Comfortwear — warm and cuddly sleepwear, softly brushed robes, at-homewear separates in feel-good fabrics and fluffy spa-related items — has become one of the fastest-growing categories at retail since the threat to personal security came to the forefront following the terrorist attacks and anthrax incidents in 2001.

The potential for comfortwear, particularly with the continuing casualization of America, offers opportunities to broaden the category into other areas, including activewear, bodywear and casual sportswear, according to innerwear and retail executives. In some cases at major department and specialty stores, the category has significantly beefed up traditionally stagnant sleepwear sales by 50 percent or more against a year ago.

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