White undies are the favorite of most women, according to a new poll. Photo: Getty


If clothes make the man, then underwear makes the woman.

A new national poll featured in the January issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, finds one in four women has had her mood affected by wearing an ill-fitting or ugly pair of skivvies.

Now, before you get your panties in a twist, consider this: While nearly half of women (47 percent) feel sexier or more confident wearing a nice or special pair, the poll also finds that one in 10 women admits she ventures out of the house without underwear on at all.

Women not into going commando do have a lot of undies to choose from, though. On average, women own 21 pairs of underwear, and 10 percent own 35 pairs or more, according to the poll.

"What you wear under your clothes is just as important -- maybe even more -- as what you wear on the outside," says Lisa Lee Freeman, editor in chief of ShopSmart.

More findings on the drawers in our drawers from the ShopSmart poll:
  • Nearly one-quarter of women (21 percent) vary their underwear selection depending on their mood and 12 percent feel it is an important part of their outfit.
  • Topping the list of worst undergarment offenses is underwear or thong that sticks out of clothing, especially among those age 18 to 34 (49 percent) and 35 to 54 (55 percent).
  • Half of women have complaints about the way their underwear fits, with wedgies (30 percent) topping the list, followed by doesn't lay flat under clothes (19 percent) and not enough coverage in the rear (14 percent).
  • Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of women stick to neutral colors, with white (29 percent) most popular followed by black (21 percent) and beige (15 percent). Green came in dead last (1 percent).
  • Women in the 18 to 34 age group seem more adventurous with their color choices: More than one-third (35 percent) indicated a color, not a neutral, as their favorite pair and 12 percent chose a print.
  • Nearly half of women (46 percent) cite the brief as the underwear style they wear most often, though women age 18 to 34 skew toward the bikini style.
  • More than half of women (56 percent) fold their underwear, while 27 percent just toss it in the drawer.
For more fun facts, check out this brief history of the thong.

So, what's new in undies for guys? How 'bout Spanx with a 3-D pouch?