Pajamas: For kids and adults, for lounging and lunching out

Fashionable in flannel pajamas from Target: from left to right, Aida, pajama shirt, 14.99; Esai, robe, $16.99; Addai, $17.49; Manuel, $24.99; Lori, romper, $17.99.

Many a fashionable family's holiday traditions include giving little ones nice pajamas.

After all, children should look as fancy - especially according to my mom's style bible - as the presents they've waited for all year.

But this Christmas and Hanukkah, tiny tots and their tween siblings won't be the only ones lounging in living rooms post-present-opening in festive, plaid flannels.

Parents, grandparents, and uncles and aunts (yes, that would be me) can also feel comfortable decked out in snowflake-dotted nightshirts, or even striped onesies.

Why? Just ask Amy Schumer, who stars in this year's Old Navy holiday commercial: Pajamas rule. 

 Sleepwear sales are up 4 percent from last year, from $6.7 billion to $7 billion, according to the New York consumer tracking service NPD Group. And thanks to heavy pajama promotions at go-to haunts such as J. Crew, Bloomingdale's, and Target, nighttime gear and all of its cozy accoutrements - slippers, blankets, sleep masks - are having a good season, too.

"This is the perfect storm for pajamas," said Marshal Cohen, an NPD trend analyst. "You've got the convergence of cocooning combined with the epitome of casualization of America, where comfort is paramount."

Another reason retailers are pushing PJs: We have our flat screens. Everyone who wants a smartphone has one.

But you can never have too many pairs of pajamas.

Essai, striped onesie, 17.49; Aida, Rudolph onesie, $14.99, both at Target.

In fact, all of this technology has enabled us to binge-watch our favorite shows family-style. Between streaming and brunch being the new Sunday dinner, can we say, "Pajamas all day?"

Athleisure PJ style from left to right: Addai, plaid bottoms, $38; rugby, $49, both Polo Ralph Lauren at Bloomingdale’s; Lori, hoodie, $69; heather gray joggers, $69; slipper boots, $44, all P.J. Salvage at Down to Earth Kids; Aida, pajama set, Just 4 You, $15.99, at Target; Manuel, gray plaid shirt, $38; gray joggers, $49.58, both Polo Ralph Lauren at Bloomingdale’s.

"Pajamas are my No. 1 selling item," said Pam Katz, owner of Down to Earth Kids in Lafayette Hill, where she sells children's clothes and specialty items for moms.

"I think people are looking for comfort because of what's going on in the world. They want to feel safe inside because they don't feel it outside."

It's a concept most young people - from tweens to college students - adopted about 15 years ago, when they started prancing around the hallways in drawstring bottoms and sweats for early-morning classes. But PJs these days are high-fashion zeitgeist.

For more than a few seasons, designers from Alexander Wang to Givenchy have featured silk pajamas in bold winter florals.

During the spring 2017 presentations in September, Wang, along with Tadashi Shoji and Band of Outsiders, put robes into their runway mix. Lacoste paired hooded robes with jeans and white T-shirts, leaving the fashion curious to ask: Is this bathrobe or duster?

LaCoste collections featuring bathrobes from the Spring 2017 runway

As a result, specialty stores like Theory, H&M, and Zara offered private-label versions of the loungewear in their special-occasion sections this fall. The hope: that we would want to pair the wide-legged pants ensembles with strappy heels, like Rihanna, Elizabeth Olsen, and Gigi Hadid do on Hollywood red carpets.

We aren't quite there yet. On Monday night, I attended Philly Style's annual holiday soiree, arguably the city's swankest winter cocktail event, and there wasn't one pajama-clad fashionista to be found.

Perhaps it's too early for Philadelphians to do full-fledged nighttime wear as evening wear, but the time will come. After all, on many Philly streets I've seen the same trendsetters wearing plaid button-downs, which could double as nightshirts, with tights and booties. Striped, classic pajama shirts with piping - à la J.Crew - are cute when paired with jeans and blazers.

In the meantime, we can all be comfortable wearing our pajamas in bed, on the couch, or even out to brunch.

Champagne brunch toast: Lori: pajama set, $269, robe, $290, both Pluto, at Coeur; diamond earrings, bracelet and necklace, courtesy of Cooke & Berlinger. Prices available upon request.

The Malia-Tharps family of Mount Airy took to the White Dog Cafe in Haverford (known for its New Year's Day pajama brunch) to demonstrate how to wear our holiday pajamas well.

Special thanks to:
The White Dog Cafe in Haverford, 379 Lancaster Ave., 610-225-3700. The Cafe will host its 29th annual New Year’s Day Pajama Brunch Jan. 1 from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. The White Dog Cafe in Wayne and University City will host a pajama brunch as well.>

Clothing and Accessories
Bloomingdale’s, King of Prussia, 610-337-6300, www.bloomingdales.com; Cooke & Berlinger, 379 Lancaster Ave., Haverford, 610-896-6000, www.cookeandberlinger.com; Coeur, 132 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, 215-972-0373; Down to Earth Kids, 418 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, 610-941-3336; Target, 4000 Monument Road, 267-233-5020, www.target.com.
Hair and Makeup: 
DeAnna Diaz, of Pedal on Beauty, deanna@pedalonbeauty.com, and Salon Rosa M, 948 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, 610-771-9900.
Assistant stylist: Mark Anthony Barksdale