For our female readers, the following story could be old news; male readers, however, may not be aware of some relatively new developments in state-of-the-art women's undergarments. With fashion trends reaching ever-escalating heights of immodesty, it's probably no surprise that fashionistas constantly seek to minimize the amount of fabric between their clothes and themselves -- without taking things to a Britneyesque extreme, of course. Enter the Nu Bra and Nundies, each addressing the critical need to eliminate unsightly straps and seams.

The Nu Bra, developed by a private company and sold by Maidenform Brands (NYSE:MFB), is a self-adhesive strapless bra. Nundies, created by a tiny specialty-product manufacturer, are disposable liners that adhere to the inside of a pair of pants or shorts. Both products keep coverage to a, well, bare minimum.

While neither product offers a compelling investment opportunity, I find it interesting that the key players in this industry trade at such a large discount to performance apparel companies. Maidenform and Warnaco Group (NASDAQ:WRNC), the company behind Calvin Klein, Olga, and Lejaby intimates, are both afforded very modest valuations, considering that both have served up very solid growth rates. Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI), a recent Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE) spinoff, owns many of the market's strongest brand names, including Wonderbra and Playtex. This should help it to work off the substantial debt load that it carries as a result of its new independence.

Our various newsletters have recommended three different adrenaline-fueled performance apparel companies over the past year. These companies trade around three times higher than the intimate apparel companies on the basis of revenues and cash flows. In this Fool's view, only Volcom (NASDAQ:VLCM) appears to have turned in the gnarly growth to justify that premium. I think it's telling that the market is chasing these hyperkinetic, Mountain Dew-chugging sportswear companies while yawning over the tried-and-true. Fashion and recreation trends come and go, but I think ladies' intimates -- however diminishing their dimensions -- offer investors the greater staying power.

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Fool contributor Toby Shute believes that to be truly intimate with a stock, one must buy it. He doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned, however. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.