Last spring, I wore my silk Natori pajama top to work. Embellished with a Beijing-inspired print on a black background (think ancient Chinese gardens, blossoming flowers and sauntering beauties playing flutes), it's a piece I'll definitely be busting out very soon.
That day, I tied the look together with a blue sash, black skirt and red lipstick. I'll admit it was a total fashion risk, but after seeing Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes pull off a set of citronelle Equipment pajamas for a photoshoot, I knew I had to try. It paid off.
That day, I felt sexy, fashionably innovative and in charge. From the boudoir to everyday wear, pajamas and kimonos carry an irreverent and cheeky appeal.
Keep in mind this isn't college anymore, and "pajamas for everyday wear" doesn't mean wearing your fleece bottoms to the dining hall. So, think less fleece and plaid and more silk and satin. Think cheongsam-inspired kimonos, vibrant colors and jewel tones.
Bedroom wear as everyday wear is the style risk to take this fall for the following reasons:
1. It's iconic.
Blair Waldorf had her to-die-for matching sets. Remember that gorgeous orange chemise and matching robe? Or better yet, that red lace chemise she showed up wearing to Chuck's party?
Elizabeth Taylor, the "most desirable woman in town" had her white slip in "Butterfield 8." In "13 Going on 30," Jennifer Garner's character, Jenna Rink, wakes up as a 30-year-old woman and wears a hot pink lingerie dress to work.
Speaking of iconic, we could never leave out Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly. In this case, let's focus on her white sleepwear and adorable eye mask. Golightly made the white pajama shirt a thing long before Tom Cruise did.
As you can see, some of fashion's biggest moments on both the big screen and small screen involve our favorite ladies and their bedroom wear. Pajama sets give us a sexy look into the private lives of our favorite characters.
But it's not just about sex appeal; I dare to say these scenes provide us with looks into the characters' complexities. Costume choices give us insight into the characters themselves. And if our favorite characters had enough guts to sport their bedroom wear out in public, I say we give it a try as well.
2. It's sexy.
Gabriel García Márquez once said,
"All human beings have three lives: public, private and secret."
Wearing a kimono or a silk pajama top in public drops a hint into our private (or even secret) lives. It's an insight into our sensibilities. This translates to very sexy, since it's giving out just the right amount of information.
On that note, leave the garter belts, baby dolls and low-cut slips for your man. Some things are better off left between only two people.
3. You're in charge.
Ever heard of the phrase, "Dress down for success"? Well, different people practice different ways of commanding authority through clothing.
For some women, it's the androgynous power suit. For others, it's the fashion editor uniform of sensible dresses with artistic prints. And for others, it's the little black dress that takes a look from day to night.
Pajama tops and kimonos play into this authority equation in an interesting way, since they command dominance by looking casual, yet put together. This look translates into, "Look, I have fashion sense, and I can rock a blazer any day, but I'm so confident and powerful that I can make pajamas my uniform."
I believe dressing down for success commands the ultimate authority. It plays into a nonchalance mixed with a leadership, a capability mixed with a quirkiness.
At the same time, though, be careful. If you're only starting out at a job, maybe it's not yet time to bust out your casual Friday every day.
4. They're comfy and chic at the same time.
Pajama tops and kimonos are comfortable and chic at the same time. They follow the fashionista rule of experimenting with different textures, materials and prints. They keep you warm in the fall and winter and cool enough in the summer.
And again, I can't emphasize the chic factor enough. Paired with a proper jacket or pencil skirt, the prints and fabric really pop.
5. They're fashion forward.
Have you seen any of your coworkers pull this look off yet? The answer's probably no.
It's about time we ditch our rigid dress rules and try something new. Pajama tops take us out of our uniform-like fashion rotations and into this new territory that blurs the lines between public and private. But, the lines aren't blurred enough that we forget our authority.
In fact, this sexy sartorial statement gives us that fashion-forward confidence we need.
So, there you have it. From the boudoir to work to the club and back to boudoir, this fall is all about kimonos and pajama tops. It's about time we combine everyday wear shopping with pajama shopping. It's time to mix up those pieces!