(Filed Under wholesale Sleepwear News). Sisters Laurann Claridge and Lizbeth King figured they had an original enough business idea to combat tough times. So last October—as financial institutions nationwide came crashing down—the two combined their skills, (Claridge is a style writer, while King holds an MBA degree), and founded sleepwear wholesale company, Claridge + King on a single idea: nothing looks sexier on a woman than a men’s button-down shirt.
“We always knew we wanted to do something entrepreneurial, so we thought, what can we do that’s different? We realized that no one was making a true men’s button-down shirt for women tweaked to a her figure like we've seen in the movies for decades,” King said. “Everything out there in sleepwear seemed to be very revealing, lacy, and overtly sexy. Our idea was more inherently sensual, borrowing inspiration from his wardrobe, and our signature product has proven to be even more versatile than I thought. Furthermore, this is sleepwear that is sexy enough to be worn in front of your husband, but not inappropriate in front of the children.”
They coined their first creation the His is Hers shirt, which King said is entirely based on a men’s button-down, yet tailored to fit the female physique. Today, the company’s branded line of men's-inspired sleepwear consists of 20 styles including tops, boxers, and lounge items wholesaling for $28 to $160, with the majority in the $30 to $50 range. Select styles run from XS through XL, and the company is considering adding plus sizes due to customer requests. “Plus-size women have been contacting us saying we get this, we love this, please make it my size. Women of all shapes, ages, and sizes really look great in our product,” King said.
She added that although they had initially targeted lingerie boutiques, linen and high-end women’s stores have also picked up the line. The brand can be found in approximately 40 stores nationwide, including Tootsies in Houston, Texas. “Our product sells in high-end women’s boutiques because, since it is not see-through, you can pair it with a pair of jeans and wear it out,” King said, adding: “High-end linen stores will also carry sleepwear, but they don’t desire the fussy, lacy styles. Nearly everything is packaged in our grey and white striped pouch, which goes over very well in a linen store.”
The company recently launched a travel set, which includes a woolen and cashmere wrap, eyemask and coordinating ankle socks. Other recent additions include the Henley Series inspired by the “classic men’s rowing shirt;” and the Tank Series, which takes “his tank taken one step further.” The Henley consists of a long sleeved top, long dress, mini dress, while the sleeveless Tank Series mimics the same trio of lengths.
King described the brand’s customer as “the fashion-conscious but sophisticated woman,” adding: “She has to understand that she can look appealing in something that is not super-revealing and make it her own.” Ages mainly range from 20 to 50, although she has noticed some more mature women purchasing the brand as well. “I have been surprised about how broad our range has gone,” she remarked.
Claridge + King is based in Houston, Tex. For further information, call (404) 401-7836, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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