Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Pajama and Loungewear Obsession: Part One

If you were to ask anyone who has ever had to live with me, or just knows me really well, about how much I like pajamas (no idea why you would be asking this question, you nosy creeper!), you will unanimously be told - a LOT. Yes, I do love me some pajamas. PJs. Pa-jay-jays (Gracie hates this one). Lounging clothes. Jammies. They're wonderful. As soon as I get home at the end of the day, or even if I get home in the middle of it, I immediately put on my pajamas. It's not that my day clothes are uncomfortable, its that pajamas are just so very comfortable, plus, I can sit however I like in them without fear of wrinkling, eat in them without fear of stains (because unlike much of my dry clean only clothes, I can pop them in the washing machine), and generally just be very comfortable in them. 
Very comfy and even more cute: I want all of these!

The thing is, the lovely pajama styles of yesteryear are not so easy to find. And it's not that I frown upon the modern sleepwear trend of sweatpants and leggings, but its just not my own style, and I'd like to find an in-between that blends comfort with style. I've managed to get creative, so I can attempt to do both, and this usually involves one of my vintage slips and my silky (but not actual silk) robe, or, on colder days, a slip top and pajama bottoms and my robe. But I'm not really satisfied with my lounging style. In an ideal world, I would slip into some of the following lovely looks, posted below, when I got home everyday. 
At my home in Atlanta, I've got stored away a lovely 1940s boudoir robe, and a 1930s silk nightgown, bolero, and robe set, which I adore. But I can't bring myself to wear them, since a.) they would look extremely out of place in all of my home environments (my parents would tease me endlessly, and my current housemates would probably think I'm mad), and b.) I worry about damaging them and their delicate silk fabric, which would defeat the purpose of them being comfortable. So, I'll save those for my future boudoir (if I'm being optimistic), but in the meantime, I'm searching for the more everyday vintage pajama look: adorable matching shirt-and-pant sets, cotton or synthetic fabric nightgowns, any type of housecoat or robe, and any and all novelties of vintage nightwear in between. 
I do think the saying is true: When you look good, you feel good! And what's more comfortable than feeling good?

(These come from all over the internet, I just retrieved them from my massive "clothing" folder on my computer, so I can't remember where I got them! If any of them are yours, just let me know!)

Jean Harlow rocking some PJs that look super comfy. 

Alice Faye in some simple white silk PJs, with fluffy silk slippers!

Constance Bennett in a simple but cute top and bottom set. 
Gene Tierney looking sultry in a lacy nightgown.
Greta Garbo in a very comfy looking simple set.
An asian-inspired loungewear set on Ida Lupino.

I love the hood!
June Collyer in what appears to be a silk, lace, and velvet set. 
The marvelous Alice Faye in what I like to imagine as a red and white christmas inspired set. 
Carole Lombard in another cute top and bottom set.

Ginger Rogers in an unusually shaped set. I do love it though - the puffy sleeves, the delicate embroidery, and the lace detailing on the pant bottoms!

I noticed on a later episode of Pushing Daisies that Chuck had on a vintage nightgown with the many-buttoned front - so cute!

Jean Harlow looking spiffy in some crisp PJs.
Sandra Dee, cute as ever in a peasant blouse style PJ set.
B Stan in a silky slip.

Dorothy Lamour, glamourous in what I think is a top and bottom set with a matching robe.
Myrna Loy, perched in a lacy nightgown
Part two will feature some more collected images, this time mostly of robes and/or fancier boudoir wear!

Wishing you happy (and stylish) ZZZ's,
- Emily


  1. Great post! I can't wait for part 2 :)

  2. What ironic timing! A one-piece pajama suit is one of my current projects =)
    Looking forward to part 2.

  3. Couldn't agree more! First thing I do when stepping inside the door is get out of my clothes. They're comfortable, but at home I want my "comfies". However, while comfy, sweater pants and hooded sweater jacket is not very stylish... I've been planning to sew a set of 30s pj's in eco cotton flannel, but haven't decided on the design, so your pics were a welcome help! I'm thinking the Simplicity 2143 pattern, right image. With a long-sleeved jacket...
    And of course I'd love sew a set in silk. Not to mention tap-pants, a pink slip, a black slip... Oh, dear, I might a bit too optimistic here =) But the pj's I will make!

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a loungewear obsession!
    Ooh, do share when you've made your 30s PJs, I can't wait to see the results!

  5. I LOVE PJs! My husband thinks it's hilarious- in summer I wear slips (as they are cool) in winter, plaid grandad PJs (warmer). I call them my indoor clothes.

  6. Love the first pair of Jean Harlow's PJs. I wish PJs were more widely available. I have a set of cotton ones from Brooks Brothers that are fabulous and a satin set from Victoria's Secret and I have my eye on J. Crew's PJs. I wear my pajamas until they're beat to hell, which might be why vintage ones are so difficult to find!

  7. That's a good point - and I suppose people dont usually see pjs as some thing worth saving... but nowadays there are some cute PJS to be had, you've just got to keep your eyes peeled!

  8. Oh, I want those Jean Harlow pjs! Love your work!

  9. Love those classic styles. Maybe I was born in the wrong era

  10. I'm on the same mission, to make gorgeous lounge wear. Every night when I get home from work, hubby and I have a bath together (getting squishy these days) and I get into my PJ's. Therefore, he sees me the very most in my PJ's. I recently bought a couple of real, old kimono's, which is an excellent start. Petticoats can be a good source for elegance too. Thanks for the pics. I'm off and running!