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Pyjama party: sales of loungewear are going through the roof, proving staying in is officially the new going out

28 October 2019

They say that fashion trends serve as an accurate economic indicator. So it’s safe to say that in autumn 2023, you’re probably better off staying in bed.

Blame Brexit fatigue. Blame social anxiety. Blame the rain. Whatever the cause — perhaps it’s all of the above? — Sleep is big business, with the name of your mattress (Emma or Eve?) now a greater marker of the zeitgeist than your cocktail order.

Confirmation of this comes via an annual retail report from John Lewis & Partners — the UK’s largest employee-owned business and therefore a reliable barometer for what the great British public are eating, who they are wearing and how they are operating.

In it, the brand noted that Jomo had officially replaced Fomo, with the Fear Of Missing Out squashed under the unparalleled Joy of staying in (and possibly the weight of a 14.5 tog ethically sourced luxury feather duvet).

This was reflected across the store: in the furniture department, buyers noted a return of the home bar, with sales of drinks trolleys up 136 per cent and decanters, champagne stoppers and spirit measurers also topping bestseller lists. In beauty, indulgent home salon treatments are on the up, not just with sales of devices such as the Dyson Airwrap styler — the chain sold 15,000 of them during the last festive period alone — but also with high-tech beauty products proving to be one of the leading causes for John Lewis’ home insurance claims for customers’ carpets and sofas this year.

And as further evidence of our collective desire to retreat, home movie nights are also trending, with sales of 82-inch TVs spiking 377 per cent and 8K Ultra HD TVs also up by 17 per cent, along with corner sofas up by 9 per cent. But perhaps most tellingly of all, sales of loungewear are also at an all-time high with the department store noting a surge in sales of 129 per cent.

Our interest in hibernation wardrobing to the prediction that half of the UK workforce would be set to work remotely by 2024, noting that “customers want to feel comfortable, but polished, whilst logging in from their sofa”. It also credited the growing trend among office-based nine-to-fivers of changing out of work clothes into chic comfies rather than straight into sleepwear, with crisp cotton pj set proving the most popular option, along with luxurious robes.

It’s the same story across the high street, with loungewear no longer an afterthought but something worth splashing out on. At Selfridges, loungewear as a category is up by a quarter, with sales of soft cashmere doubling, and luxury silk PJs a regular sighting at the tills.

Increasingly, it seems that socialising in a Jomo climate must comply with a new set of rules. For mere mortals, the mid-week meeting with mates is the new Saturday night out. Come the weekend, the only dancefloor we’re interested in is the one on Strictly.

Clothes designed to look as good on the street as they do between the sheets is not the only motivation behind our abject refusal to wear anything that doesn’t feature an elasticated waistband. It comes down to is a desire to feel safe. Certainly, it seems now more than ever — at a time in which politics has more plot twists than an EastEnders episode and the future is framed by a prolonged, impending sense of doom — we’re seeking to cocoon ourselves with wearable comfort blankets. Whether it’s a silk dressing gown or your favourite pair of cotton jammies, we’re choosing to prioritise the clothes that makes us feel better.

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