Ladies, when you go shopping for underwear, who are you really buying for? Are you more concerned about finding the perfect boyshort for wining and dining yourself in bed, or is getting your partner’s heart racing more your speed?
While there’s no right or wrong answer, we were curious to see what lies beneath women’s underwear choices. To find out, we asked 1,000 women how much their love interest’s opinion influences the underwear they buy — and practicality definitely tickles their fancy.
Keep reading to learn what women really want when it comes to their underwear, which includes:
- What motivates women’s panty preferences
- How age influences how women buy underwear
- How pop culture has impacted women’s tastes and public perception
2 in 3 women aren’t concerned about what their partner thinks of their underwear
No offense, but when it comes to underwear she’s just not that into you. At least, it seems that way after we asked women whether or not their partner’s preferences had any say in the underwear they put on — and 68 percent of respondents answered with a resounding “no.”
With the rise of women’s empowerment movements over the last decade, women are more interested in finding underwear that’s equal parts comfortable, fit, and functional than buying the most revealing pair out there for their love interest.
That doesn’t mean that all women feel the same way, though. Thirty-two percent of respondents admitted that they do care. In particular, younger women between the ages of 18–34 are the most concerned about their partner’s opinion.
So why are younger women more concerned about the opinions of their love interest than other age groups? One reason might be the fact that young adults are less likely to have a steady romantic partner: recent data shows that 51 percent of young adults ages 18–34 are unattached. This means that singledom could be a driving force to look your best — both in the streets and between the sheets — for young women and men alike.
Women care less about their partner’s opinion of their underwear with age
If younger women are the primary age group hung up on the opinions of their love interest, then older women — that is, women ages 35 and up — are the exact opposite.
According to our results, 74 percent of women ages 35 and up said that their love interest’s opinion doesn’t influence what type of underwear they wear, which makes a lot of sense. As women age, they typically have more structure and stability either in their family life, career, or both, making them less likely to fret over the sex appeal of their underwear. Women also become more comfortable with themselves and their choices as they mature.
The cultural shift from sex appeal to comfort
The 90s and early 2000s celebrated barely there underwear and petite-bodied women. Fast forward to 2019 and it seems that women are less caught up on the skimpiness of their skivvies and more focused on feeling comfortable.
In fact, according to a study conducted by The Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 70 percent of women say that they purchase underwear based on comfort and practicality. This isn’t to say that women don’t want to feel sexy — they just want to feel sexy on their terms.
In a recent article, Heather Gramston of Selfridge’s Body Studio said that “the definition of sexy is now defined as how a woman feels when she is wearing something — as opposed to what she looks like in archetypal lingerie created with men in mind.”
In other words, society’s definition of “sexy” is changing, and women are less afraid to embrace trends that were deemed a fashion faux pas in the past. With the rise of athleisure and body acceptance, underwear that would’ve been shunned in the 90s, such as boyshorts or high rise briefs, are now all the rave. After all, beauty is about being comfortable in your skin — so learn to love your body and buy the underwear that makes you happy.