Do pajamas still have a place in our indoor wardrobe?
“Teeth, pajamas, and off to bed!”
If I tell you “pajamas”, that's what you think of first, isn't it?
Has a piece of clothing that you haven't had to wear since you were nine years old, and your mom is no longer around to check on your dental hygiene?
Or maybe you think of an old man from the last century, who sleeps with a nightcap?
Well yes, that's what pajamas are. Or rather, that was it.
Because the use of pajamas has evolved, and its style with it.
Let's agree: what are pajamas?
The first thing to understand is that pajamas have gradually gone from “bed clothes” to “indoor clothes”.
To understand why, we must remember a few facts:
- Previous generations heated their homes less, and relied more on their clothes to stay warm. Including in bed!
- Our relationship to the body has evolved over the last century.
- A hundred years ago, the shirt was considered an “ undergarment ” that was not shown in public. And you didn't take your jacket off for dinner either.
- In the same vein, sleeping naked (or almost) as many of us do today was absolutely not in the morals.
Combine these three elements, and you will understand why pajamas for sleeping have become much rarer.
It is far from having disappeared, however: it has simply transformed and split into different categories.
The old version of pajamas, that of our grandparents
The first is that of classic pajamas.
“Classic” silk pyjamas, from Zimmerli. It may have its charm, but clearly… It's not for everyone.
It is composed by a set combining a bottom, as well as a shirt with a more open collar, similar to the Cuban collars found on many short-sleeved shirts.
For the most precious of them, these pajamas are made of silk, with a contrasting braid all along the throat, on the bottom of the sleeves, the pockets, around the collar, or even the bottom hem. pants.
The cut is generally loose and falling, because stretch materials were not used at the time when these models were popularized.
The style is both precious, delicate and nonchalant.
Moreover, the design of these models intended them above all to be worn in bed.
To be worn as “interior clothing”, they were often embellished with a dressing gown, heavier and more covering.
Same problem for the dressing gown. (Derek Rose)
Only the most indomitable classicists of dressy clothing seem to have retained the taste of this traditional pyjama.
Little by little, it has been associated with certain somewhat outdated or mocking connotations: the rich man, the man of power, the old man, the politician, or even the "playboy"...
It became rare until it was found only in our grandparents' wardrobes, and on the backs of their grandchildren, eager to get rid of it as soon as they had a say. .
But by becoming scarce, classic pajamas have left a void: that of the outfit to wear at home.
The sportswear version, its informal replacement
We may have got rid of the classic pyjamas, but we had to wear something when we got home.
Because after a long day of work, transport and sweat...
Who wants to settle down on their couch wearing stiff jeans, or delicate suit pants, that you've been wearing for more than ten hours?
That's good, because at the same time, around the 90s and 2000s, sportswear became more democratic: hoodies , sweatshirts, joggings , or even tracksuits...
Clothes designed for sport have an obligation of comfort, so why not use them also to relax at home?
If the idea was good, it ended up bringing a whole bunch of excesses:
First, we are in jogging to relax on the sofa…
Then, we also use it to take out the trash...
Then to get the bread...
And one day, we no longer distinguish between sportswear and indoor clothing.
"What's the point ?" we say to ourselves.
And that's the beginning of the end...
Some will even go so far as to keep this same outfit, “jogging-hoodie-sneakers” in all circumstances, from morning to evening, at every moment of their life, unless they go in the shower.
Enough is enough !
“Dirty”, “neglected”, “rude”, “lazy”, “soft”…
So many adjectives that inscribe jogging (and by extension sportswear) in the collective imagination as “the outfit of the loser”.
The great couturier Karl Lagerfeld will even go so far as to say one day this scathing phrase, which has become cult:
He may have been a designer, but dear Karl missed a career in the army...
Because you could say he was shooting live ammunition.
The "underwear" version for sleeping
As sportswear took on the (controversial) role of loungewear , a similar phenomenon was happening under our sheets.
Because duvets have ended up replacing sheets and blankets, and our homes have become more and more heated: we sleep in our underwear.
In humans, this means concretely:
For respectively 58%, 26%, and 12% of the French…
…As well as 4% who “don't know” (or don't want to admit they sleep naked), according to a 2017 study.
And to make the pair, a T-shirt as a top, with short sleeves, or long for the more cautious.
We have nothing to say about that.
T-shirt + boxers, it's a very good combo for sleeping!
The only concern is that, as with sportswear used as pajamas, the underwear that we put on to sleep often came “out of drawers”.
At best, it's an old borrowed T-shirt from someone else, a little big but in good condition. In the worst… Let's not talk about it.
T-shirt with this chocolate stain that never left, boxer shorts that are fraying, underpants that are too big, and even clothes that are sometimes ambiguously clean...
Come on, I'm nice, I stop there to preserve our dignity to all.
The problem is that rather than owning clothes designed for, we relegate this role to clothes that we would be almost ready to throw away.
And that's a shame.
For the simple and good reason that you will spend almost ⅓ of your life sleeping.
It might be worth it to improve the well-being of these moments a little, right?
And that the first image you will have of yourself when you get out of bed is that of a guy in a white tee that has turned gray, and underpants decorated with the symbol of the batman...
Our vision of pajamas: an essential element of the indoor wardrobe
Once we have made all these observations, it becomes obvious that pajamas need a second wind, a redefinition.
And that is precisely what we strive to do at Talc.
Here's how we did it...
The "homewear", synthesis between the old and the modern
To create the pajamas of our era, we must first understand:
- What worked in classic pajamas, and what relegated them to the closet.
- What seduced in comfort sportswear, and what caused its bad reputation.
We must also keep in mind that our customers may have tastes or even a life history that will tip the balance more in favor of one or the other.
We therefore applied ourselves to rethinking the models of these two schools of homewear, a term under which all interior clothing is now classified.
