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Nightwear …

NIGHTWEAR ON STREETS… A trend boosting Indian exports…


As the world fashion market seeks more and more comfort in clothes,

the traditional nightwear trend which was used by people

in the confinement of their homes is now out there,

on the streets, in the day and surprisingly in the offices as well.

The trick to this is simple,

make a basic pajama or a night shirt a lot more fashionable

and let the masses carry it with attitude!

The product is a fast moving category for Indian exporters

and nightwear exports from India have increased

by 13.98 per cent between January-July 2011, in the US,

whereas in EU, there has been a total increase of 21.67 per cent between January-May 2011…

With ‘Pajamas’ being the most popular demand and also the trigger to the raging trend for nightwear, as reported by Mintel, a London based market research firm, the overall nightwear market in the UK has grown steadily, rising by nine per cent in the last five years to reach £ 476 million in 2010. Women’s nightwear is fuelling the growth, increasing by 10.3 per cent to £ 385 million in 2010 to account for four-fifths of the overall nightwear market. Not only for women but even the men’s nightwear has grown, increasing by 4.6 per cent to £ 91 million in 2010. Being the new must-have for the lounge trend, these pajamas are undergoing a serious make over and becoming the new wardrobe essentials.

The reasons for such a drastic change in consumer acceptance towards nightwear into their day-to-day life are cold winters, recession and the busy lives of people in general. The new ‘work-from-home’ culture has also played a big role for this new pajama craze.  Tamara Sender, a fashion expert and market analysts at Mintel, which carried out the research, said: “The main area of growth is rising demand for loungewear, with people looking for a third wardrobe to wear at home after coming home from work and to lounge around in before going to bed. More extreme weather temperatures, with colder winters and hotter summers, could force people to buy more types of nightwear to suit the seasons.” Based on research, students and young professionals have been the first ones to sport bedroom attire, as these outfits give them emotional and physical comfort symbolic to a way to escape the chaotic world outside, hence a good way to de-stress and be fashionable.

As more pajama wearers are under 35, they tend to wear pajama trousers or shorts with their usual work shirts, rather than complete sets. Young fashion retailers, such as Topman and Jack Wills, have forayed into this market and sell a range of trendy men’s pajama trousers. While some pajama wearers prefer an outfit which is warm and snug, there are now a growing number of people who opt for nightwear that makes them look attractive. Leading players in the nightwear market include Benetton Group S.p.A, Bella Di Notte S.L, Berkshire Hathaway, Fruit of the Loom, Cia Hering, Calvin Klein, Delta Galil Industries, Donna Karan International, The Bali Company, Triumph International, and Tefron.

On the Runways…

Pushing this category of clothing further into fashion are international designers and couturiers that have projected pajamas as outerwear for Spring/Summer 2011 and 2012. With numerous designers showcasing endless innovations on the runways, Dolce & Gabbana were the first ones to predict this future with their silk two-piece night suits for their 2009 summer collection. Following suite, this summer, most of the casual wear collections are inspired by nightwear, making the complete look very cozy and comfortable. Alberta Ferretti featured linen trenches and pajama-like pantsuits, and Calvin Klein’s loose pajama pants in black and white have paved the way for night suits to leave the premises of the bedroom. While Alexander Wang cashed in on the innocent look with flowing pajamas, Karen Walker added prints and drawstrings to give a college feel in their designs tapping a younger teen market.

Other designers like Celine, Louis Vuitton, Missoni, Richard Chai Love, Burberry and Betsey Johnson also flaunted this new style in varied styles and looks. Trends like floral prints, polka dots, stripes and bold designs with piping details are the most popular keys to design development for this trend. Very sensuous, lingerie inspired details like sheer panels and corsetry that add a very daring and adult touch, were also seen on the runways. Innovations like contrasting prints, coordinated accessories and fabrics like silk, satin and linen add variety and texture in colours like soft and pastel shades of blue, green, yellow, pink and peach.

Product development from India…

As AO Fashion Team found that with such an increased demand in a traditional market which was more basic from the start, there has been a significant shift in both order sizes and more fashion-orientated designs being demanded from international buyers from Indian exporters and manufacturers. Supporting this observation, Muthukumar, Partner, Texture Clothing Company says “The market for nightwear is gradually growing, with the designs becoming fancier over time. Details and embellishments like imported trims, embroidery, floral motifs and laser cut has been in demand, along with digital prints, discharge and reactive prints. While the top is knitted, the pajamas trousers are mostly woven, with yarn dyed fabric used for them. To our surprise brands like Pull & Bear and BonMarche used to demand standard lowers, but now the demand is for leggings with long tunics. Looking for more and more designs for summers, the tunics are sleeveless withCapri length leggings.”

With the market evolving in style by each passing day and season, companies like Nycil Knitwear have witnessed an increase in the nightwear market by 25-20% in the last one year. “It is a viable market, demanding fabric innovation, which is a huge opportunity for the export as well as the domestic market. Brands like Dunnes have given us large orders of basic silhouettes, with allover prints on the bottoms. Patterns like dots, butterflies, flowers and hearts are very popular. Auchen, a new brand from France, has recently started looking at nightwear and has given us their developments, bringing more and more business to us for the future,” elaborates R. Radhakrishnan, Manager, Nycil Knitwear.

Another company witnessing a boom in business for nightwear is KPR Mills based in Tirupur. “With a lot of buyers and orders pouring in, people all over the world are demanding new styles and the developments for making it fashionable. Buyers are demanding new samples as the market condition is improving, and allover prints, appliquéd motifs like bows and flowers, and embroidery are in demand in knitted fabrics of 140-160 gsm,” says Prasad, GM – Marketing. Developing different silhouettes in the same category, A&A Exports, Jaipur is banking on free-size tunics with allover prints like flowers, roses, stripes and checks, along with patch-work, piping and lace details which are being demanded in huge quantities, from buyers from Europe,Australia andNew Zealand.

Having slightly contrasting views on the market growth, Ramu, Partner, Fashion Knits said, “The market generally has reduced due to the recession and the slowdown ofEurope as the order quantities for us have reduced along with the prices. But undoubtedly nightwear overall is becoming more fashionable. Shapes like tunics, shorts and long pajamas are in demand, with allover prints. Value additions like laces and satin ribbon bows are also being used to add texture and appeal to a basic design.”

Spreading almost like a revolution in the international market as well as streets, the domestic market is waiting for its share of this trend too. With a lot of awareness amongst women on the growing popularity of nightwear and a shift in the market towards smart sleepwear, A. Klass Fashions based in Thane, Mumbai has expanded into nightwear recently, receiving a good response from multi branch outlets at Ahmedabad,Hyderabad and Mumbai. Shapes like shorts, capris and full length pajamas with T-shirts are being developed to work well in the domestic market, with T-shirts based on various themes like go green, computers, facebook and other women-driven topics, while the pajamas are mostly floral.


Latest figures show

that as many as half – 49 per cent – of women

now own pajamas and

more than a third – 35 per cent – of men

also choose them as their sleepwear.

This compared to 10 years ago

when just two-thirds of both

men and women considered sporting pajamas at night.


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