There are some who delight in romantic nightwear – the trailing satins, silks and lace. I, on the other hand, prefer to sleep in something less fussy and love the cool feel of cotton, the chic cut of a tailored pair of pyjamas or a slightly vintage-inspired nightshirt.
Take the fresh, modern lines of Lucy Guinness’s new nightwear range. A freelance writer and journalist who studied the history of fashion at the Courtauld, she now divides her time between London and Mumbai, where she gets her night-cum-loungewear made. The label is called Poplin (“I just liked the word… it had a very reassuring sound”), though it also uses dotted Swiss cotton and silk, and includes pyjamas (£115 a pair, third picture) inspired by classic men’s tailoring. Made from 100 per cent cotton, they have wide, drawstring trousers and a classic shirt‑style top, and come in pale blue or white with a pink or yellow trim. These are the pieces I like best, but there are others – notably the Bardot short nightshirt (£85) in white cotton trimmed with black, and the Audrey classic pyjamas (£200) in navy silk with white silk piping.
With a very similar aesthetic comes The Sleep Shirt, a new company that began by selling a simple nightshirt, made from Japanese cotton in a blue Oxford pinstripe. The design was based on a 19th-century chemise that the label’s founder, Alexandra Suhner Isenberg (formerly of Burberry and Sonia Rykiel), discovered on a vintage menswear stall at Spitalfield’s market. Two years on and she has just launched her first complete collection of nightwear in 100 per cent cotton or linen. There is a nightshirt in two lengths (long and extra long), which comes in mint green, blue, claret or pink pinstriped Japanese cotton (£165) or natural linen (£270). More feminine is the shorter nightie (£170, first picture) with a ruffled neckline and long sleeves, in white Royal Oxford cotton. For those who prefer pyjamas, there are drawstring trousers (from £85) that can be teamed with a variety of tops, ranging from a cute pintuck camisole to a more structured raglan shirt (both from £128).
Finally, Bonsoir – the wonderful British company founded in 1926 that makes all its luxury nightwear by hand in Somerset – has teamed up with Liberty to create a fresh and pretty collection in Liberty’s Art Fabric. Nightdresses in two styles (£125) and pyjamas – either satin-trimmed and traditional (£175) or crop-legged with matching camisoles (£175, second picture) – come in four attractive print variations.