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. Like many other people, I fully embraced leggings and sweatshirts during the pandemic (and to this day, I still prefer them to jeans). 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 hard to find a good 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.
The silhouette is essentially like an oversized t-shirt that flares out ever so 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 has lasted me years, and stood up to hundreds of turns in the wash. The cotton still feels as smooth and soft as it did the day I bought 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 from 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
Still on the fence? What if I told you that there's a Land’s End nightgown for everyone? It comes in long-sleeved and short-sleeved varieties (I prefer short-sleeved), and short and mid-calf lengths (I have both). The standard sizing ranges from extra-small to extra-large, and it also comes in petite, tall, and plus-size varieties. The nightgowns are available in a variety of colors and patterns — stripes, animal print, floral, plaid, and more. You can also customize your nightgown with a monogram for an additional cost.
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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