Study: Men Buy Colored Underwear During Better Economic Times

Study: Men Buy Colored Underwear During Better Economic Times


In 1926 Pennsylvania University Wharton School’s George Taylor conceptualized the hemline index, observing that the hemlines of women’s dresses rise along with stock prices. In a booming economy, according to the theory, women’s skirts get shorter. But during a downturn, women choose longer skirts.

Now, a UK underwear and swimwear site——says a similar observation can be make regarding the color of men’s underpants. When the economy is booming men buy more colorful underwear, but during a recession they are more likely to stick to white, black and grey briefs. Experts say current increased sales of colorful undies may be a sign the economy is on the road to recovery.

The Web site has been collecting data on underwear choices since 2007 and notes a recent rise in sales of colored underpants—a purchase that many may consider a luxury fashion item when times are tough.

The site’s observation correlates with a previous study published on, which suggested the economic decline in 2008 caused men to be more conservative in their underwear choices. At that time, sales of underwear in colors, patterns, as well as fabrics such as bamboo and soy blends declined while sales of white cotton blends rose.

Believe it or not, over the past few years men's branded underwear collections have become increasingly colorful, more so than women's, in fact,” Jane Garner, co-founder of said.

[Image via Shutterstock]

Samantha Lile


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