Ten Tips on Wearing PJs – All Day, Every Day
When we spend one third of our life asleep, and a lot more sprawled across the sofa hungover on a Sunday afternoon, it’s crucial to keep up appearances despite the smudged mascara and the smell of last night’s tequila in the air. Even though most things seem to be a struggle and the thought of getting dressed to pop to the shops to grab that much needed orange juice is enough to take another shot, sleepwear has saved our Sunday.
You might not be aware of the difference between pyjamas and sleepwear but it’s not a difficult one to wrap your head around. Pyjamas are the “clothes” which you don’t shop for as such – they’re the pieces you stuff into the top drawer without a second thought about creasing or getting food down the front of because you’ve probably owned them for a few years. And they look like it too. Sleepwear, on the other hand, has a touch more elegance and if you were spotted outside of the house wearing it no one would bat an eyelid. If you’re lucky enough, someone might even throw in a wink.
In recent years, there has been a gradual transition where consumers are beginning to value sleepwear enough to shop it. Due to this shift, luxury designers are now delving into the market allowing them to explore versatile options that work for their brand. If you need convincing that this change is happening, take it from pop culture queens Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, both of which have shown how to style some sleep-ready lewks outside the comfort of their own home.
Mademoiselle Chanel decided that baggy pyjama-style trousers could combine elegance and comfort in 1918 when she began wearing what she called her “beach pyjamas” – the designer set a trend for wealthy women everywhere. A trendy resort town on the Côte d’Azur, Juan-les-Pins, was even unofficially renamed into “Pyjamapolis” as this craze went into the 1930s. Later on, Christian Dior went on to further impact sleepwear when, in the 1960s, he helped to make nightgowns shorter and sexier than ever before – from this stemmed popular babydoll dresses made of soft chiffon layers.
The burning question of wearing sleepwear to bed or diving into the sheets in your birthday suit has been researched by Furniture Choice. They found that nearly a quarter of UK and Irish adults (23%) sleep au natural aka in the nude, with men more likely to go to bed wearing nothing than women (27% vs 20%). They also unearthed that those aged between 55-64 are twice as likely to sleep naked than those aged 18-24. So, that still means that three-quarters of the UK and Ireland likes to wear something to bed.
With so many variations of what to choose, it can quickly become overwhelming with the different options available to us. It is however natural to choose a thicker flannel set of pyjamas in the colder months compared to a silk slip in the summer. But that still allows plenty of room for style. Silk, despite being expensive and a pain to wash (dry clean only!), is amongst the group of materials that are great for this time of year because it is moisture-wicking. What does that mean, you ask? When in contact with skin, the garment is designed to draw water out and onto the fabric itself, allowing for sweat to evaporate from your body. Moisture-wicking allows for your body to be regulated whilst you sleep, leading to a more enjoyable shut-eye session. Besides from silk, bamboo is the best alternative material to go to sleep in due to it being hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking and biodegradable. Despite having all these incredible properties, there seems to be a lack of luxury fashion houses tapping the textile in their sleepwear sections, perhaps leaving a large luxury gap for designers to jump into and take full advantage of.
They may not be made in bamboo, but some of our favourite designers are already making the PJs shopping experience an exciting endeavour. Gucci’s large array of colourful silk trousers are keeping bedtime playful with florals, Hawaiian prints and have even thrown a toucan design in for good measure. However, Alessandro Michele isn’t the only designer to tap in the luxury sleepwear market. Feeling like you may want to show a bit of leg here and shoulder there? You can now live your best Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight life with Prada’s 100% silk black gown completed with a matching belt and delicate feathers. The brand also boasts matching sets for £1380 in 100% silk geometric patterns – it seems a good night sleep comes at a certain price. With style icons such as Judy Garland showing us how to accessorise sleepwear with a huge grin, hands behind the head and one leg propped on a chair, you really don’t have an excuse for looking glum in a matching set, especially if they’re Prada or Gucci.
There are also emerging niche brands which are focusing on the booming product category. ZZZ are a Seoul-based sleepwear brand creating “uniforms for dreamers.” Managing to nail the classic striped pyjama in bold colour combinations, they define the real-life potential of sleepwear. With an Instagram grid dotted with street style images of their pieces, they are selling the image we all aim to achieve when we imagine stepping out the front door in a set of cotton PJs. Ukrainian brand Sleeper use linen to create unisex pyjama sets which, aside from their simple beauty, even have the added luxury of pockets. Making them perfect for heading out the house as well as holding the TV remote at home, all whilst looking incredibly chic of course.
If you tend to struggle waiting for deliveries from overseas, luckily there are British brands flying the silky sleepwear flag too. London-based Olivia Von Halle designs silk pyjamas that look so good you’ll struggle to keep your hands off them. The brand came about as a result of the designer’s need for something glamorous to enjoy a gin and tonic in before slipping into bed after a night out partying. For Restless Sleepers is a brand that does what it says on the tin. Their colourful printed pieces are made for when you want to pop outside in the dead of night – a Vogue cigarette balanced between two fingers and a large glass of red wine in the other hand. As you emulate complete class, the smoking jacket and matching trouser set creates a sight for the neighbourhood watch to gawp at. Everyone loves that feeling of getting into a set of fresh bed sheets after a long day, so why not extend that feeling into getting into some fresh sleepwear too – all day, all night!
Coco Capitan in ZZZ