Harsh Nigerian economy pushes young ladies to buy ‘Okrika pants’

    Gone are the days when it was a pride for young ladies to troop boutiques to buy pants and brassieres.

    The economy of the average Nigerian lady no longer supports that luxury.

    Besides, several brands of new panties come with substandard elastics and fabrics that do not let the products last.

    The alternative now appears to be used pants and brassieres, sold in heaps at roadside stalls and markets popularly known as bend-down boutiques.

    Although some say the act is degrading to women’s fashion sense, there’s also an argument that fashion sense that does not consider quality and affordability, lacks real taste.

    More for affordability, some women have even resorted to making a choice between panties and tights saying that both of them perform the same job of covering their private parts.

    Adejobi Badejo, an undergraduate said she goes for okrika pants and gets them at Katangua market for far cheaper costs.

    “The state of the economy is really dealing with I used to buy two dozens of panties before but now, I have limited it to one dozen and they are not new but bend-down-select. A dozen of new cotton panties that were sold for N5,000 to N7,000 as of last December, have risen to N15,000 to N25,000. Even to match quality pants and brassiers are no go areas. I love wearing my undergarment in the same colors but now that I have resolved to buy okrika panties, I have forgotten all about that dress sense.

    “This is what is trending for most young ladies and housewives now. The first day my friend and I visited Katangua to buy pants; we saw many women buying okrika panties in the market and were shocked at the high patronage.”

    Confirming women’s high patronage of okrika panties, Mrs Chinwe Mbafor, an okrika undergarment seller in Ikotun market said: “It is true that most ladies now prefer buying okrika panties. They have dropped their shame and embraced its use.

    Before, I would sit for hours and make little sales from brassieres, tights and children’s panties. The low sales made me buy less quantity of okrika ladies’ pants.

    “Sometimes any odd occurrence in any environment favours some people. Now the so-called okrika panties are bought with speed. Not only panties but other used products as the prices of brand new ones are increasing every day.

    “Even the prices of some okrika products are also increasing due to the high demand.”

    On his part, a pharmacist known as Doctor Chinedu, said he noticed that his female friends and some other ladies no longer wear panties. He pointed out that most young ladies, including married women, now wear tights without panties.

    He said most of his female friends said tights are better options when compared to pants as most of the new pants being produced are very expensive and get torn easily and don’t last long unlike tights. However, he noted that some prefer using tights due to the comfort they derive from it.

    “I see most of my female friends putting on tights without panties, even the ones that are married. Before, these tights were undergarments worn under gowns or skirts. But now, these women said due to the increase in the prices of panties which don’t last long, they prefer to go pantless and wear tights.

    “A male friend of mine who sells okrika clothes disclosed to me that ladies, even his girlfriend, now go for okrika decided to start buying okrika briefs. The so-called new ones don’t last long anymore.”

    Mr. Matthew Oluwaseyi, a laboratory Technician explained that despite their ability to last long and being cheap, wearing okrika pants without proper washing and ironing, can cause infections.

    “As a laboratory technician, I have come in contact with various infections contracted by wearing okrika undergarments, especially pants.

    “It is unhygienic for a woman to put on Okrika pants because some of these pants were worn by infected patients who might have disposed of them without proper washing. So if a new buyer does not wash and iron them well, they could contract bacterial and fungal infections such as genital warts, vaginal and skin candidiasis, scabies, tinea curis, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and even Hepatitis A, B and C.”