Tuesday, October 30, 2012

3 Steps for a Fun, Creative, Unique Family Christmas Card

Do you enjoy sending out a holiday christmas card every year to friends and family? Have you had this family tradition for years? Many families do, in fact, this is one of the most popular holiday traditions. As a company with the largest selection of Matching Christmas Pajamas and family oriented apparel, I am privileged to talk to so many families who use our product for their holiday photo. Customers share with me their fun and creative photos as well as tips on taking a good photo. I am writing up the best tips and ideas here for you to help your family enjoy this fun holiday tradition!

1. Choose a location for your family photo - I have known familes to take great pictures in front of the Christmas tree, in the woods while selecting a tree, in front of a snow-covered landscape, at the mall with Santa, and in a portrait studio. One family sent me a lovely photo of them in front of the Polar Express train in certain cities that offer this train ride. One family had 40 people! Outdoors is a fun twist on a formal photo locale. Another family gathers everyone around an old-time sleigh at Grandma's house. Each year can be the same location or a new, fun background depending on your family's idea for tradition.

2. Choose your apparel - Of course, I hear about families pictures from families who are purchasing and wearing our matching clothing in fun holiday designs and unique Love Your Family prints. That is one option - selecting a particular design that strikes you and buying matching Christmas shirts in every size for each family member. You can also get the whole outfit so the family matches from head to toe. An alternative is for eveyone to wear plain, solid color shirts for the photo. Perhaps don a scarf or hat for a fun accessory. A popular color for families to wear is plain white to downplay the clothing and focus on the family. Other families prefer to be less formal with bright colors and crazy positions. One family takes a photo every year wearing a different goofy accessory such as groucho marx glasses! Whatever clothing you choose to wear for you family photo, make sure it is available in sizes for all family members.

3. Choose a time/date - Most families who plan ahead get their family picture taken early in September or October. It is generally easier to find matching clothes in all sizes this early as well as book an appointment at a portrait studio and get everyone there before the holiday season sweeps up everybody into the busy frenzy. If you have young children, morning is best when they are more likely to cooperate and less likely to be grumpy and difficult. One grandmother told me that she plans a big brunch in early November to entice all her children, grandchildren, spouses and significant others with her delicacies and then insists they pose for a portrait. Clever Grandma!

Some families get make sure everyone is gathered and take their picture on Thanksgiving Day. Others wait until Christmas Eve or Christmas day to take their picture when all the family is together celebrating and happy. Instead of mailing out traditional cards, now families are sharing their love through electronic postings on FaceBook and Instagram.

One common denominator among all the best pictures is that the family is having fun. Try these creative, unique twists this year and take the best family photo ever.

For more fun ideas on family holiday traditions, see our other articles Family Holiday Tradiditions Rock! and How to Choose Matching Family Christmas Pajamas for a Great Family Holiday Picture

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Best-Selling Matching Holiday Clothing Designs

Often customers will contact us to ask us which designs are our most popular. With so many different holiday designs and styles now available, I understand it can be overwhelming sometimes choosing the best style and fit for your family. For customers who ask this question, I always tell them our top 5 best-sellers. Each year we offer brand-new never seen before trademark original designs to our large selection. Very rarely do we discontinue a design because they usually do so well with returning customers and new customers looking for a certain theme or style.

If you are looking to purchase matching holiday clothing for your family this year and having trouble deciding, here is our top 5 best-selling designs year after year:

1. Very Merry Me Snowman - Our FIRST holiday design and our best-seller every year. In recent years we have branched out to Very Merry Daddy, Very Merry Mommy, Very Merry Baby and Very Merry Doggie. Due to customer request and to offer the most options possible of this popular Christmas design, we now offer short-sleeve and boxer options as well as several different pants choices.
2. Penguin Helper at North Pole with Santa Hat - Also, a favorite and best-seller, this unique penguin design with words Love Your Family and adorable santa hat is now offered in a variety of boxer and pant sets.

 3. Christmas Trees Matching Family Sets on Red - Super fun graphic of a family of Christmas Trees exchanging their own holiday gifts! Available in lots of sizes and styles from adult, children, toddler, youth, infant.
4. Polar Bear on an Iceberg Royal Family Flannel Sets - Super cute! We receive many customer raves about this set and it sell off the shelves every year since it was created.
5. Winter Snoflake Matching Family Outfits - A great set for the entire family as it can be worn all winter long even after the holiday season. Customers were this desing on family ski trips or for Christmas Morning or any family gathering in the winter.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review of Our Family Matching Holiday Sets - Shrinkage, Washing and Sizing Details

Here is a in-depth review of our products by a professional reviewer who we sent a sample set of our Winter Snowflake outfits to. There was no consideration paid. She did an amazing job of describing quality and fit of our matching family christmas clothing and how they wash and shrink. We hope this is helpful to you as you choose outfits for your family:

** Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational and entertainment purposes. Footsteps Clothing sells pajamas in adult sizes only and does NOT sell pajamas in childrens sizes. All outfits in childrens sizes are designed as playwear and not intended for sleeping activities.

