Fashion people and economists got giddy when sales of men’s underwear went up 4.7 percent in the first half of the year. After all, Alan Greenspan postulated 30 years ago that sales of men’s underwear rise when the economy pulls out of a low point. He reasoned men only invest in new manties when they’re feeling flush, since dudes figure no one sees them anyway. However, Greenspan’s theory, though newly popularized, could be flawed. In modern times people do see men’s underpants, thanks to low-rise pants. Billboards like David Beckham’s Armani ads have made sexy, stylish underpants a glamour item. Many companies are even making statement manties. So underwear may not have been a fashion item for men three decades ago, but it is now. Everyone looking to Greenspan’s theory for signs of recovery now seems to have neglected to remember how old it is. But as we’ve said, it’s way more fun to talk about underwear statistics than just boring regular statistics.
Greenspan’s Underpants [NYM]