Loungewear Trend & What Sells

Maison du Doir SS16

Above: Maison du Soir SS16.

by Holly Jackson

Holly Jackson is a online copywriter and lingerie columnist. She can be found blogging at her website http://www.thefullfiguredchest.com or on working on her goal of filling up an entire closet with lingerie on Twitter @fullfigurechest.

The loungewear trend is everywhere and shows no signs of going away anytime soon. In some ways this trend was inevitable. As society becomes more casual, we’re starting to delineate the line between “casual” and “sloppy” more sharply. Yoga pants are the thing you wear at home when no one is looking, but loungewear is acceptable for many more social situations. The loungewear trend encompasses everything from luxurious robes and jackets that double as evening wear to cotton pants that work as pajamas or for a Sunday brunch with friends. If you’re a boutique, this may seem like an imitating category to stock. How do you teach your customers how to wear loungewear? When is it appropriate to wear loungewear as real clothing instead of pajamas? Will anyone actually wear it beyond the bedroom?

Today I’m going to talk about some basic pieces that sell well, along with some ways to present loungewear (and to some extent the lingerie as outerwear trend) to your customers in manner that is inspiring rather than scary.

1. Start Simple.

Maison de Papillon SS16

Above: Maison de Papillon SS16.

When it comes down to it, most lingerie consumers don’t need a $1,000 velvet robe that doubles as an opera coat – so don’t go there. Start with the basics that customers need anyway, especially during the winter months. Cosy cashmere sweaters and robes can be worn at home or out over jeans, while vintage inspired lounge pants can help customers embrace the palazzo pant trend that is hot right now. Focus on stocking items that are high quality, fit into the average customer’s life and are easy to repurpose throughout someone’s wardrobe.

2. Bodysuits Are the New Little Black Dress.

Madame Aime AW15

Above: Madame Aime AW15.

When you think of bodysuits, you might conjure up visions of music videos from the 1980’s. Fortunately, bodysuits are back in a big way and have gotten seriously sophisticated. Bodysuits are an easy sell because they are seen so frequently on celebrities, like Beyonce in the Erica M line. Again, focus on recognizable pieces made from high quality materials. Lots of these lines are available at reasonable price points, which makes it an easy to upsell a customer on the latest celebrity influenced look.

3. Embrace Vintage Glamour.

Nui Ami Venice

Above: Nui Ami.

Old Hollywood has always inspired lingerie and fashion, but retro pieces are coming back in a more literal way these days. Wide legged pants are back in fashion for both clothing and lingerie, along with glamorous robes channel the spirit of classic screen sirens. While a customer might not buy a pair of pajama pants, many customers will buy a pair of fashionable wide legged pants that double as pajamas and outerwear. When picking up vintage inspired lines, make sure that fabrics drape in flattering ways and that pieces can be mixed and matched easily with a modern lingerie wardrobe.

4. Focus On Fabric and Feel.

Layneau Contessa Bed Jacket. Photo by MoscaStudio

Above: Layneau Contessa Bed Jacket.

Since loungewear is all about comfort, choosing your stock for both it’s aesthetics and comfort level is important. Look for fabrics that feel soft, hold up to lots of washing over time and that drape nicely. While customers may tolerate a scratchy lace bra if it is pretty enough, customers won’t tolerate loungewear that they aren’t comfortable in.

5. Position Loungewear As a Lifestyle Product.

Bella Ragazza boutique

Above: Bella Ragazza Boutique.

There are lots of ways to combine loungewear items with products you already sell in your store. Bath and body products can be easy to sell alongside loungewear, as well as simple bralette and panty sets for layering purposes. Make loungewear a part of your style and presentation rather than the sole focus of it. While a customer may be intimidated by an expensive robe by itself, they may feel intrigued by the same item when presented as part of a holiday image or as part of a spa style gift set.

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