Paying over for undies

June 28, 2010, 5:58 PM GMT+0

Consumers are willing to spend more when buying underwear for others than when buying for themselves, and attitudes towards purchasing underwear differ by gender, a recent YouGov SixthSense High Street Fashion report has found.

Our research indicates that a third of shoppers are prepared to pay in excess of £20 when buying for others, whereas less than 20% of respondents are willing to pay the same for underwear for themselves.

Unsurprisingly, differences emerged between men and women in their underwear purchasing habits – when asked if they would be prepared to buy expensive underwear for others, 40% of men and 30% of women responded that they would. However, women are more likely to be willing to pay a higher price when buying underwear for themselves. The motivation for underwear purchasing also differs according to gender – 69% of men buy underwear to substitute worn out items, however only half of women purchase underwear for this reason.

Similarly, the report found gender dissimilarities in other areas; men are more likely to feel indifferent towards buying underwear, with one in five men saying that they are less choosy about where they buy underwear than where they buy outerwear – this compares to just 13% of women.

James McCoy, Research Director for YouGov SixthSense, commented on the findings of the report: ‘For the most part, when we buy luxury underwear items, we do so with the view of having them worn by someone else. This is a telling fact, as it suggests that the way companies target consumers might have to be re-evaluated. Companies hope to lure customers by demonstrating how a luxury item has the potential to bolster self-confidence and generally make the individual feel better about themselves.’

In closing, McCoy remarked, ‘We are more likely to buy luxury underwear to make others feel better [rather than ourselves].’

See the YouGov SixthSense Underwear Market Report