More than 24 million pairs of Christmas knickers will be given as gifts by UK men to their girlfriends and wives this year.
But a new study shows that the probability is that almost half of those fancy festive pants will never be worn or washed.
They are either too small, the wrong colour or too racy, according to a nationwide survey of British women by UK laundry specialist Dr Beckmann.
And it is all men’s fault.
In a nutshell, men are pants at choosing pants for their partner, and they’re most guilty during the Christmas period – the season when they are most likely to impulse buy underwear for their lady.
The worst offenders are men who buy red lacy underwear or other items they consider ‘sexy’, say Britain’s women. Male-bought racy underwear is twice as likely as any other kind never to be worn by women, according to the study.
Women say they will put an astonishing 48 per cent of all knickers, bought for them as Christmas presents, directly into their underwear drawer and will never, ever, wear or wash them.
Of those remaining knickers that are worn, just 20 per cent will be worn more than once before being hidden at the bottom of underwear drawers across the nation.
Some 31 per cent of all Christmas knickers bought by men for their lovers is the wrong size, often too small but sometimes, unforgivably, too big.
A further 12 per cent are too racy and some 10 per cent are a colour that their lady-love would never wear.
Dr Beckmann spokesman Susan Fermor said: “Women love new underwear but it seems that their men often get it wrong when it comes to buying lingerie for their loved ones.
“This seems especially true at Christmas, when men are most likely to buy their women underwear. Men’s opinion of what their women would like seems to be way off the mark in many, many cases.
“Britain’s women clearly prefer their own lingerie choices. Like men, many have a few pairs of ‘favourite’ pants, which they prefer to wear on a regular basis.
“Men rarely play it safe when buying ladies underwear – they seem to go for risqué or racy undies which rarely, if ever, get worn.”
Recent reports show that Marks & Spencer sells an incredible 61 million pairs of knickers in the UK every year and the UK lingerie market is worth a staggering £2.48 billion annually.