The US Men’s and Women’s Underwear Market Report examines consumers’ behaviors in relation to underwear, important features when shopping for underwear and the leading retailers in the US underwear market. This report covers the US underwear market size, market forecast, market segmentation and trends in the US underwear market.


US Underwear Market Current Landscape

Inflation continues to be an issue for brands and consumers alike in the US underwear market. Rising prices and shrinking American wallets make it difficult for consumers to purchase greater quantities of underwear or underwear at higher prices.

Shoppers are seeking value from brands – the durability of items and quality pieces are as central in providing value as the price itself. Consumers might also be opting to stick with what they already own rather than buy new pieces, making it more difficult for brands to encourage new purchases.


US Underwear Market Size and Key Industry Trends

Mintel’s men’s and women’s underwear market report outlines that one of the biggest threats to the market outside of inflation is the lack of innovation. Consumers are seeking brands that provide inclusive sizing and represent what real consumers look like. The US underwear market, and big name brands specifically, need to rethink their marketing strategies. Authenticity is key to connecting with consumers.

  • US Men’s Underwear Market Size: Mintel forecasts that the value of the US men’s underwear market will be $6-$7 billion by 2027.
  • 40% of US women agree that the garments they wear can impact their mood and self-esteem.
  • 76% of underwear purchases are primarily based on the function of an item
  • 57% of consumers prefer to be associated with institutions/companies that promote equality.


Future US Underwear Market Trends

One of the largest opportunities for the US underwear market is to make underwear a fashion clothing piece to boost consumers’ confidence rather than a garment that needs to be hidden away. Some brands have already started down this path, encouraging consumers to make underwear the centrepiece of outfits. Underwear can help consumers express themselves and help them feel confident about their body and who they are.

To discover more about the US Men’s and Women’s Underwear Market Report 2022, read our US Online Apparel Retailing Market Report 2022, or take a look at our Clothing Market Research Reports.


Quickly Understand

  • Men and women’s attitudes and purchasing behaviors in the US underwear market.
  • Leading retailers in the US underwear market.
  • Important features when shopping for underwear.
  • Explores the US underwear market size and US underwear market share.


Covered in this Report

Brands: Savage X Fenty, Spanx, Gildan, Skims, AdoreMe, MeUndies, ThirdLove, Lively, YomBoyX, Victoria Secret, MaidenForm, Aerie, Calvin Klein, Duluth, Tommy John, Bonobos, Saxx, Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, Saxx, All Citizens, Mack Weldon.


Expert Analysis from a Specialist in the Clothing Sector

This report, written by Katie Hansen, a leading analyst in the clothing sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the US underwear market and add expert context to the numbers.

The US underwear market is poised for growth and rapid change. Already, the market has seen a push toward inclusive sizing and body-positive messaging, which has opened up ample opportunity for smaller brands. Consumers are seeking authenticity from underwear brands, looking for them to showcase what real people look like and leave behind unattainable body standards. The future for underwear is bright as consumers embrace items for both inner and outerwear occasions, showing off their style, personality, and confidence.”

Katie Hansen, Retail and eCommerce Analyst

Katie Hansen
Senior Analyst, Retail & eCommerce


Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Market overview
                    • Figure 1: Underwear outlook, 2022-27
                  • Opportunities and challenges
                    • Increase in obesity rates highlights the need for expanded sizing
                      • Underwear brands need to tap into sustainability
                        • Consumers are using underwear as statement pieces
                          • Higher prices have shoppers prioritizing necessities
                            • Key consumer insights
                            • Market Landscape

                              • The underwear market is poised for disruption and growth
                              • Market Factors

                                • Inflation woes keep consumer spending tight
                                  • Figure 2: Consumer Price Index change from previous year, 2020-22
                                • Increase in obesity rates increases the need for inclusive sizing
                                  • Figure 3: Age-adjusted prevalence of obesity and severe obesity among people aged 20 or older, 2001-02 to 2017-18
                                • Transparency around environmental efforts needed
                                • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                  • Consumers desire more sustainability efforts from underwear brands
                                    • Figure 4: Pansy goes all in on sustainable underwear
                                  • Elevate styles within the underwear category
                                    • Figure 5: Savage X Fenty showcases underwear as outerwear
                                  • DTC underwear brands see continued growth
                                    • Figure 6: Parade highlights how consumers love its underwear
                                  • Inclusivity, body positivity is a must for underwear brands
                                    • Figure 7: Aerie reflects real consumers in social media post
                                • The Underwear Consumer – Fast Facts

