Reader Katie sent this request via e-mail:
Could you make a post about your sleepwear? For instance, I would love to know if you are just as fashion coordinated when you go to sleep as when you wake up in the morning? Or do you tend to wear t-shirts and boxers? Either way, I would be interested to know if this has a psychological effect on your fashion style. For example, do you wear t-shirts to bed because at the end of the day you are exhausted from being “matchy” all day long or do you wear pajama sets because they inspire you to be “matchy” because fashion doesn’t stop when the camera stops rolling and people are gone.
Such a fun question! I used to just do a pair of black yoga pants and an over-sized tee every night, and that worked for me for AGES. But at a certain point, a phrase a friend had used began ringing through my mind: “Another fashion opportunity.” We’d been talking about workout gear, and I claimed that I would never invest in fancy athletic duds only to sweat and stink in them. And she said, “I used to feel the same way. Then I realized that getting dressed for the gym was another fashion opportunity, and I changed my tune.” Now given, she’s a spin instructor, so looking cool and chic while working out is a slightly higher priority for her. But the underlying sentiment made sense to me: You certainly don’t have to dress up or look put-together all the time, but if you view any activity that involves clothing as a fashion opportunity, it creates motivation, interest, the chance to make a potentially mundane dressing task more fun.
I’d admired the Garnet Hill Asian Wrap PJ sets in the catalogs for years, and when a friend gave me a set as a gift I discovered that they’re just as comfy and cute as I’d hoped they’d be. They also fit my criteria for sleepwear: Soft, stretchy, no buttons or notions or pokey things, elastic waistband, breathable cotton knit. So I saved up, waited for a big sale, and nabbed a few sets. Nabbed a couple more on eBay when I realized the long-sleeved sets would be too warm for summer wear. And I love them. LOVE. They’re not sexy or unusual, but they’re exactly what I want: Adorable and comfortable and marvelously matchy. Fashion opportunity, nabbed.
But I’d never say I feel pressure to remain stylish even as I slumber. I mean, who sees me? Husband Mike, who would love me in a potato sack. My cats, who would love me even MORE in a potato sack because oh my gosh how fun is a potato sack for sharpening cat claws? And maybe my parents when I go home to visit them, and they care even less about my sleepwear choices than HM and the cats. I made the change because I was curious to see if it would make me feel happier as I got ready for bed and when I awoke. And it did!
Still, I don’t think anyone should feel obliged to wear matched or stylish sleepwear unless they want to. I mean dang, if you’re going to sacrifice little bits of comfort during the day for the sake of style and figure flattery, you should be able to go for 100% comfort when you’re ASLEEP. And as someone who is awakened by itchy tags, protruding seams, buttons, tight cuffs, and all sorts of other seemingly minor design details on clothing, I firmly believe that comfy sleepwear is mandatory. In my case, my PJ sets are just as comfy as the yoga pant/tee combo I used to wear and make me feel better about myself. But I would never, ever in a kazillion years tell anyone that stylish sleepwear is important. Comfy, yes. Stylish, ffffno.
Image via Garnet Hill.