A Comforting Thought
The overall style of the robe would be one of these decisions. Sy Eren, vice president of Terry Town, Chula Vista, Calif., recommended the kimono pattern. “[Kimono-style] lends itself to the one-size-fits-all concept of robes more so than the hooded or shawl styles,” he explained. “A kimono-style robe has three-quarter-length sleeves, so if the person is small, the sleeves become a little bit longer, or if the person is tall, they’ll be slightly shorter, but still with an acceptable occurrence.”
Color, too, is a feature Eren noted as important. While white is the tried-and-true, Eren suggested venturing into other pigments is not something to fear. He added, “I think the colors, like in any other item, are key to generating sales. If you just offer white robes, you can generate some sales, but not as much or as many as if you had offered a nice selection of colors. If you can match colors with an event or a customer’s corporate color, then naturally they prefer that.”
Along with color, another design issue with robes arises in the imprinting process. Eren and Lewis both advocated embroidery over screen printing or other methods. Said Lewis, “We embroider because the nature of terry or velour just takes embroidery better. It really makes a quality piece. It just finishes beautifully and because a bathrobe is washed often, it also holds up through many washings.”
A more distinct variation on the robe that is growing in popularity is the bath or spa wrap. Eren
discussed the wrap’s rise. “Wraps are very popular this year. We’ve been selling 20 to 30 percent more wraps compared to the previous year. I really don’t know any explanation to that, other than maybe the popularity of spas.”
Eren also pointed out that unlike robes, wraps are gender-specific items, which could be advantageous depending on who the client is trying to target. Lewis shared a few other selling points
for wraps. “In or out of a shower, they’re very usable. Instead of a bathrobe, which tends to be very hot … if you’re blow-drying your hair or if you’re shaving, there’s no fabric that gets in the way,” she said.