From Counting Sheep to the Golden Fleece
"Patterns are really popular, including plaids (traditional and fashion), animal prints and polka dots," said Margaret Crow, director of marketing for S&S Activewear, Bolingbrook, Ill. "As far as the cut, they are generously sized and made of really soft flannel that just gets better with washing," she added.
Jessica Levine, marketing associate for Atlanta-based Boxercraft, seconded the popularity of plaids and novelty prints, stating that they've been so successful the company plans to expand its line of novelty prints this spring. She added as well that along with plaids and prints, bright, neon colors have been very popular this fall.
Sadly, an easy sales pitch like "They're pajamas! Kids wear 'em around when they're doin' stuff, like, uh, walkin' and collegin' and, well, you know, havin' legs and whatnot ..." is not always going to be enough to land you the sale. Sometimes you need creativity and a little spin on an item for a client to see how valuable it is, pajama or otherwise.
Crow had one example of a clever sleepwear promotion she learned from a previous client. "One of our customers bundled some cute flannel lounge pants in a graduation gift basket," she said. "The 'basket' was actually a shower caddy, and the package included a coordinated T-shirt, a robe and a water bottle. They created several versions in different team colors," she explained. "It was really successful, and they ended up creating a large order of the baskets for another booster club in the area. The loungewear is perfect for dorms and sorority/fraternity house living."
For a sleepwear promotion involving robes, Shawn Kanak, CAS, vice president of Towel Specialties Inc., Baltimore, had an interesting suggestion. He noted a time when the company's robes were used as gifts for new mothers at a hospital's birthing center.