If you were to ask any group of people - both men and women included - what they sleep in, everyone would have a different answer and a strong opinion about it. I know this, because I’ve asked the question a few times over and it’s always amazed me at how little priority people give to spending money on good nightwear but how definite everyone is about what they will or won’t wear in bed.
Invariably you have the hot sleepers (perhaps due to the menopause) who don’t want to wear much, and the cold sleepers who need socks, fleecy pyjamas and a hot water bottle in all seasons. Then you have the women who don’t like to ever have their upper arms on display or wear shorts, and other women who would never wear long nightdresses because they get tangled up in them. Additionally, there’s the fact that with age comes a changing body shape, something else to contend with.
Whatever your shape and preference, let me encourage you to make your sleepwear choices count. The clothes we wear in the privacy of our own home are as important as the clothes we wear out to dinner or to a meeting. Everything we have in our wardrobes should count for something; it should be the best we can afford in terms of quality, fit and ethics and it should make us feel gorgeous, comfortable and at ease.
The tattered old t-shirt, the baggy pyjama bottoms, the shapeless thigh length nightdress that have all been washed and worn for years are the trusty workhorses of so many seeking comfort at home, but if you fall into that category, how they do they really make you feel? Stop and think about it: do you love your nightwear? Does it fully fit your own aesthetic or is it at odds with what you really like to wear?
Partly to blame is the British high street, which doesn’t offer a lot of choice to women in the sleepwear department. I still regularly see shapeless jersey nightdresses with fluffy animals motifs, man-made fibres which won’t help with the menopausal flushes and pyjamas that all look exactly the same. It seems we are reluctant to part ways with the classic button up pyjama shirt and bottoms ensemble’ although very few of these are cut for comfort.
However, if you know where to look you can find small pockets of lovely nightwear that will suit all pockets.
Add colour to your wardrobe with vibrant tights
Low priced pyjamas
Women over a certain age may feel they can’t go into what they perceive as a ‘young shop’ - but of course we can. Everyone should just shop for their shape and H&M Home and Zara Home are both producing lovely nightwear at great prices in shapes which work.
Check out their linen bathrobes - I have one myself. It’s a great shape and colour, it’s linen and it’s affordable. H&M are also one of the high street stores taking on the important subject of sustainability – check out their website.
Simple cotton pieces and a few jersey options at fair prices.
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You can’t beat the quality of The White Company and COS. Two brands with very different aesthetics but similar price points. COS will appeal to the minimalists and The White Company to a slightly more traditional aesthetic. ARKET also has a similar range to COS and Jigsaw has a nice simple range of pyjamas at a great price.
Here you’ll find a very tiny range of nightwear and a bit of loungewear but the quality of the cotton is excellent and the style is really up to date, modern and cool. Soft vests, pyjama bottoms and tops, It’s very much a daywear aesthetic merging into nightwear.
You can’t go wrong; it’s quality, it’s soft and it’s failsafe. Not my own personal aesthetic but I know a lot of women love it.
ARKET a newcomer to the high street, currently celebrating their first birthday. They also have a small minimal nightwear section like COS, great colours and simple shapes, also nightshirts. Don’t be alarmed by their slightly erratic all over the place website, just type nightwear into the search box.
Simple, classic pyjamas at a very sensible price indeed. Choose from cotton or jersey. No nighties.
How to make the jumpsuit work for you
There’s a price point where some will not venture when it comes to pyjamas, but I would argue that we spend a lot of time in pyjamas and it’s okay to pay more for them. So in this category we have TOAST, Desmond and Dempsey and my own company, Under The Cloth.
One of my absolute favourites. Their pyjamas are mostly just shy of £100 but close enough. Their nightwear is designed with the same aesthetic as their daywear and this is why it’s so successful - it ties the day with the night with a cohesive look. If you like the cut of their jib then spend the money.
This cool husband and wife team set up their pyjamas company when she kept nicking his shirt to wear to bed. They use original prints and classic shapes and have a super snazzy website which is extremely engaging. What you are paying for here is original fabric and a well made product. The robes are slightly pricey compared to the pyjamas.
As the new kid on the block, my small independent company is all about slow fashion. It’s the place to shop if you care about sustainability. There are pyjamas and lounge dresses for those who like a simple aesthetic in natural fibres and are made in limited runs. You can expect French seams, beautiful cottons and gorgeous jerseys. Check out our blog as well, which goes Under The Lens with their pyjamas and photographs women of all ages.
Blow the budget
The easiest place to head is to net-a–porter, an online boutique for those who don’t need to worry about the budget. Check out brands such as asceno, Olivia Von Halle, and Skin.
Gorgeous and interesting nightwear with a higher price tag made in silks and cottons.
Liberty's have slightly tweaked the traditional pyjamas shape, which looks great and is perfect if you’re a fan of Liberty prints.
Finally, if you like silk and full on glamour - I’m talking fur trims, silk slips and elegant robes - then Gilda & Pearl is a sure winner. You can find them online, at Harrods and The Bluebird shop.
If you think that we spend an average of 8 hours in our nightwear, and probably more if we lounge in it as well, it’s worth investing a bit of time and money into our pyjamas and giving them the same importance as our daywear. In fact, I prefer to call it homewear.
Putting on something gorgeous at home can be a way of showing yourself some love; it will always feel more luxurious wafting around in something of quality than in something that’s been worn to death. And if someone unexpectedly comes to the door, you won’t have a mad dash up the stairs to put something more presentable on!
And finally, consider this, if you put fantastic bedding and throws on the bed, why not invest in your sleepwear as well. I go by the rule, that if I’m not going to reach for something in my wardrobe - including sleepwear - then it has no place there. Buy something to wear at home that you love and give it the importance it deserves.
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