The easy answer, of course, is nothing.
After another fruitless quest in the sleepwear department, I came home with one simple black nightshirt. Black? Seems a bit sad, really.
Josie Natori, one of the country’s top sleepwear and lingerie designers, got into this business in the 1970s when she deemed sleepwear “lewd or frumpy.”
That just about sums it up — still.
Here’s what a woman gets to choose from, at least at Lord & Taylor, one of the U.S.’s better department stores:
— Slut city! Gah. The whole red/black lace, spaghetti strap, this-will-slide-off-really-fast thing. This takes a level of self-confidence I never had, even many pounds and decades ago.
— Daddy’s little girl. Yes, if you’re 16, or you have no desire to ever have sex with the person who sees you in it. Every nightie is floor-length, only in white, pale blue or pink. It has a little lace, or a lot of ruffles. It covers up all of you. It will keep you warm. It will not get you laid.
– Granny called and she wants her muumuu back. I miss my maternal grandmother fiercely; she died when I was 18. She was loaded and a grande dame and a lot of fun. She lived in capacious silky, colored caftans like these. (I admit, this is the style I prefer, both modest enough to wear for breakfast when visiting others and pretty enough to lounge in.) Easily enough slithered out of, too.
— Just leave the Taittinger and roses by the door. These are the real deal, gorgeous gowns in silk prints by Josie Natori, (a canny former Wall Street exec who has made kajillions designing and selling really pretty underthings for women) and Donna Karan. I would have killed for the Karan silk caftan, but $300? I think not.
– Pretty young thing. I was sorely tempted by a lovely little slip by Kensie, a label aimed at 20-somethings, in an unusual cream color with a cable-knit print. It was both affordable, unusual and pretty. Maybe I’ll go back.
— Dorm special. Any combo of sweat pants and hoodie/henley. Cute at 20, giggling til 2:00 a.m. with the girls. Less so beyond.
It’s not much better for men.
I went out to buy some pajamas for my husband and found:
– Duuuuuuuuude! Floppy, baggy, saggy flannel bottoms with a plaid so huge you could read it from the moon.
-- Where are my damn slippers? The final line of “My Fair Lady” rings true when you consider the Henry Higgins-ish elegance of silk or cotton pajamas, a la Brooks Brothers. Veddy old-school, veddy debonair. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
– Hand me my axe. The nightshirt thing. Thick flannel, manly, brawny, whatever.
So our default mode, for both of us, ends up being a T-shirt and some sort of bottom. Pretty boring but comfortable, warm and affordable. I wish I had the guts to wear some slinky little negligee but it’s just not me and never has been.
And if I can’t be comfortable in my own bed, the hell with it.
Here are 16 ggggggorgeous sets of PJs from (where else?) the October issue of Vanity Fair.
Fess up mes cher(e)s! What do you and/or your sweetie wear to bed?
Do you — or your bed-mate — love it?