When it comes to choosing nightwear for women there is an awesome choice. However, it quickly breaks down into pajamas or nightgowns. While nighties may be more common today they are merely a modern interpretation of the plain nightgown which was the original women’s sleepwear and which is still available today.
Nightgowns were long nightdresses that covered the wearer from the head to toe, or at least neck to ankle. They also had sleeves to cover the arms. Over the last century they have become shorter and less covering and metamorphosed into the modern nightie which is usually only knee length and often leaves the arms and shoulders and some of the bust bare.
Nighties are also more colorful than traditional nightgowns and although modern takes on the traditional style can be more colorful and decorative, they do still tend to follow the plain patterns of the old styles. These were usually in a plain white or even in the undyed natural color of the material. Nightgowns were usually made from comfortable warm materials such as cotton or linen. They would have been largely plain in appearance with only minimal embellishments, usually limited to some ruffles or bows or a little lace as the neck and bodice.
Although this plain style is still at the heart of a nightgown and it is still possible to get nightgowns in such styles, many have adapted to modern trends. It is not unusual for them to end a little higher than the ankle or even below the knee. Shoulders are more likely to be visible with lower necklines and sleeveless or short-sleeve styles becoming more common. While modern materials may be used they still tend towards the plain in appearance with a limited color palette and simple decoration.
This simplicity is at the heart of why nightgowns are such a good choice for nightwear. They are opportunity to transport yourself back to a simpler time and forget about the cares of the modern world. A crisp cotton nightgown is comfortable and comforting, ideal for those nights when simple sleep is what you want and deserve.