Clothing is often a sign of loyalty: to a brand, a sports team, a college, a favorite movie or TV show, and so forth. Aldi, whose fan base has grown exponentially in recent years, is finally tapping into its own “fandom” market and selling an Aldi Gear Capsule Collection, including the Serra Ladies’ Aldi Fan Pajama Set, which was on sale at my local Aldi for $9.99 at the time of publication.
But what is a capsule collection?
The term “capsule collection” originated in the 1980s with clothing designer Donna Karan. She introduced a select set of her pieces, featuring the most essential pieces of her collection that were both functional and trend-proof, so that a shopper could create an entire designer wardrobe buying only a few necessary pieces.
If the social media ads that are constantly targeted at me are any indication, capsule collections are popular again, or at least with women my age who (according to the ads) want to simplify their wardrobes and get away from passing trends.
The idea of Aldi — who, despite their famous Aisle of Shame is still, in fact, a grocery store — creating a “capsule collection” is their tongue-in-cheek way of acknowledging their loyal fan base and marketing their brand. It’s both hilarious and brilliant.
Aldi’s “capsule” includes pajamas, sandals, socks, water bottles, key chain holders, and pet toys, but unless you exclusively dress in pajamas, socks, and sandals, it’s not really a capsule in the Donna Karan spirit of the term.
Nevertheless, I’m a sucker for new pajamas, and yes, I’m a fan of the store, so of course I had to try a set.
I picked up the Light Blue Short Sleeve “I’m at ALDI… All the time” set in Medium. I’m normally a size 6, so I wasn’t sure whether to get a Medium or a Small, but because they’re pajamas, I went with the larger size.
My initial impression was that they were very soft, and I looked forward to trying them on. But I was disappointed.
I’ve bought several types of Aldi’s pajamas over the years, including pajama pants, sets, nightshirts, and robes, and most of them feature cotton as the primary material. I prefer natural materials like cotton or bamboo for sleepwear because of its breathability, especially in the warmer months. However, these pajamas are made of 95% polyester and 5% spandex. Although they are very thin and lightweight, they seem like the kind of polyester that would get sticky or even slimy if I sweat in them. With summer around the corner, that’s not good.
As mentioned, the material is very thin and lightweight. The shirt in particular is extremely thin. Perhaps that would help with breathability (maybe), but it doesn’t look durable to me. It could tear or stretch easily, from what I can tell. I don’t want pajamas that have to be hand-washed.
The fit is a little weird. Aldi sizing can be unpredictable, and I never know if a Small or a Medium will fit me correctly. But this set felt like two completely different sizes.
The shorts were just right for a size Medium, but the shirt was surprisingly large, both in width and length. I have an “apple” body type, so I usually have the opposite problem and need a larger sized top than bottom, so it was definitely a surprise to discover that the top fit me more like a Large than a Medium.
As much as I love Aldi, I’m not happy with these pajamas. It appears that more attention was given to the branding than the quality. It’s disappointing, given how many quality nightshirts and pajama sets I’ve bought from them over the years, but these are a hard pass.