I’ve been sleeping in my underwear for the last month because it’s summertime and in summertime I sleep in my undies. But before I actually climb into bed, between the hours of, say, 8pm and 10pm, and after I roll groggily back out of it somewhere around 6:00 am, I like to wear pajamas.
A few years ago I wrote a bit about loungewear, but I thought this space could use a post dedicated to some of the sleepier stuff. Truth is: I like all kinds of pajamas. Romantic and gauzy and breezy? Yes. Sporty and soft and striped? Also yes. Short? Long? Somewhere in between? All of the above.
And I’ve said it before, but I’m a real believer in pajama pajamas. That it is to say, those things that have been designed with sleeping in mind and not just something that’s leftover from a closet purge gone wrong.
That old tank top? Stretched out and stained? To the sleeping in pile it goes!
I understand the impulse, but relegating all of your worn out or otherwise cast off clothes to be worn early mornings or late nights means that you wake up and go to sleep dressed in so much less than your best. Besides, most of those things will continue to languish in pajama drawer purgatory despite your best intentions to put them to use. But what a luxury it is to slip into something soft and clean and—dare I say–dedicated to sleeping in at the end of the day.
Here are a few favorite spots for sustainable pajama shopping, should you be on the hunt:
Brook There: Beyond bras and undies, the folks at Brook There have a Pearl Silk Slip made of 100% silk charmeuse that looks perfect for some fancy sleeping (or coffee drinking). For sportier sleeps, these shorts and this tank also look just right. (I could build block towers all morning in that set.) All items made by Brook There use low-impact production methods. Made in the USA.
Domi: The stuff of loose, breezy, hand-spun organic cotton sleepwear dreams. Domi’s look is decidedly romantic, should fairytale sleeps be what you’re after. I love just about everything these guys make, but their Straight Slip, with those lovely bits of cotton lace is especially sweet. I wouldn’t mind this little Pink Straight Slip a bit, either. Both come with adjustable straps. Made in India.
Dosa at Tina the Store: Dosa doesn’t specialize in sleepwear per se, but they’ve got some beautiful options for sleeping in. Recycling and reusing are integral parts of the creating process at Dosa. They operate under the philosophy of “using less, cherishing more.” (You can learn more about their recycling projects here.) Their Kymber Slip is especially beautiful. It’s made from 100% khadi cotton with lace under the bust and along the hem and the straps are adjustable. Made in the USA.
Everlane: As I’ve written before, Everlane operates under an admirable, “radical transparency” policy, encouraging consumers to “Know your factories. Know your costs. Always ask why.” Their Silk Sleep Set includes a tank and pair of shorts and is made of 100% silk. I have the set in black from a few seasons ago, but this season’s set looks like it comes with a few tweaks to the design and a subtle pin stripe. Made in China.
Fabrik: A current RMTL sponsor and the makers of one of my favorite nightgowns (similar here), they typically have at least one terrific pajama option in stock. One of my favorite things from their current collection is the Linen Short Sleeve Pyjamas—a classic short-sleeved pajama set—made of 100% linen with shell buttons. Ethically made in Bali.
Fog Linen: For folks after something truly simple for sleeping in, the 100% linen Carina Slip from Fog Linen has a classic shape and looks lightweight enough for warm summer nights. (And it’s still entirely serviceable as a slip for wearing underneath all of your gauziest summer dresses.) If you’re more of a pajama pant person, their linen Oise Drawstring Pants might be in order. Made in Lithuania.
House of Baltic Linen: These guys sell predominately linen bedclothes, but they always have a few clothes for humans on offer, too. If you prefer to sleep in separates, the Stonewashed Linen Pajama Set with loose wide-leg pants and relaxed top is a beautiful option. Made of 100% linen. Handmade in Lithuania and Australia.
Land of Women: In their words, these folks make “lingerie for the sport of womanhood.” The Land of Women Circle Slip would make for a luxurious nightgown (and a useful undergarment). It’s made of 100% silk charmeuse. I love the straight neckline and thin straps. Made in NY using Italian fabrics.
Loup Charmant:In case you’re the kind of person who likes to take your nightgown on a run to the corner coffee shop, this floor-length Maxi Slip is made of 100% organic cotton and fully lined. Straps tie at the shoulders. Available in a range of seaside-inspired colors. If you prefer something shorter, their Classic Slip is also dreamy. Made in New York.
Maison du Soir: I love just about all of Maison du Soir’s pjs. If I had to choose something to love this minute, I’d go for this gauzy Paris Pajama Dress. For folks needing something a little less sheer, the Melbourne Pajama Dress that’s available through Wilson & Willy’s would be perfect. Made in LA.
Only Hearts: James gave me two of their Organic Cotton Lace Chemises the year that we got married, and they’re both still in regular rotation nearly five years later. If you’re more of a separates kind of person, their Organic Cotton Tank and Organic Cotton Pants are made from the same Peruvian organic supima cotton and look terrific for cooler nights and more coverage. Made in NYC.
PonyBabe: A relative newcomer on the cozy clothes scene, this Brooklyn company uses natural and “eco-friendlier” materials like organic cotton and bamboo. (No fabric is wasted during the process of making these garments—scraps are used in zero-waste projects and donated to elementary schools to be used in craft projects!) The Raceback Tank Top and Pleated Pants make for great loungewear and sleepwear, but they’re pretty enough to step out of the house in, too. Made in the USA.
The Sleepshirt: For folks who like their sleepwear to have a little extra tailoring, these collared nightshirts look comfy. They come in a wide range of sizes and styles. (There’s something about the extra-long one that I really love.) Made in Canada.
PS. The nightgown in the shot above is this one, from P. Jamas—full-length, thin straps, 100% cotton. A gift from my mom!
As always, I’d love to know what sustainable sleepwear you guys have your eyes on!