British women own three times as many pairs of knickers in 2012 as they did at the turn of the century, according to new national research.
It’s being dubbed the ‘Fifty Shades Effect’, after the huge popularity of saucy romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey means women now want more ‘special occasion undies’ than ever before.
Some 56% of British women admit they now own two collections of knickers – one made up of fancy lingerie for special occasions and another for everyday comfort.
At any one time the average British woman will own 34 pairs of knickers – 14 for best and 20 everyday pairs, according to the study by the UK’s leading laundry specialists, Dr Beckmann (Glo White).
That’s almost three times the number (12 pairs) that they owned in 1999, according to 45% of the 2,000 women who responded to the nationwide poll.
The revolution in sexy undies has been led by the upsurge in saucy romance novels like Fifty Shades of Grey and the increasing number of women’s-only underwear retailers.
And, of those, 61% admit it has made them more likely to purchase ‘special occasion’ underwear.
Dr Beckmann spokesman Susan Fermor said: “There have clearly been many contributory factors to the upsurge in the number of pairs of knickers owned by British women.
“Our research reveals that they own, on average, three times as many pairs now as they did in 1999. And many put it down to this new era of female liberation we seem to be experiencing in the UK.
“Back in 1999 it would have been unusual for a British woman to admit she was reading a saucy romance novel but now, in 2012, they are loudly and proudly reading similar fiction on the bus, on the train and even expressing their love of books like Fifty Shades of Grey across Facebook and many other social networking sites.
“It is a true 21st Century phenomenon and it is clearly informing British women’s choices when it comes to the way they are expressing themselves, including the amount and kind of underwear they are currently buying.”
While the new era of female liberation may have ushered in many changes in 2012 the favourite colour of ladies undies, certainly among the women who wear them, remains the same.
A massive 58% of all those women polled admit that bright white knickers are by far their favourite, whether for everyday or special occasions.