Does the word “pyjama” conjure up images of neck-to-toe flannel nightmares and bananas (even the two combined)? Blue and white stripes and pink bunny rabbits?
Sleepwear has been dominated by these monstrosities for far too long; we have somehow headed backwards in taste, from the glamorous slips and feathered robes of the 1920s to the hellish items known as “onesies”. There is a time and a place for adults in pyjamas and the 21st century is not it! Thankfully, we are not the only ones under this impression, as sales for feminine, classic nightwear has grown once again.
The chemise appears to be one of the oldest forms of sleep wear. Dating back to the Middle Ages (when surviving past birth tended to be more important than fashion), the chemise was a smock-like garment worn by both sexes underneath clothing to protect it from bodily sweat. This was the only piece of clothing washed regularly (yuck) and also what was used for sleeping.
It was only during the Victorian era that sensuous, attractive nightwear was introduced, and as with many new items of the time, these were something only the affluent could acquire. To own a sweeping floor-length gown was considered a luxury.
At the turn of the century, fashion once again began to change. Corsets were loosened, skirts were shortened and negligees appeared as a reflection of the flapper dresses of the 1920s. However, just when women were gifted with these lacy, silky dreams, the first and second World Wars broke out and the idea of such opulent items became preposterous.
When one thinks of classic vintage sleepwear, the figure-hugging slips and built-in bullet-bras of the 1950s come to mind. It is these archetypal designs that have endured, which always find themselves back on trend. Lingerie has seen a vintage revival, and sleepwear is no exception. When searching for vintage nightwear, it is often difficult to find anything but average, fit for purpose items that were designed for durability rather than titillation. Understanding their customers’ frustration, many brands have worked on their own styles of vintage inspired sleepwear that allows comfort without losing any impact.
Playful Promises has reworked a classic sleepwear staple for our newest collection. Our Lyla playsuits are a quirky twist on the timeless chemise, mimicking the dress-like shape with comfy built-in shorts. All that’s left is to choose your colour: sultry black or mischievous pink?