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Events Publish in 28 March 2024

What women have to say about their lingerie habits

Three consumers tell us about their relationship with lingerie, from in-store purchase to everyday wear.

In 2023 lingerie accounted for 12% of women’s garment purchases, with an average cart of 100-130 €. At the intersection of intimate comfort and pleasure, underwear implies a more complex relationship to buying than clothes do, requiring an even more subtle approach to design and sale. At the digital era, many women still turn to dedicated stores to buy their lingerie.

“I rarely buy online, says Clara. Choosing a bra without being able to try it on is complicated, unless you know the exact product reference.” A saleswoman’s expert eye is all the more necessary that one over three women doesn’t know her correct back and cup sizes. Being in direct contact with the most intimate parts of our bodies, lingerie requires a shopping environment in which women feel confident, welcomed and listened to.

An intimate place for buying

As many French women, Clara and Corinne dedicate an average of two shopping sessions per year to lingerie purchases, usually during periods of sales. At the contrary, Sandrine considers herself more of an impulse buyer and allows herself to buy a few sets every season – as long as their quality is good and that she can keep them for a long time. “I take pleasure in touching the fabrics and trying on different styles. I have my go-to stores, where I know I can put my trust in the saleswomen and where I will always find what I look for. “ Their shopping habits may be different but all three agree on saying that when it comes to intimacy, the human touch is essential. “I am a shy customer, Clara admits, I need to feel at ease. My contact with the salespersons depends on the mood, I only let them enter my personal space if I feel confident.”

What about digital ? “I once bought a bathing suit that I spotted on Instagram, Corinne remembers. It was worn by a woman whose body was closer to my reality than the one of traditional models. It convinced me to go check it in store and I ended up buying it.” In a similar spirit, Clara and Sandrine gather inspiration for color, fabrics or shapes online, but would rather go check the pieces in store to be sure.

Self-projection and comfort

Regardless of their different esthetic sensibilities, all three insist on a criteria that has become more and more essential : comfort. It is impossible to skip, especially when it comes to bras which now account for 56% of women’s lingerie purchases. So far none of them considered the no-bra trend, but Corinne and Clara did adopt the triangle style without underwire, an ideal compromise that they picked in several colors. “I don’t see myself wearing anything else, Clara says. I also invested in period-panties for my daughters and myself. It is quite a budget, but in terms of comfort it has become essential.

Looking back over several decades of purchases, each of them has seen evolutions in the way they look at their bodies and in their consumption habits. “At 20 and 30 you indulge in seduction games, Corinne remembers. After one or several pregnancies you adapt to the way your body changes, you look for comfort and easiness. And later you start to indulge yourself again.” All say that they buy for themselves first, not for the gaze of anyone else. And despite their different profiles and experiences, they all agree on one, capital thing : to feel good in your lingerie is, first and foremost, to feel good about yourself.