Millions of British women wear just TWO pairs of bras on ‘heavy rotation’, according to new research commissioned by leading lingerie stylists and corsetiere to the Queen, Rigby & Peller.
In a survey of 2,000 women, over a third admitted that despite having an array of bras available, they tend to stick to their favourite couple.
While three in 10 have been wearing their same two pieces of underwear for over TEN years.
More than half of ladies polled admit they have drawers full of brand new underwear which they have NEVER worn – and never intend to.
A third of women frequently discard a bra IMMEDIATELY after purchase after getting home and discovering it doesn’t fit properly after all.
A further 31 per cent have pushed a bra to the back of the wardrobe after realising the under-wires dig in and 20 per cent admit they haven’t worn lingerie which was bought on impulse.
A spokeswoman for Rigby & Peller said: “Women are persistently being let down by a lack of knowledge and expertise being offered by retailers on what makes a good bra that not only fits, but suits their lifestyle needs.
“We’re witnessing a pattern where ladies are becoming increasingly disillusioned with purchasing lingerie that doesn’t suit them properly – whether the fit is wrong due to being incorrectly measured in-store, or having selected it themselves only to find the shape doesn’t work within their wardrobes.
“Consequently we’re finding that, despite lingerie being available to purchase from multiple retailers these days, the number of our expert in-store appointments has risen dramatically over the last year as more and more women are actively seeking out specialist advice for accurate guidance on sizing and styling but also to understand the real benefits of their bras.”
Notably, given their bad experiences with ill-suiting lingerie, more than 60 per cent of women admit they don’t own a single item of underwear that makes them feel confident.
And as such, one in 20 women are still wearing a bra they bought over 20 years ago.
Interestingly, this pattern has also revealed another in which many women are resorting to re-wearing lingerie they’ve owned for many years as opposed to buying new sets.
More than six in 10 women admit one of the reasons they resort to wearing the same bras day in and day out is because they feel more self-assured when they wear their ‘old faithfuls’.
A further 26 per cent will avoid wearing new underwear which doesn’t support or hold them in properly, while 21 per cent have discarded items which look terrible underneath clothing, either because the colour or pattern shows through.
And while 45 per cent of women feel embarrassed to be wearing underwear which is years old and no longer looks attractive, they’ll resort to wearing if it new purchases end up being disappointing.
A resounding 70 per cent of ladies would rather wear an old grey bra which feels like a second skin than an expensive new purchase which turns out to be uncomfortable.
And while wearing a limited set of bras on rotation has been shown to correlate to badly fitting lingerie, it could also be due in part of a larger trend in which many women are now avoiding bras which encourage too much uplift, plunge or cleavage, preferring to go for the more natural look.
In this survey, 81 per cent of ladies say they don’t like their chest to be on show, and would rather their underwear made them look a nice shape, and most importantly, contained.
A further 50 per cent want their underwear to fit their lifestyle or wardrobing needs – whether this is making them feel confident for a meeting, attractive for a date or motherly when looking after the children.
But researchers also found the average woman finds just 27 per cent of their lingerie wardrobe comfortable, and a quarter of those polled don’t have a single bra which is 100 per cent comfy all of the time.
And while nine in 10 women would like to fill their wardrobes with lingerie which looks and feels amazing, 66 per cent currently find it difficult to tick both boxes.
As a result, 62 per cent would welcome expert advice to help build their underwear collection with pieces which fit well, build their confidence and which they also love.
The spokeswoman for Rigby & Peller added: “Unfortunately, the truth is bras don’t last forever: they do have a life span. Therefore, the danger of wearing two bras on rotation for a lengthy period is you risk losing fundamental qualities of your bra, like support, over time. Plus, technology and trends are constantly evolving meaning bras that you may have had 10 years ago are certainly not the same as today.
“This research highlights the importance of having regular lingerie fittings to ensure you’re getting the most from your lingerie: whether it is around fit, style or innovation, seeking expert advice on a frequent basis should ultimately help in reducing unworn and uncomfortable items that linger in your drawer.
“Our stylists offer a bespoke service where your lifestyle and personality are taken into account, offering an array of lingerie to fit all your daily needs, whether it’s working in an office, running around after toddlers, sexier bras for the evening or sports bras there are key investment pieces that every woman should own.
“And just because a woman wants to be comfortable in her underwear doesn’t mean she has to forego style. There are plenty of beautiful lingerie sets available to build wardrobes which both compliment and support ladies.”