Millions of Britain 's women buy under-size clothes as an incentive to help them lose weight, a survey has found.
More than a third of women deliberately buy clothes which are too small for them because they are determined to slim down enough to fit into them one day, it found.
The research found that on average these women confessed to buying three under-size items of clothing each.
This means about 24 million dresses, skirts, blouses and trousers hanging idly in the country's wardrobes --- as their owners battle to fit into them.
The research uncovered Scots as the biggest purchases women make, with one in six claiming to own ten or more items they have bought knowing they are too small.
Christine Evans, Lloyds pharmacy's weight management specialist, which conducted the research, said: "If slipping into a little black dress or a smaller jean size is something someone finds motivating, then buying an under-size garment could be a very sensible investment.
"Many people, women especially, have a daily reminder of their size in the form of an item of clothing they want to fit into one day.
"Deliberately buying these clothes could be an effective strategy."
She added: "Taking control of weight loss is all about setting realistic goals and then taking action to achieve them".