Us ladies are eschewing hair removal, make-up, and now, apparently, sexy underwear.
Yep, it's official, we're also in a PANT-demic, with lingerie being ditched in favour of high-waisted granny pants - Bridget Jones, eat your heart out.
New figures acquired by Tyla have shown a steep rise in those opting for more comfy undies during lockdown.
Figures from ASOS showed that sales for high-waisted knickers and fuller briefs had accounted for 36 per cent of brief sets sales compared to 17 per cent between 2019 and 2020.
PrettyLittleThing also reported a similar surge, with buyers telling Tyla that the online retailer saw spikes in people searching for full briefs in May, July, December and January with increases of 20-40 per cent each month.
Despite being repeatedly approached for comment, Marks & Spencer did not respond to Tyla about disclosing their sales figures - but it has been reported elsewhere that the retailer has seen a 'rise' in sales for big knickers.
So why have we embraced the briefs over the last year? One of the more obvious reasons is the pandemic has seen us opt for comfort over style. With 46 per cent of us in employment now working from home, there's no need to fear the dreaded VPL from form fitting pencil-skirts or tight trousers that are often office-smart staples.
Slouchy loungewear has become staple WFH-wear, and it's now perfectly acceptable to Zoom in a baggy hoodie and comfy trackie bottoms.
"The pandemic has made us more aware of comfort than ever and with the lack of formal wear, it is only natural that women reach for comfortable underwear along with the comfort driven 'Leisure/At Home wear,'" lingerie entrepreneur Aliza Reger, of Janet Reger underwear, explained.
"Some days you want or need fuller coverage or the additional support of a big knicker and while we do not make the full on 'Hold it all in and support everything knicker', they do cover, conceal and hold in the too many trips to the biscuit tin using beautiful stretch lace and power mesh. Ultimately, it's about feeling good about yourself."
However, it should be noted that big knickers are no longer just granny-staples. The reliable and solid full brief has had something of a makeover, with shapewear now becoming sexy. The skimpy stylings popularised by Victoria's Secret have fallen out of favour, with the brand going into administration in the UK in 2020.
Buyers from PrettyLittleThing have cited the release of Kim Kardashian's SKIMS collection that have attributed to the rise of big knickers' popularity, with Rihanna's Savage x Fenty line also receiving a nod.
However, Aliza believes the big pant has always appealed, with Bridget Jones bringing them to prominence in the early 2000s.
"Bridget Jones made big knickers sexy in 2001 but Kim K and Rihanna have globalised the trend as well as bringing the trend to a much wider and younger audience," she says.
"But Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant's scene in Bridget Jones's Diary is the source of their appeal. Bridget made big knickers cool and 'sexy' and brought them out of the world frumpy and made them fashionable from where they have never really lost their appeal or popularity."
While big knickers may be our underwear of choice for the time being, that isn't to say sexier lingerie sets won't make a comeback. In fact, when approached by Tyla, a spokesperson for Ann Summers revealed that they have seen a whopping 148 per cent rise on crotchless underwear compared to last year.
Aliza agrees that we will see a surge in more traditionally sexy pieces later in 2021.
"Thongs as part of a beautiful lingerie set are already growing in popularity across the lingerie industry," she explains.
"My prediction post lockdown is the comfort factor and all that it encapsulates, is here to stay, but as life opens up again, we shall feel the desire and the need to get dressed up. Fashion will become more tailored, structured and fabulous. Fabulous fashion requires fabulous structured lingerie; bras will be wired and uplifting and it will be all about shaping with your lingerie giving perfect form to the next layer.
"The 'sexy 'of the 2020's takes form, it will be all about thongs; lacy, racy and we will even see the jewelled thong again."
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