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Recession winner: Granny underwear

Gabriella Boston The Washington Times
Recession winner: Granny underwear - Underwear - Granny Underwear

What's the world coming to? It's coming to granny underwear at a Wal-Mart near you, apparently.

That's right, sexy underwear is giving way to basic and practical.

While Victoria's Secret posted huge losses for the last quarter, Hanes - maker of Playtex - is gaining market share.

Maidenform, which hasn't released its fourth-quarter earnings, is also going relatively strong, posting gains for the third quarter of 2008.

"Consumers are in the mood for basics - just as they're letting go of the frilly extras at the grocery store, they're also passing it up when it comes to lingerie," said consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow. "Practical, basic, trusted, timeless - these are the types of products that feel satisfying to consumers right now."

And feelings are what drive fashion trends - from personal emotions to the collective unconscious mood of society, said Ms. Yarrow, a professor of psychology and marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

"Conspicuous consumption has given way to considered consumption," she said.

But aside from our current ill feelings about the frilly as opposed to the basic, there is also a real price tag difference between Playtex and Victoria's Secret. The former typically offers bras at between $15 and $20, while a typical Victoria's Secret bra costs about $48.


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