                                  • Items Purchased and Brands of Interest – Women

                                    • Comfort blends with less modest cuts
                                      • Figure 8: Lively showcases bralettes
                                      • Figure 9: Items purchased – Women, 2022
                                    • Younger women drive the need for comfort and fun
                                      • Figure 10: Items purchased – Women, by generation, 2022
                                    • Authenticity, representing real women is key for brand affinity
                                      • Figure 11: Brands of interest – Women, 2022
                                    • DTC brands hit home with younger generations
                                      • Figure 12: Brands of interest – Women, by generation, 2022
                                    • Brands need to strike a balance between quality and price
                                      • Figure 13: Brands of interest – Women, by household income, 2022
                                  • Items Purchased and Brands of Interest – Men

                                    • Opportunity for more fun in men’s underwear options
                                      • Figure 14: Tommy John re-launches underwear line with bold new colors
                                      • Figure 15: Items purchased – Men, 2022
                                    • Young men will lead the opportunities for fun in the category
                                      • Figure 16: Items purchased – men, by generation, 2022
                                    • Bigger name brands win over men
                                      • Figure 17: Duluth taps into humor to talk about underwear needs
                                      • Figure 18: Brands of interest – men, 2022
                                    • DTC brands resonate with young men
                                      • Figure 19: MeUndies taps into the Halloween spirit
                                      • Figure 20: Brands of interest – Men, by generation, 2022
                                    • There is interest in elevated underwear options
                                      • Figure 21: Brands of interest – men, by household income, 2022
                                  • Retailers Purchased

                                    • Consumers seek convenience-driven retailers when purchasing underwear
                                      • Figure 22: Retailers purchased, 2022
                                    • Men and women shop a variety of retailers
                                      • Figure 23: Retailers purchased, by gender, 2022
                                  • Important Features

                                    • Comfort and fit drive item purchases
                                      • Figure 24: Important features, 2022
                                    • Women seek a balance of comfort and style; men need durable items
                                      • Figure 25: Important features, by gender, 2022
                                    • Gen Z seeks out uniqueness in their underwear items
                                      • Figure 26: Important features, by generation, 2022
                                  • Purchase Behaviors

                                    • Fun piques interest; function drives purchase
                                      • Figure 27: Purchase behaviors – fun versus function, 2022
                                    • Younger consumers prioritize fun
                                      • Figure 28: Purchase behaviors – Fun versus function, by generation, 2022
                                    • Underwear brands can use cross promotion to drive impulse purchases
                                      • Figure 29: Purchase behaviors – Need versus want, 2022
                                    • Millennials drive non-necessity purchases
                                      • Figure 30: Purchase behaviors – Need versus want, by generation, 2022
                                    • Consumers purchase underwear both with other items and separately
                                      • Figure 31: Purchase behaviors – Trip type, 2022
                                    • Opportunity to encourage Gen Z to keep underwear separate
                                      • Figure 32: Purchase behaviors – Trip type, by generation, 2022
                                    • In-store leads discovery with online options right on its tail
                                        • Figure 33: Purchase behaviors – In-store versus online discovery, 2022
                                      • Consumers across generations leverage online and offline options for discovery
                                        • Figure 34: Purchase behaviors – In-store versus online discovery, by generation, 2022
                                      • Most consumers stick with the brands they know and trust
                                        • Figure 35: Purchase behaviors – Brand loyalty, 2022
                                      • Younger consumers are open to brand discovery
                                        • Figure 36: Purchase behaviors – Brand loyalty, by generation, 2022
                                    • Attitudes – Women

                                      • Emphasize transparency, confidence for women
                                        • Figure 37: Attitudes – Women, 2022
                                        • Figure 38: Aerie celebrates women of all body types
                                      • Gen Z women seek inclusivity for all
                                        • Figure 39: Attitudes – Women, by generation, 2022
                                      • Moms want to be seen
                                        • Figure 40: Attitudes – Women, by parental status, 2022
                                        • Figure 41: Motherhood Maternity shows moms with their real bodies
                                    • Attitudes – Men

                                      • Men want to feel confident, guided
                                        • Figure 42: Attitudes – Men, 2022
                                      • Gen Z look to their communities for recommendations
                                        • Figure 43: Attitudes – Men, by generation, 2022
                                      • Dads desire support, inclusivity from underwear brands
                                        • Figure 44: Attitudes – Men, by parental status, 2022
                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                      • Data sources
                                        • Consumer survey data
                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                            • Abbreviations
                                            • Appendix – The Market

                                                • Figure 45: Age-adjusted prevalence of obesity among people aged 20 and older, by race and Hispanic origin and gender, 2015-16 and 2017-18
                                                • Figure 46: Age-adjusted prevalence of obesity among people aged 20 and older, by age and gender, 2017-18
                                            • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                • Figure 47: Purchase habits of men and women – underwear, 2021

                                            About the report

                                            This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


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