How to rehabilitate the good old "jogging-hoodie" combo as clothing for the home, but remove the famous connotation of "defeat" that Karl stuck to it?
We will capitalize on its obvious strength, which is its unequaled comfort, while improving what it often lacks: design.
First, the material
Sweatpants like sweatshirts must be made in a fluffy, soft and supple fleece.
Our Cravan hoodie and Vivant sweatpants are made from a Tencel Lyocell (67%) and organic cotton (33%) blend. A mix that gives it suppleness and softness.
Colors are important: obviously, timeless ones like navy, ecru or black can work, but...
If you want the softness of the piece to be seen as much as to the touch, there's nothing like a beautiful heather gray fleece.
A subtle heather, not too strong in contrast, and a rather light grey, for a finish that reminds you of a little cloud.
Then the details
One of the “sins” of jogging used as pajamas is not knowing how to distance oneself from the world of sport.
To correct this error, for example, we play on totally plain ribbing, at the waist and at the bottom of the leg.
Softer, more discreet, more minimalist than the customary contrasting details of sportswear, they do not break the visual harmony.
Because calm is also found where our gaze rests.
And finally, the cut
The advantage of a well-chosen fleece is that it is so flexible that you can afford to adjust the cuts a little without compromising comfort.
No jogging too loose or falling, but not something that sticks to your skin either: we take a thigh with a comfortable volume, and we delicately taper the line of the leg to the ankle.
Refine classic pajamas
Now that we have done the exercise for sportswear, we can apply the same approach to classic pajamas.
- The pants-and-shirt-inspired ensemble looks more “dressed up” than the joggers and sweatshirt. Pajamas have a certain drape, we can wear them in front of our loved ones while keeping a certain "control" of their image.
- It unbuttons at the top, which allows you to adapt to the temperatures, by putting on different layers for example.
Needless to say, this “extended” shirt collar flatters the face!
Its weak points:
- Fragile, because of the silk.
- A little pretentious, again because of the silk (it shines and it's expensive).
- A bit outdated.
Although I personally love the contrasting piping of vintage pajamas, you have to admit that the aesthetic dates from another time.
Choose the fabric
Clearly, this is the biggest problem with homewear of yesteryear: silk is too statutory.
Too precious, too fragile, too rare.
Too synonymous with a certain past aristocracy.
And besides, it is difficult to maintain.
However, these pajamas must retain a rather noble material to honor its classic heritage.
Something soft, enveloping, but all the same more robust, and less flashy.
What better for that than a flannel?
Obtained by gently sanding the surface of a fabric, flannel ticks all the boxes: it is soft, it has a fit and a drape that respond well to the shapes of pants and shirts, and lasts over time.
Its only drawback is that this softness is sometimes accompanied by a certain warmth: the “peach skin” effect of the fabric traps air in contact with your body.
It is very pleasant in the winter, but it can get a bit hot in the summer.
The solution, in our view, is to combine the natural feel of cotton with the breathable and thermoregulatory properties of Tencel Lyocell.
The right balance for us on this piece is half and half: 52% organic cotton, and 48% Tencel Lyocell.
The question of color
Classic pajamas, before, you will find them in all colors: scarlet red, satin green, midnight blue... And sometimes even in rather daring old patterns, such as paisley.
To take the opposite view, we have chosen the two most minimalist colors, and the simplest that are...
The black, and the white!
Some will even tell you that technically, they aren't even "colors" per se.
Removed from any context, they have neither connotation nor preferences in terms of harmony. And that's perfect.
Because we wanted the material and the form to be expressed with as much simplicity as possible.
The final details
To finish revisiting this set, we obviously skipped the contrasting braids, which were too divisive.
On the other hand, we have not been deprived of beautiful white mother-of-pearl buttons, which humbly underline the quality of the product.
And on the cut side, pajamas must remain pajamas: even if the look is more fitted than that of the last century, we keep comfortable volumes for the pajama bottoms , and slightly drooping shoulders for freedom of movement.
And to sleep?
You have two choices.
Option 1: “I dream lightly”
The first choice is to stay on the same type of underwear as those you wear out of bed, namely boxers or briefs, and a t-shirt.
In which case, we offer underwear focused on a few simple criteria:
- The softness of the material, like using cottons with more refined fibres.
- Breathability, for example by adding innovative fibers such as Tencel. You must feel good there in winter as in summer!
- Designs that evoke calm and comfort, both through the purity of the cuts and the choice of simple and harmonious colors.
Martini boxer shorts, in 100% Supima cotton. Sometimes it doesn't take more than that!
Of course, making things “simple” doesn't necessarily mean it's “easy to do”.
To have real dedicated night underwear, you sometimes have to make the effort to have a higher quality than what you would expect from our everyday t-shirts.
Option 2: sleep in a cocoon
The second is for those who want to feel more enveloped.
Whether by tactile preference or need for warmth, we wear something longer at the bottom: thin jersey pants.
You will have the enveloping feeling of an indoor sock, but the thinness and breathability of the material make it ideal under the duvet.
Our light and cozy set: the long-sleeved Sagace top (or the short-sleeved Rimbo ), and the Sade bottom, soft and light.
For more warmth on the top, you can opt for long sleeves rather than short ones.
We have also added our personal touch to the Sagace top: a light ribbing at the bottom of the sleeve, so that it does not ride up on your arms while moving in your sleep.
Yes, every detail counts!
A word about our quality
At Talc, we also take advantage of a more reasoned confection, made in Portugal, and more traceable fibers, such as Tencel from Lenzing, or organic cottons and Supima, Oeko-Tex certified.
This is also true for all our sets, from the sweatshirt to the shirt, including the jogging bottoms and the T-shirt!
Nicolo Minchillo, pen for Talc .