Apparently, economic downturns push us gals to either simple or sexy fashion choices – and not much in-between. It’s those opposites that are governing the lingerie market these days. While it might surprise some, it makes perfect sense that needing to save money will affect everything we purchase – even our bra and panty choices.

Rita Nakouzi, a fashion forecaster, says we are back in the era of good girl/bad girl. We either want to be wrapped in something cozy and comfortable (which I presume is the “good” spectrum) or we’re playing out our favorite fantasies (which I presume is “bad”).

I personally hate stereotypes like this. Sex isn’t a “bad” thing, but we seem to like to make it that way.

The trends in the lingerie market actually resemble what happened in the 1930’s Depression era. If you’ve got money to spend, you spend it on basics that make your clothes look good on you. If the money you have is limited, you buy only what is most important.

This surprises the fashion gurus? The reality is that it all boils down to simple economics.

People are looking to save money in all aspects of their lives. Staples of everyday life are the priority. You may be able to make last year’s outfits last a bit longer, for instance, but when your underwire is poking out of your bra, you have to buy a new one.

Buying quality is also becoming obvious in our lingerie buying habits. It’s a smart move – you can buy that bargain bra from Target and have to buy again in 6 months, or you can buy a well-constructed brassiere at a more upscale retail outlet, and have it last for years. (At least, it’s possible – if you treat your undergarments well.)

As for the fantasy lingerie, if you are staying home, why not rediscover the joys of “time alone” with your beloved? Intimacy is a great relationship-builder, and it costs less than renting a movie.