I didn’t think much of it, the first time. Then I began seeing them all over town—-women toting two-toned pink Victoria’s Secret shopping bags filled with lunches, books, clothes…anything but underwear.

Old women, teenagers, all shapes and sizes, pink bags in hand. Last week a modest young woman with her head covered by a black scarf. Who would have guessed?

Perhaps, as a female coworker suggests, there are just as many, say, Nike bags doing hauling duty and I haven’t noticed? I don’t think so. So what is the appeal? It seems to be more than utility or ecological consciousness. The bags are toted for a reason, and it can’t be to make me fantasize about the carrier’s lacies. Right?

It seems I’m not the first pervert to wonder. On Yahoo Answers, one respondent thinks it has something to with detachable “crotch panels.”

I doubt it. And so does the clerk who answered the phone this afternoon at the Union Station VS. “I guess it’s just the wonderful color and the name brand that catches their eye,” she says.

Perhaps that’s it. If so, the company has scored an advertising feat. But what if you dig the bags but buy your knickers elsewhere? No problem. If you care little about false advertising, one eBay seller has the bags ten for $9.99.