I’ve been thinking a lot about sleepwear lately. Why I seem to be so obsessed with it (pajama piping dancing in my head as I drift off to sleep;, what it means to me (what’s does it matter what I wear when I sleep? I won’t be awake to think about it); what I need from it (comfort and style!); and
Separating Routine from Ritual
I’d say that the distinction between the two is simple. With routine, maybe you throw on your comfy clothes (or just ditch them all together); you scroll through your phone out of habit until your eyes are tired; or maybe you fall asleep on the same side of the bed- always in the same position.
With a ritual, you’re putting your hair in its protective or proactive nighttime coiffe; you’re washing your face and thanking your skin for being so good to you (#MarieKondoSkincare); and you’re putting on something that is a joy to sleep in.
I don’t know if it’s age, or sleeping on the road as often as I have been, but lately I’ve come to create (and revere) new nighttime rituals for myself. When all other factors are in flux- my solace, my escape and my home has become the things I do to wind down at the end of the day, and what I wear on my body when I do it. Braiding my hair, throwing on pajamas and putting on an eye mask. Ahhhhh.
Style & Ease (but mostly ease): A Winning Combination
Now, if I had to point to a single fashion moment that has had the most influence on me, it was coming home every Saturday afternoon after my weekly morning gallery & studio visits with The Contemporary Austin (then known as Arthouse), watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s* and seeing Holly’s sleep mask and that dress she threw on when Paul, Baby came to apologize to her. Now, typically this is where I insert a hyperlink, but I’m going to embed the video just to make sure we’re all on the same page before we move along.
From dead asleep to rather chic ensemble in no time flat. That level of effortlessness and style has been the ultimate wardrobe goal since then, and I think I’m getting closer and closer to the promised land.
These pieces by The Sleeper (and every instance of pajamas designed to double as out-of-the-house-wear) calls back this scene for me, which is why the PJs seem to have dug such a deep hole into my heart. Their pieces combine the style of Holly Golightly, the ease of a Hoarders Muumuu and the warmth and security of a Self-Care Sunday dialed up to an 11.
Your Pajamas and your Good Clothes can be One in the Same.
What do you wear to sleep in and laze around your home on a Sunday morning? If you’re answer is “some fleece drawstring PJs I bought from Old Navy in college” or “whatever’s on top of the (relatively) clean clothes pile,” I’m going to say that you’re doing yourself a disservice.
We all know that the act of undressing after a stressful day can flip a immediately improve your mood because you are safe, in your comfort zone and can relax. But let’s get into the benefits sleepwear to change our moods.
The Comfort of a Sleep Mask:
A sleep mask is a full stop on the day. Pulling a sleep mask over your face says “The phone is away. I am in bed and I have no intention other than to sleep.” As a traveler, there are few joys that compare to a sleepmask, which is a combination do-not-disturb sign and nighttime simulator that you can carry around with you. There are no pesky streetlights peeking through windows, no chatty neighbors, no rays of sun bursting through train window shades. There is only sleep.
And, it’s like a hug for your eyes.
A Set of Soft Pajamas whispers “Relaaaax”
A pajama set it a commitment to ease. The soft texture and lightweight of the fabric is like a gentle reminder to take it easy. Sure, there are sects of folks that somehow get more aggressive when wearing pajamas, but for the most part the most you can be in a set of good pajamas is “miffed.” If you want to raise your voice, you’ll have to change back into your old cotton tees and jeans.
Dressing For Home Life is an Act of Self-Love
Finally, you should wear nice pajamas because you deserve the best version of yourself. If you’ve ever put on anything you fancied only to be told “why are you wearing that at home where nobody can see it?” (or if you’ve ever thought that to yourself) please remember (and remind others) that life is now (right NOW).
So don’t treat it like a run though where you save your “good clothes”, your good grooming and your best self for when there’s an audience. That is a guaranteed way to live your life dictated by the opinions and beliefs of others. Instead, treat yourself to nice pajamas that make you feel good when you’re in bed scrolling, or napping on the couch with the cat. Every moment at home is an occasion for pleasant pajamas.
And wearing nice clothes around the house is a small act of rebellion against the tyranny of mediocrity that you can practice every day.