I’ve always loved fashion, but one thing I don’t love is the discomfort that often comes with dressing fashionably. If I’m in a constricting garment, I start to feel physically awkward — even if the piece looks chic. And don’t get me started on the pain of high heels. As many others, I embraced sweatshirts and leggings during the pandemic. I still prefer them to jeans to these days. But there’s one piece in particular that has become a staple for me in recent years: my Land’s End Supima cotton nightgown. Here’s why you should consider putting those matching PJ sets or sweats aside and giving nightgowns a try.
A Brief History Of The Nightgown
Nightgowns have been a part of women’s wardrobes for centuries. According to the FIDM Museum (a museum specializing in fashion), “at different historical periods, the term ‘nightgown’ referred to a loose gown worn by men, an evening dress worn by women, and a day dress.” (Clearly it’s gone through many iterations!) By the 16th century, “nightclothes” were commonly worn by both men and women, and nightgowns in particular grew popular in the Regency era, as captured by the work of Jane Austen. In the 20th century, nightgowns started to get a bit more provocative, thanks in large part to the liberation of the roaring ’20s. The pandemic even brought about a renewed interest, with the advent of the so-called “Nap Dress” — a similarly casual and comfy garment that can be worn both in and out of the bedroom.
What Makes the Land’s End Nightgown So Special
It can be difficult to find the right nightgown. I didn’t want anything too frilly or too sexy, as my main focus was comfort and utility. A lot of nightgowns — with their ruffles, buttons, or difficult-to-wash fabrics — just feel too fussy to me. I stumbled upon the Land’s End nightgown when I was looking for something to replace an oversized, increasingly tattered hand-me-down New York Rangers shirt I’d been wearing to sleep for years. Enter the nightgown: The first one I bought was the Cotton Short Sleeve Knee-Length Nightgown Dress (Buy from Land’s End, prices vary) in a navy paisley print.
It’s a t-shirt silhouette that looks like an oversized tee, but flares slightly at the bottom. It feels put-together enough to keep on for a quick run to the mailbox — and I’m not going to lie, I’ve definitely worn it on Zoom calls before. This nightgown is durable and can withstand hundreds of washings. The cotton is still as soft and smooth today as it was the day I purchased it.
The Lands End nightgown is made of cotton, a natural fiber and ideal fabric for this kind of garment because it’s soft, gentle on the skin, and won’t leave you dripping in the middle of the night. More specifically, it’s made of 100 percent Supima cotton, which is rarer than regular cotton; according to Land’s End, this American-grown variety is “farmed to minimize environmental impact” and has “fibers [that] are 50 percent longer than standard cotton, so yarns are stronger, softer, less prone to fraying or pilling, and hold color longer.” Comfort, durability, and sustainability: What’s not to love?
If you’re not into the Land’s End version, there are plenty of other nightgown options out there. If you’re looking for something extra warm ahead of winter, you can’t go wrong with a plaid flannel nightgown from L.L. Bean (Buy at L.L. Bean, $79) — it’s a winter classic that pairs well with a mug of hot chocolate. If you’re dealing with nighttime sweats or hot flashes, you’ll appreciate the moisture-wicking sleeveless nightgown from Cool-jams (Buy from Cool-jams, $55), which promises to “absorb moisture, keep skin cool and comfortable all night long, and eliminate body odor-causing bacteria.” And sometimes you just want a pretty nightgown that will make you feel like a princess; so, for an elegant and feminine look, try the floral Summer Breeze Ballet nightgown from Eileen West (Buy from Eileen West, $74).
The bottom line
Are you still on the fence? What if I told you that there’s a Land’s End nightgown for everyone? There are both short- and long-sleeved options (I prefer the short-sleeved), as well as short and mid-calf lengths. (I have both). You can choose from sizes extra small to large, as well as petite, tall and plus-size options. The nightgowns are available in a variety of colors and patterns — stripes, animal print, floral, plaid, and more. Monograms can be added to your nightgown for an additional charge.
But what really makes this nightgown worth buying is the fact that it’s pretty much always on sale. Land’s End has discount codes available on their site almost every day, and my last nightgown purchase set me back only $25. The list price for one of these is over $50 — but truth be told, I’ve never paid anywhere near that. Not only is the price right, the ease of wear can’t be beat. In fact, I’m wearing my nightgown as I write this.
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