in their lives, according to new research.

Source: Daily Mail, 16 November 2012


It ought to be no surprise to regular readers of this site that the story – emphasising how clueless men are about lingerie and how much of a classic and popular present lingerie is for Christmas – was placed into the news by a lingerie company, by the name of Fox & Rose.

What may well prove a surprise, however, is that a near-identical story appeared at almost exactly this time last year, in the same publication, previously used to promote laundry specialists Dr Beckmann:

Too racy, too lacy: Twelve million pairs of Christmas knickers will NEVER be worn
– 24 million pairs of knickers will be given over Christmas – half will never be worn
– 31 per cent of knickers bought by men for their partners are too small

A pair of knickers might seem like the perfect last minute present purchase as Christmas Day looms ever closer… but men should choose very carefully.

A national survey has shown that half of the 24 million pairs of knickers given over the festive period will never be worn. They’re too small, too racy, too lacy, or simply the wrong colour.

Twelve million pairs will simply get pushed to the back of the underwear drawer, while a third will get worn just once before being relegated.

Source: Daily Mail, 13 December 2012


A year apart, the same story – replete with saucy headline and baffled befuddled men chaps – appears, advertising completely different products. Given that the research is the same, we can do some basic maths:

  • 2011: 12m pairs of knickers go un-worn
  • 2012: £100m pairs of knickers go un-worn
  • Therefore, the average price of a pair of knickers = £100m / 12m = £8.33.
  • However, in the 2012 research, we’re told that the average price is actually £42

Thus, we can tell, that either the price of lingerie has risen dramatically in the last 12 months… or this data is simply meaningless PR drivel designed to play on and perpetuate an existing stereotype for the purposes of flogging underwear at Christmas.