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The Main Reasons Why Lingerie is Expensive

Updated on March 11, 2015
There are several good reasons why lingerie is an expensive purchase
There are several good reasons why lingerie is an expensive purchase | Source


Good lingerie is definitely a luxury item, and that is often reflected in the price. Here are some of the main reasons that manufacturers and retailers can charge high prices for what might seem to be undergarments that are inexpensive to produce. Some of the reasons for high prices include:

  • Lots of different sizes need to be manufactured
  • The design that needs to go into good lingerie
  • The 'luxury' associated with lingerie
  • 'Desirable' items can be sold for more money
  • Passing on the costs of producing the lingerie

There are lots of different sizes that need to be produced

For bras in particular, manufacturers need to produce many different sizes for the various chest and cup measurements of the women that will be purchasing them. When stores stock the bras, they only have a limited amount of shelf space on which to display the items.

This means that some of the less popular sizes actually lose the manufacturers and retailers money, and that has to be paid for somehow, normally by increasing the prices across the range. The prices of the more popular bra sizes subsidize the costs of the less popular ones.

Many years of design have gone into creating well-fitting, comfortable bras
Many years of design have gone into creating well-fitting, comfortable bras | Source

A significant amount of thought and design goes into the manufacture of lingerie

A good bra contains much more than fabric. There will be underwires, straps, catches, clasps, inserts and the like that will go together to make a comfortable, attractive, easy-to-wear item.

Many of the premium lingerie brands put lots of research into ensuring that their items are desirable, feel good, and provide the right support. This research and design takes time, effort and money, and ultimately this is passed onto the customer.

Good lingerie is a luxury item

There is a premium to purchasing luxury items; the emotional and psychological worth that someone attaches to an item increases, based on how much money that they have paid for it.

Manufacturers in the clothing and fashion industry understand this, which means that certain high-end brands can charge top dollar for their luxury items. This applies to lingerie just as much as it does to haute couture or other fashion.

Because lingerie is a luxury item, retailers and manufacturers can charge premiums
Because lingerie is a luxury item, retailers and manufacturers can charge premiums | Source

Manufacturers and retailers can charge more for 'desirable' items

Because lingerie can be designed to help a woman feel more desirable, both men and women are willing to pay more for a garment that is considered to be alluring and sexy.

People attach more 'perceived value' to an item that they really want, that builds their self-confidence and helps to set a mood. Lingerie is often given as a sexy gift, and retailers use this to their advantage.

There are a number of fixed and variable costs in producing lingerie

Lingerie is often produced from very high quality fabric, on specialist machines in limited production runs. This means that the fixed overheads need to be passed on to the retailer by the manufacturer, who in turn pass that cost onto the end customer.

Making lingerie

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In closing

The combination of desirability, good design, luxury and costs all go together to create the high prices of premium lingerie.

Ultimately, the need for beautiful undergarments and what customers are willing to pay drives the market, and ensures that manufacturers and retailers will continue to flourish.


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