My Quest for Chicer Sleep
If integrity is what we do when no one is watching, then you might infer that pajamas are the closest approximation to our honest self. As a teenager indoctrinated by glossy fashion magazines, I assumed that with age would come sophisticated sleepwear. When I was older—I imagined—I would wear matching lingerie sets in oxblood and baby blue during the day and shimmering pajama sets at night. Birthdays came and went, but I kept crawling under the covers in a rotating cast of cotton worn thin from endless dryer cycles and high-waisted briefs.
As an excuse, I might blame my 6’2” frame for my disappointing pajama trajectory. The average pajama makes me look like a scarecrow , with exposed forearms and wrists. Opting for tall mens styles from outdoors mainstays like Land’s End and L.L.Bean has been a band aid. But instead of drifting to sleep feeling sophisticated, I feel like a character out of Little House on The Prairie. And by character, I mean Pa.
As 26-year-olds are wont to do, I set out to change my life by changing my outfit. Pajamas are not just for sleeping; they’re what you wear when nobody’s watching. I acquired aspirational sleepwear, the silky kind cool girls wear to flashy dinners with platform heels and a cateye. My drawer of oversized cotton was dumped in some dark corner of my closet.
Arriving home late with a looming deadline, I decided to test my hypothesis that expensive pajamas might carry the transformative property of imbibing the everyday with meaning, even while awake. I slipped into a pair of Sleeper’s Party Pajamas, which have become a de facto sleepwear off-duty look over the past few years. The effect was instant. There was something undeniably glamorous about wearing feathers to update a gift guide at my dining room table.
Writer and consultant Chrissy Rutherford has always had a thing for matching pajama sets. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely become more intentional about cultivating a wardrobe of sleepwear that I enjoy,” she notes. “It’s just part of my routine, like taking a bath, taking care of my skin, why not add a luxurious pajama set? These are things I do that make me feel good.” I phoned Tori Simokov, a fellow tall person and noted Main Character advocate, to get her take. Turns out, she’d resolved to wear better pajamas this year. “All of a sudden I had a vision of myself as someone who was more deliberate in the way they went to bed,” she explained to me. “I am someone who searches for pleasure in small things; choosing to wear nice PJs is such an easy way to find it.”