Monday, February 8, 2010

Of Pajama Pride & Predjudice

No one’s here tonight. Just me and the dog. So after a quickie dinner of yogurt and granola, it’s jammie time. It’s time to slip into something a bit more comfortable. Don’t cue the Barry White music yet. I’m not talking about a silky negligee. I’m not even talking about a cute knit nightie. I’m taking it to another level tonight. Wrapping myself in “for your eyes only” sleepwear --the softest, yummiest paper thin cotton nightgown imaginable. I save it for nights like this. This is the kind of ethereal sleepwear worn by fine English ladies who sip chamomile tea. Designed by Eileen West and Laura Ashley, these ladies are specialists when it comes to magical sleep-inducing fabrics that swath you in easy fitting…well let’s call a spade a spade, easy fitting tents.

My Mom introduced me to the world of pure cotton nightgowns when I was just a teen and she has graced me with a new one yearly. Mind you, these babies are first class, made of the kind of cottony goodness usually reserved for toilet paper and handkerchiefs. In fact, the cotton is so fine that it’s practically sheer. It is so pure, it’s almost always white. And it’s easily recognized at a glance. The look is pure innocence: a touch of eyelet, teensy flower-shaped buttons, the finest ribbons and delicate lace.

While the designer’s advertising evokes a unique sense of romance –think Dangerous Liaisons meets Madame Bovary, the catalog descriptions could cool even a porn star’s blood. “Scalloped lace and ribbon trim finish the sweetly feminine look of this pure cotton gown…a soft ruffle and a narrow ribbon tie detail the scooped neckline.” No, this isn’t the sleepwear of Carmen Electra and Pam-eh-la. But I am betting that Kate Winslet might have donned one of these Titanic-sized nighties for Leo. Because this is true womens wear, the undergarment of the upper crust, the lacy under thing of the 19th century. This is what the haughty (and naughty) broads are wearing. Quite simply, this is the stuff romance novels are made of.

That said, I know who romance novels are written for –women, only women. So some nights, when I am home alone, it’s a genuine joy to reach into the back of the drawer and pull out the jammies with the natural feather light feel and the “I don’t care if I look pregnant” silhouette. It’s a simple pleasure I learned from my Mom.
Sweet dreams everyone.

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