The other day, my pajamas wore out. Time for a new set.
Once upon a time, actually not that long ago, I went to Macy’s and bought a set of pajamas, a top and a bottom, in a cellophane bag. I think the last set I bought that way, admittedly made in China, cost about $20.
But more recently, most of the stores have stopped selling pajamas as sets: you buy the top and the bottom separately. So my wife and I looked around:
At Macy’s, they had a selection of designer pajamas, with the pants costing $19 to $38, made in China or El Salvador. (At least El Salvador is on this side of the planet.) The colors were blah: blue, yellow (charming, but not $38 worth), pink (for the man who’s really sure of his masculinity), and grey (looking rather like a pinstriped suit fabric: I tend to think of pajamas and pinstriped suits as mutually exclusive).
At jcp (the department store formerly known as J. C. Penney), they had Chinese pajama bottoms for $12. I found a blue/green plaid pair: done.
But what if I wanted pajamas not from China or El Salvador, but the dear old United States? At Macy’s and jcp, I’d be out of luck.
There’s American Apparel, with little stores in my part of Brooklyn. I’ve actually never visited one: from the outside it looks like mostly women’s items. But their Web site has pajama bottoms for… wait for it… $38, the same as the designer brands at Macy’s.
There’s Red Flannel Factory in Michigan, that offers pajamas in red flannel (you were expecting lime-green Kevlar?) for $43. I’d probably feel better if I could see the goods first.
Some further searching uncovered the Vermont Flannel Company, ‘dedicated to world comfort.’ A few clicks yielded pictures of a beautiful array of pajama sets in a selection of colors. But a set costs $83.60… if they had any in stock.
And then there’s BedHead Pajamas, based in Los Angeles (but with a shop in NYC). Pajama bottoms are $78 with most sets around $140.
Trying to support American manufacturing is all well and good, but I can’t bring myself to pay triple the price.