Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 15:47 UK

Recession 'boosts Y-front sales'

The once derided Y-front is now the fastest selling underpant of the year

Sales of Y-fronts have increased by 35% since the recession began, according to the retailer Debenhams.

In March Y-fronts outsold boxer shorts for the first time since the early 1990s - the last time when Britain was in recession.

A spokesman for the store attributed the success of Y-fronts to the "greater sense of security" they provide.

Y-fronts were launched in America 74 years ago, but in recent years shoppers have favoured boxer shorts and trunks.

Debenhams says its sales figures reveal the surge in purchases of Y-front began in November, just as the effects of the recession were starting to be felt.

It increased rapidly in January, before reaching an all-time high at the start of April.

In total, sales of Y-fronts had gone up by 35% during the six-month period, the company said.

It is the standard white style of Y-front that is proving the most popular, rather than the tighter, trendier versions of recent years, according to Debenhams.

Spokesman Ed Watson said: "These are the sort of pants our fathers wore.

"They provide a much greater sense of security than loose-fitting boxers, and perhaps, in these troubled times, that's what men need to feel."

Loose-fitting boxer shorts and slimline trunks were previously by far the biggest sellers in Debenhams' men's underwear range.

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