Long Johns are enjoying snug sales as a severe cold spell continues to grip Korea.
Hyundai Department Store said Wednesday woolly underwear sales grew 15 percent more in the first 13 days of December than in the same period last year.
Shinsegae E-Mart saw Long Johns sales rise 57 percent from a year ago. Sales of the drab but effective inner garments more than doubled last weekend when the mercury plunged to record lows.
Korean online auctioneer Internet Auction sold an average of 1,200 pairs a day, more than twice the 500 pairs that went under the virtual hammer in the same period last year.
Department store insiders say even young men who usually shun Long Johns are stocking up on them this year. Anecdotal evidence bears this out. "Since it's bone-chillingly cold this winter, I've put on Long Johns for the first time since I was discharged from military service in 2001.
Like many others around me, I am not ashamed," says Kim Kyu-jeong, a 28-year-old office worker, who bought two pairs at a discount chain last Saturday.