the onesie was a sales sensation a decade ago, but now the all-in-one is making a comeback, as this winter’s hottest trend is literally thermal fashion, a category that includes hooded blankets, warm ponchos and microwavable slippers.
With the British desperate to reduce their energy consumption keeping your heating off for as long as possible or by turning down the heat, retailers have risen to the challenge with stores stocked with warm clothing and gadgets ahead of the lucrative Christmas period.
Lakeland, a retailer better known for kitchen paraphernalia than fashion, sold the first shipment of its £90 electric-heated poncho, though another shipment is expected in November. The retailer’s website shows that 1,800 people considered buying a jacket equivalent to an electric blanket in the last 24 hours.
With its research showing that six in 10 consumers intend to turn down the thermostat, Lakeland is also selling £30 slippers with microwavable inserts that “keep your toes blissfully warm for hours”. Another innovation is an extra-long £25 hot water bottle that can be wrapped around your back or feet and is likely to appeal to home workers.
John Lewis said rompers, normally a popular Christmas gift, were already flying off shelves and sales more than tripled last week as the new highest price power bill price limit In another sign of the times, slippers were the most searched for item in women’s shoes on their website.
“With energy cost a concern, we see customers spending with the heat in mind,” said Claire Miles, fashion category head at John Lewis.
“Onesies used to be bought as a cheery Christmas gift, but this year they are being bought much earlier in the season, along with hooded blankets, perhaps indicating that people are buying them with the more serious intention of staying warm.”
The department store chain said the hooded blankets were also a best seller. Shapeless but warm, these wearable blankets have gained a younger following thanks to Australian brand Oodie, which makes them in colorful cartoon designs of avocados, sloths and pizzas with a “giant snack pocket.” As one user told The Guardian: “It makes me feel like a big marshmallow.”
Snuggle is now the most viewed home goods product on the M&S website and the retailer says it has already sold nearly four times as many as last year. One rave reviewer gives it five stars and urges “buy one and save on your energy bills.”
Primark is also reporting strong demand for warmer clothing as the weather turns cooler. “Our snuddies are proving particularly popular, with demand already exceeding that of the colder months of last year,” a spokesman said. “We have also seen an increase in demand for slippers, thermal clothing and warm accessories such as hats, gloves and scarves as customers prepare for winter.”