Pyjamas saw an uprise in popularity throughout the 1900s (late victorian era). In the early 1900s, women in America started wearing chemises and bloomers as sleepwear. This style was popularised by actresses like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor
It is difficult to say exactly when people started to use sleepwear (as dedicated garments they slept in). It’s clear that the evolution of sleepwear started in different parts of the world, at different times, and now has emerged into one type of garment, as we know as sleepwear.
In Europe in the Middle Ages, the standard way was to sleep naked, except for some kind of head covering. This because they believed that much of the body’s heat was lost through the head and for the sake of one’s health, the head should be covered. Europeans began eventually wearing nightgowns made from heavy fabrics such as wool. These gowns kept people warm in cold climates and served as an extra insulation layer.
In ancient Greece, men and women wore thin robes called chitons while they slept. These robes were often made from lightweight materials like linen. However, the chitons were also worn during the day, so it would be wrong to call it pyjamas.
However, the pyjamas we know and love today are believed to have originated from the middle and far east. They were traditionally loose drawers or trousers tied at the waist with a drawstring or cord together with long tunic or nightshirts.
The early pyjamas were different from the ones we wear today. Once the industrial revolution happened and manufacturers started using the sewing machine, the sleepwear industry matured and the types of sleepwear people liked became more diversified. People have been wearing sleepwear for a long time, and each era has its unique style.
Pyjamas saw an uprise in popularity throughout the 1900s (late victorian era). In the early 1900s, women in America started wearing chemises and bloomers as sleepwear. This style was popularised by actresses like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.
In the mid 1900s the popularity of pyjamas spread to the majority and have remained popular ever since. Thanks to that, now there are many different types of pyjamas to choose from.
In the 1960s and 1970s extremely wide leg pyjama pants (like Palazzo pajamas) became popular when people began to prefer more relaxed clothing styles. It was also in the mid 1900s that the traditional two piece pj set became popular for men, a trend that we still see today.
Like you read about above, pyjamas have a long and interesting history. Today there are many different types of modern sleepwear to choose from. Here is some examples of the different types:
The traditional two piece garments consist of a shirt/top and trousers that many people wear today. You can find them in many shops and they come in all different colours materials, patterns and fabrics. These products provide a great nights sleep and warmth in winter in particular!
A traditional nightgown is a type of clothing that some women wear as nightwear. Traditional nightgowns comes in different materials (often soft silk), lengths, colours and are in great trend.
A robe is a garment that you wear after a shower, or in the morning while making a cup of coffee. It wraps around your body and is normally long (from your shoulders down to your feet). Robes are also often made from a thicker material, compared to your standard pjs.
Night shirt style garments for sleeping in are a comfortable choice for bedtime. Sleepshirts are similar to your everyday shirts, but they are longer and more comfortable. Traditional nightshirts for men have been worn for a long time and can still be found today.
A popular choice for men today is a comfortable pair of pyjama bottoms and a T-shirt. A lot of people use their old T-shirts or maybe their partners oversized T-shirts as sleepwear. But there is no need to settle for an old and washed-out tee. There are many different T-shirts on the market designed to be part of your sleepwear wardrobe!
A negligees, also known as baby doll pajamas, is a sleepwear garment for women that is considered to be more on the ‘sexy’ side, compared to a traditional checked pj set. It is usually made from sheer or semi-sheer material and often has lace trim accents. Negligees are often styled with matching bra and exquisite embroidery. Modern negligees can be found in more or less any lingerie departments stores today.
When did sleepwear become popular?