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Underwear trends across South African suburbia

Those in the know weren't all too surprised on hearing news that Victoria's Secret would be closing many of its stores around the world as a result of the scourging Covid-19 pandemic which has wrought havoc on businesses and the global economy. Given the rise of body positivity and brave influencers on social media this year alone, which sparked an outcry for functional underwear, the Angels have since locked up their top drawers and departed the catwalks resulting in a decline in sales even before Covid-19 hit.
Underwear trends across South African suburbia

Back home on local shores, RunwaySale reports that underwear is often one of the top selling items on their e-commerce platform, with the company selling thousands of bras, boxers and panties monthly. “Over the last few months, we have noticed a significant increase in the sale of underwear on our site. The 32% year-on-year increase could be attributed to the recent surge in ‘lounge wear’ or the popularised ‘work from home’ fashion trend,” says Rob Noble, COO at Runway Sale.

“It might seem strange to deep dive into data about underwear, but this is a hugely successful section of the market and we’re seeing significant changes in what people are shopping for when it comes to undergarments. This includes wanting more inclusivity when it comes to the colour and sizes of underwear. A nude coloured bra, for example, means so many different colours given the skin shade diversity in the country. This is proving that adaptability and agility is key when making purchasing decisions from the buyer’s side.”

Interestingly, the South African woman’s choice of undies is as different as her counterpart in the next province or even city.

City statistics

Durban women prefer sticking to the trusty, classic underwear pieces. The online retailer released data which reveals that the women of KZN, for example, are more likely to opt for a wine red classic lace bra paired with black bikini briefs.

The women of Cape Town on the other hand prefer coral and black bikini briefs, as well as white high-waisted briefs - which are comfortable no matter the need.

Moving up north, the ladies of Gauteng prefer cost-effective purchases, such as multipacks; these are particularly popular with the women based in Midrand. This makes for a sensible choice of undies for anyone who isn’t looking to splurge on underwear, and simply prefers a good quality pair of knickers, sans the aesthetics and frills as popularised by the Angels.

Seamless suburbs

Online shopping provides evidence that women in suburbia have distinct preferences in their choice of underwear. While Sandton’s bestseller is the black lace bra, Bellville prefers dependable nude seamless shapewear. Over in Modderfontein, women are clicking ‘add to cart’ on bikini briefs, while Douglasdale ladies opt for playful pink floral high-waisted briefs.

Of all these mentioned, the most popular size for panties sold is large, and the most popular bra size is a 34C.

Most-loved items across the board

It’s clear that of all women’s underwear sold online, there are a few items which prove to be more popular than the rest. However, South African women on the whole prefer opting for simpler, more practical underwear garments that will make them feel comfortable in everyday life. The top three winning choices are navy and black high-waisted briefs, white and navy basic support bras, and red and white classic lace bras.

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