Pyjama Craze

Five days ago, the last of my college applications was turned in. How gladly must I now rejoice! And, cooped up as I am by an unseemly gorgeous bout of snow, I am cabin-feverish enough to embark on a glorious sewing project. And so, I am determined to make myself pyjamas. Well, not technically pyjamas. It is actually a nightgown, but nightdress is nightdress, and most nightdress these days goes by the name of pyjama. I have several prospects, but all look to be fairly simple, elegant projects, difficult only in the delicacy of the material from which I might choose to make them.

Nightdress is a bit of an odd choice of topic for a fashion blog, as the sort of gown I am interested cannot qualify as lingerie and thus are not generally intended to excite romantic attention or be presented to anyone else in the world. This being said, I have found one thing to be true, over the course of recent years. The more shabbily I dress to bed, the less inclined I am to dress well, the morning after. If I sleep in a t-shirt, I am rather inclined get into a t-shirt and sweats. Waking up in handmade cotton nightgowns provides an unusual sort of social context — as I can well attest, my grandmother having made so many of them for me, in the past. There is something deeply historical about it, especially if the fabric itself has an old-fashioned feel to it, and as a child I would imagine myself to be living on the American frontier in the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder, waking up to some huge blizzard (which, given snowfall in the year I began these imaginings, was not so very great a stretch of the imagination). During the day, I would be a gypsy woman in an old green verticle-striped nightdress I inherited from my mother’s college years. The more adventurous the association made, the greater the impact on my daily life. And what can be more adventurous than a handmade garment? To this day, these sorts of associations can give me a sense of propriety or modest delicacy or similar sentiment that connects me to a half-remembered past where appearance was, indeed, important. And as such, it naturally occurs to me without much effort, to dress well the following morning. Subconscious though it usually is, I find it highly motivating.

I am deeply curious to know if anyone out there has similar tokens to remind them to dress well? My sister, who in high school alternated between ‘fashionista’ and ‘jock’, would always dress well, when she was carrying her very fancy purse to school (and, given that she was using it as her book bag, this was not so much an accessory as the foundation of her entire wardrobe). Please let me know if you (or someone you know) have similar ‘tricks’ to keep you motivated to look your best! On a similar note, did you ever have everyday clothes that inspired your imagination, as my nightdresses did? Please tell me your favourites and how they inspired you, in your childhood!

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