The Footstep Clothing outfits are of nice quality and I happy not only to wear them but would be happy to give them as gifts. The grey pants are made out of heavy duty sweat pant material. The blue top is made of heavy weight cotton. In addition to grey pants I am also including an evaluation of blue/white flannel pants. The blue/white pants are made from a lightweight flannel and available in other Footstep offerings.

What I always want to know when I buy closing on-line are exact measurements, quality of the material as well as color-fastness of the material and the goal of this review is to provide this additional information.

I hand washed pants and top in warm water and took pictures of the water after soaking each piece for 10 minute to test color fastness of each piece. After washing the outfit in warm water I dried them on medium heat in the dryer. I measured the items before and after laundering them to aid in proper sizing after the initial shrinking. Size note: I like my outfits loose and ordered 2X size, all measurements below are for that size but the relative shrinkage can be generalized for the fabric of any size.

Grey sweat pants measurements: -------------------- Waist before laundry: 38 inches Waist after laundry: 38 inches Hips before laundry: 48 inches Hips after laundry: 48 inches Length before laundry (from waist to the bottom, measured on the side): 45.5 inches Length after laundry(from waist to the bottom, measured on the side): 45.5 inches Summary: No shrinking, color fast (see notes below)

Blue/white flanel pants measurements: -------------------- Waist before laundry: 34 inches Waist after laundry: 34 inches Hips before laundry: 48 inches Hips after laundry: 47 inches Length before laundry (from waist to the bottom, measured on the side): 45 inches Length after laundry(from waist to the bottom, measured on the side): 42.5 inches Summary: Some shrinking, not color fast (see notes below)

Blue top measurements: ------------------ Breast before laundry: 51 inches Breast after laundry: 50 inches Length before laundry (from waist to the bottom, measured in the back): 31 inches Length after laundry(from waist to the bottom, measured in the back): 25 inches Crew neck opening before laundry (at shoulder seam): 6 inches Crew neck opening before laundry (at shoulder seam): 5.5 inches Sleeve before laundry: 28 inches Sleeve after laundry: 25 inches Summary: Slight shrinking, not color fast (see notes below)

Grey sweat pants notes: -------------------- Construction: high quality heavy duty double-stich construction (as seen in image #6, which shows waist band and the pant leg) Pockets: yes, 2 pockets (image #8, left shows nice finish on the pocket) Waist band: elastic plus cord for tightening if needed (Image #6) Color fast: Picture #7 shows no discoloration of water, the pants did not bleed any color at all Material: heavy duty, good stretch

Blue/white flannel pants notes: -------------------- Pockets: no Waist band: elastic plus cord for tightening if needed (photo #1) Color fast: Picture #5 shows slight discoloration of water, I expect the color bleed will stop after 2-3 launderings Material: light weight, no stretch

Blue Top notes: -------------------- Construction: high quality heavy duty double-stich construction (as seen in image #2) Print: there is a design both on the front and the back of the top. Both are printed (not embroidered). The front has an image of a snowflake with "Love your family" phrase written in script font. The back has LYF logo, and in in small font "love your family by footstep clothing". Photo #3 shows close-up of the front, photo #2 shows close-up of the back. Color fast: Picture #4 shows significant discoloration of water, I expect the color bleed will stop after 4-5 launderings Material: heavy duty, some stretch

Grey sweat pants label: -------------------- 60% cotton, 40% polyester Machine wash in cold water Do not Bleach Tumble Dry Low setting Made in Guatemala

Blue/white flannel pants label: -------------------- 100% cotton Machine wash in cold water Low Iron Do not Bleach Tumble Dry Low setting

Blue Top label: -------------------- 100% cotton Machine wash in warm water Non-chlorine bleach Tumble Dry medium setting Do not iron Do not dry clean Made in Honduras

There is a large variety of designs available from Footstep Clothing. I was looking for universal design of neutral colors without much lettering. The blue top with a snowflake and grey bottom fit my requirement best. The blue plaid was very pretty and matched the blue shade of the top.

Overall, I am pleased with Footstep clothing sets. They did undergo some shrinkage after the initial wash, so I hope my measurements will help you to select the right size.

I received an evaluation pair of Footsteps Clothing sets to provide an honest and unbiased review. In this review I noted both positives and negatives of my experience and if you have any questions I have not covered in my review I am always happy to respond to comments.