One of the biggest fashion trends in 2016 has been pyjama dressing, with houses from Gucci to J.Crew offering stylish silk ensembles and kimono style robes that are very definitely meant to be worn outside the house.
While it’s a look that fashion editors are quick to embrace, many customers are understandably hesitant because, as one very chic but dubious friend asked me, “Won’t it look like I just didn’t bother getting dressed?”.
I personally think pyjama dressing is highly glamorous but there are definitely some tricks to it to ensure you look more Pucci than Peter Alexander.
Silk pyjamas have a lovely 1940s movie star feel about them, but it’s important to make sure that the fabric is not too flimsy or see through.
The boxy shape of a traditional pyjama shirt means it should sit just at the top of your hips.
Choose pants that are flat at the front, and elasticated at the back only, not all the way around, as they will appear more tailored and slim-line.
I prefer the length to be cropped just above the ankle, and the perfect shoe to pair with it is a wedge, or a chunky 40s-style sandal (there are some gorgeous velvet options in the stores at the moment).
If you want to go one step further, channel you inner Judy Garland and wear the sandals with ankle socks.
Dolce and Gabbana showed this look beautifully years ago in one of my favourite-ever runway collections, featuring navy and burgundy pyjamas with a fine white spot worn with embellished gold-and-black velvet wedges, socks and piles of jewels.
Details on the pyjamas are important –contrast piping around the collar and cuffs adds extra polish. If the pyjamas are slightly languid and longer line, then a high heel and a tightly sashed belt is required.
If you don’t have a waist, then wear the shirt loose and the belt can be worn around the neck as a long scarf.
Pyjamas are incredibly adaptable – wear the pants with a t-shirt, the shirt with jeans and sandals.
Kimono-style patterned robes are also a versatile investment piece (I recently pulled out a vintage floral printed Akira kimono to wear to a wedding over a long silk slip dress, a marvellous solution piece, especially if you are having a fat day).
Brisbane jewellery designer Chelsea de Luca is set to launch a range of jewel-printed loungewear on her online site in January 2017, featuring beautiful silk robes which can be worn tightly belted as a dress, or open and flowing over jeans or even shorts.
Again, there are a few style rules to observe if you don’t want to look like you accidentally ended up at Coachella.
If you’re under 30, then let loose with the kimono over cut-off denim shorts, with a choker, pushed down ankle boots, a floppy hat, the full Almost Famous groupie scenario.
For those of us over 35, I would suggest wearing the robe over wide silk pants, or a long silk slip dress, paired back with a high strappy evening sandals, or jewelled flats, plus a pair of fabulously large earrings.
Silk pyjamas and robes are a wonderful evening solution in the steamy summer months, and when accessorised with aplomb, are a very chic black tie alternative to a floor-length dress.
They pack easily, they are a joy to wear, and best of all, you can kick off your shoes and sleep in them.
If only every fashion trend was so practical.