Last year, I had an unexpected fashion crisis while watching the romantic comedy Green Card (1990). I was fine until the scene in which Andie MacDowell prunes roses on her Upper West Side rooftop, wearing pretty blue matching pyjamas—New York at her feet, floral flannel on her person. I looked from MacDowell’s sleepwear to mine—battered leggings and a T-shirt emblazoned with a flaking cat face—and thought, That is a woman in control of her life.
Clearly, I needed to up my sleepwear game. I spent my days in four-inch heels—there was no reason to turn into Blossom once the sun went down. I started with nightgowns: long, white cotton nightgowns from France, with sweetheart necklines and delicately embroidered bodices. Fresh and lovely, they seemed readymade for strolling (with ethereal grace, bien sur) through a lavender field at dawn. Then I discovered Paper Label, the Vancouver brand which makes camisoles and shorts so deliciously soft against the skin that my husband said it was like spooning an alpaca.
Soon after, I learned the joys of the short silk robe, and how it can elevate any morning ritual, from grinding coffee beans to improperly applying CC cream. Years ago, I’d bought a vintage satin chemise in Amsterdam. I brought it out and paired it with my robe. Have you ever worn a short silk robe and a satin chemise and enjoyed an americano in the sunshine? Something was happening. I started listening to classical music in the kitchen. I brushed my hair before bed and when I woke up. I added “Elodie” to my list of baby names. I felt like a woman in control of her life. At the very least, I looked like one. One Sunday morning, my parents stopped my, and my dad, seeing me in a white cotton nightgown and lace tunic, asked if I was going to church. “Dad,” I told him, laughing in sheer amazement, “I woke up like this.”
Check out some of my top Fall 2014 stylish sleepwear essentials in the gallery below.
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