It is so common that you’ve probably seen it a million times and not registered it, much like walking past an estate agent on the high street.

But have you noticed that virtually every pair of women’s knickers has a small ribbon bow attached to the front? You will now we’ve pointed it out.

Ever wondered why there's a little ribbon bow on the front of a lot of women's knickers?

Did you ever wonder why that was? Us neither… but apparently there are a few reasons.

A curious pants observer took to Reddit to pose the question: “Why do so many panties have that little bow on the centre front? Where did the tradition come from?”

One replied: “As for the roots of the tradition? It comes from pre-elastic days, when your underthings were held in place by a bit of ribbon threaded through the eyelet lace at the tops.

“The little bow is where you tied that ribbon, and of course it’s in the front because that’s the easiest place to do something like that.”

So far from decorative that little tie served the vital function of keeping your undies where they should be.

But the underwear insight didn’t stop there. According to another forum user, previously women would have gotten up before the daylight and dressed in the dark or by candlelight.

It’s suggested that the bows helped them work out which way round their knickers were supposed to go.

But these days, it’s definitely for aesthetic purposes.

One person said: “I always wondered what that damn bow was there for.

“I always found them a bit stupid but I learned to ignore them. It’s interesting to know why they were there to begin with (as a practical way to tie your underwear).”

However some dislike the bow so much that they snip it off.

One said: “I always take them off.”

While another said: “They’re really annoying. I always tear them off.”