Sleepwear dressing for women
Pyjama dressing: An ally of self-care
Words— Mylène Genty
Hemingway once said, “I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?” I think we can all relate. Which is why the pyjama trend is so timely. To be clear, when we talk about this trend, we mean a fantasized version of the sleeping gear we all pretend to wear. This isn’t about your worn out cotton pyjamas with embarrassing prints. It’s loungewear. Like Egyptian cotton sheets and scented candles, they’re the tangible evidence of sleep’s undeniable appeal. It’s making resting sexy.
Despite being an integral part of absolutely everyone’s closet, wearing it out in public has been thought of as inappropriate – until recently. It’s only around 2015 or 16 that fashion moguls started introducing sleepwear pieces on the runway. Think of Alexander Wang’s last collection for Balenciaga and his eponymous brand, Gucci, Thakoon, The Row. Trendsetters such as Veronika Heilbrunner and Julia Sarr-Jamois quickly appropriated the looks and it made it seems possible to appropriate it for ourselves. Then came Rihanna. That’s when I think we all knew that we wanted to give it a try. But why pyjamas, and why now?
Gifted designers often see their collections through the events and things that shape society at a given time. To many, 2016 was The Worst Year Ever thanks to the brutal news cycle that brought a constant stream of exhaustion and despair. We saw democracy take a severe turn. We became more aware of the world’s events. As a result, grass-roots activism saw an unprecedented peak in the fields of immigration, social justice, women's rights, and the environment. According to Dana Fisher, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, the latest American election ‘’ignited progressive activism at a rate never seen before in American politics.’’ Designers, like political analysts, sociologists and journalists, were paying attention.
Everything is now re-thought, deeply examined, and from this situation grew a general sentiment of weariness. Rapidly, a multitude of voices began shedding a new light on the concept of self-care. While it initially invoked the idea of treating yourself through materialistic goods and experiences, it has now shifted to the care of the mind. Times are tough - anxiety seems like the most relatable experience nowadays, as we’re being fed up by the fast pace of life and social media. It’s only common sense that the natural response is to get into the ‘slow movement’ – its basic principles meant to safeguard one’s energy. This cultural shift, as well as hygge, the Scandinavian concept of cosiness, wellness and contentment, pushed fashion into the realms of comfort. People want to chill out. When we say that fashion is a mirror to society, this loungewear trend epitomizes the phenomenon.
How to wear
Now whether you’ve already embraced the look or want to try it out during your summer vacation, remember that these pieces are elevated and inspired versions of the actual pyjamas. Sleepwear’s ethos is comfort, so the word to keep in mind is: effortless.
If you’re not willing to dip into the full look on the first try, you can integrate it smoothly. A loose blouse - printed or plain will fit great with a pair of trousers for the office. You could also match it with high-waisted jeans or wide-leg pants and a pair of slip-on loafers for a casual night out.
In order to master the full look, make sure the adjustment underlines your silhouette. The fitting needs more structure than the pyjama you sleep with. The total look applies for a fancy night out. It only depends on how festive the look is: it can be fully floral, plain, or striped.
For those who are looking for an even easier way into the trend, the answer is the jumpsuit. Inspired by the feel of sleepwear, it’s a hassle-free essential for summer.
Unconsciously, wearing your pyjamas outdoor states that you’re serious about your wellbeing - it is an act of self-care. You refuse to buy into the discomfort. A pyjama is a shield to anxiety, pressure, rush - it is attached to the most basic act of self-preservation: sleeping.
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