Women put a lot of thought into their underwear choices, and have a few basic metrics they use to pick their skivvies. That's according to Christiana Tsaousi, who has studied underwear consumption extensively as a lecturer in consumerism at the University of Leicester.
Tsaousi just published a paper on women's underwear choices in the Journal of Consumer Culture, for which she interviewed women from a variety of backgrounds about their drawers. (She also wrote her dissertation on underwear consumption, and it's pretty damn interesting.) Tsaousi's subjects all thought quite a bit about which underwear made them feel comfortable in different situations, and told Tsaousi about it.
According to a release from the University of Leicester:
She found that some groups such as the young rugby girls favoured "cute" underwear while for others such as academics something that supports their professional dress was the main priority.
"The paper indicates that women's choices in underwear are determined by factors such as our ways of thinking, up-bringing, taste and status in society," Dr Tsaousi said. "The paper also suggests that women make similar judgements about their underwear as they would their outerwear."
A big influence on women's tastes in underwear came not from fashion mags and sexy lingerie ads, but from their mothers. After all, mothers are the first people to buy girls underwear and bras, and those choices often stick with women for a lifetime. (This, I would note, does not explain my Superman and Batman underwear.)
Tsaousi also had some words of wisdom for people who think it's awesome to buy their girlfriends sexy gotch for Valentine's Day:
When partners are looking to buy underwear as Valentine's gifts for their wives or girlfriends, they should choose underwear which will fit their partners well and will make them feel comfortable – rather than the stereotypical tiny, uncomfortable types. This will ultimately lead to them feeling nice about themselves.
To return to my earlier point, Superman underwear is a good idea. Everybody feels nicer in it.