When sleepwear becomes daywear.
When I went to Bali earlier this year for a travel story, I packed my pyjamas — and that was it. For four days, I lounged by the pool in linen shortie sets, sipped evening wellness cocktails in silky print pairs and donned a kimono-style ensemble for a trip into town. Sure, pyjamas have a natural affinity with resort dressing, but Bali was far from my first foray into pyjamas as day- or eveningwear. I pulled on a Romance Was Born teal-and-gold rococo print set for the Hermès on the Beach party in 2017, and have since worn all manner of PJS to everything from a work dinner at Sydney’s Rockpool Bar & Grill to a friend’s 40th birthday party.
Five years ago, the thought of leaving the house in my PJS would have filled me with horror, but now I’m happy to do so — and frequently.and I’m not alone.the aforementioned Hermès event was a veritable pyjama party, with BAZAAR fashion director Naomi Smith, Brisbane designer Chelsea De Luca and magazine editor Jess Blanch among the guests who turned up in their PJS. One year later, the trend — which began as a gimmicky street-style moment inspired by the louche loungewear of the 1920s — shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to international luxury pyjama players, there’s now an Australian PJS posse that includes print, stripe and monogram focused brands such as Masini & Chern and Jasmine and Will, as well as linen lovers Deiji Studios and the aptly named In Bed.
“I think pyjama dressing has been so widely adopted because it can be equal parts chic and comfort, ”says Jasmine andwill founder Jasmine Lindsay. “we spend eight or more hours a day in our sleepwear, yet we have traditionally seemed to give it the least amount of consideration. But for me, slipping into a beautiful silk robe is the perfect start to my day and at the end of it, I love throwing on my slouchy cashmere pyjama set and pouring a glass of wine.”
Lindsay founded Jasmine and Will in 2015 out of frustration with the lack of stylish pyjamas. “I couldn’t find a pair without puppy dog prints and bright colours, so I researched the industry
and realised there was a gap for classic sleepwear,” she says. Her designs run to $450, but across all price points, the designs are French seamed with quality finishes. “We have a complimentary monogram service available so you can add your initials to the cuff or pocket for a bespoke gift or a gift to self,” Lindsay says.
Masini & Chern, which also offers a monogramming service, was launched in 2013 when founder Ebonnie Masini was likewise frustrated at the pyjama options on offer. She couldn’t find any chic sleepwear that wasn’t outrageously expensive. She compares the subsequent growth of the category to that of active wear. “i think pyjamas have become more popular for the same reasons activewear is currently such a big industry,” Masini says. “people care a lot about comfort dressing, but they still want to look stylish, and that’s particularly the case for modern women who are busy juggling their careers with being a mother, wife, friend and everything else. They want to be able to throw something on in the morning without too much thought, but still look and feel great throughout the day and into the evening.”
Masini has created sleepwear for hotels The Olsen in Melbourne andthe Johnson in Brisbane, with the former collaboration featuring frogs by artist John Olsen, and the latter comprising unisex linen robes printed with artwork by Michael Johnson. “the Olsen range was a sell-out and The Johnson robes hang in every room.the hotel encourages guests to spend their stay swanning around in them,” Masini enthuses. “it’s such a great concept and the guests love it.”
The beauty of swanning about in pyjamas is that they look good on all body types. they deliver comfort in spades. they are also highly versatile: you can wear the pants with a blouse or t-shirt; a pyjama top is worn as you would a silk shirt, with wide-legged pants or jeans.
But there are a few tricks for carrying off the trend in style. First, choose pyjamas in a heavy silk or linen, and look to piping and cuffs for extra finesse. Darker tones such as navy and burgundy look more sophisticated, as do block colours. wear them belted and with heels for the evening, or try them with slides for daytime. “i love channelling the classic style of Lauren Hutton with ivory wide-legged silk pants, a button-down blouse and a blazer draped over your shoulders,” Lindsay says. Pyjamas are also timeless. “Our customer can purchase from us in her twenties or in her fifties,” Lindsay says.
Deiji Studios’ stonewashed pyjamas are made with linen sourced from France and are designed to be worn as separates: to the
“I believe relaxed, effortless dressing is another layer to the feminist movement happening at the moment.”
– Lib Hutton
beach with cut-off denim shorts or as a casual set to an easy weekend brunch.the brand is also known for kimono-style shapes in subtle pinstripes or block colours.the label takes a slow-fashion approach, reflecting its relaxed base in Byron Bay. “we are creating pieces that are designed to be staple pieces you will keep forever,” says Deiji Studios co-founder Juliette Harkness.
The linen lovers at In Bed tend to agree. Pip Vassett launched her linen bedding brand in 2013 after not being able to find any sheets she loved. Sleepwear was a logical extension. “we wanted to create all the elements that make for a beautiful and relaxing sleep and sleep space,” Vassett says. “I love that putting on my pyjamas instantly puts me in a relaxed mood and sets the tone for winding down. It’s part of a ritual of an evening, really.” I mention that I packed a couple of pairs of In Bed pyjamas for my Bali trip, and Vassett says she is also not averse to wearing them outside. “There’s no big flouncy collars, no cutesy prints — you can definitely get away with it as daywear,” she says.
If you want to embrace the ultimate in pyjama dressing, add a pair of velvet slippers. It was Lib Hutton’s fiancé, will Carter’s obsession with hotel slippers that inspired the couple to start their brand, Bertie. “Will collected slippers for many years and, to my horror, wore them out in public.to his credit, this was well before Justin Bieber kicked off the trend,” Hutton says with a laugh. “I flipped a pet peeve into a business idea. I thought, This man needs a stylish slipper that’s durable and also won’t embarrass me when we’re out and about. I also found that there weren’t many flat shoe options, beyond a sneaker, that could easily take you from inside the home to out.”
The Bertie slipper is a modern take on the Prince Albert slipper. Hutton wears hers to work every day with wide-legged black pants and a tailored shirt. “I believe that relaxed, effortless dressing is another layer to the feminist movement,” Hutton says. “the high heel is often described as a symbol of sexual objectification of women and we are seeing a real shift to more free-flowing and comfortable styles.”
Whether that’s pyjamas or slippers, there’s also been a breakdown of barriers in terms of what we wear at home and out. “work-life balance and flexible working lifestyles are influencing what we wear,” Hutton explains. “Women are working from home and ducking out for meetings and we’re not changing our outfits. I think it’s a really liberating time.”
And the ultimate joy of pyjama dressing? At the end of the night, all you have to do is simply step out of your shoes — or slippers — and hop into bed.
“I couldn’t find a pair without puppy dog prints and bright colours ... I realised there was a gap for classic sleepwear.”
– Jasmine Lindsay
DEIJI STUDIOS The 01 Sleepwear set, $249. Right: (from left) The 02 robe, $169; The 01 Sleepwear set, $249. The O2 robe, $169; deijistudios.com.au.
JASMINE AND WILL Lara Worthington wears the Portofino long pyjama set, $349, and slippers, $99; jasmineandwill.com.
MASINI & CHERN Salmon robe, $189. Left: London Fields pyjama set, $249; masiniandchern.com.
LUNA ATELIER Marella robe in Prey, $610, from the Espionage collection, luna-atelier.com.
BERTIE Slippers in Hunter Green, $145, bertieslippers.com.au.