Is there a single word in the English language even half as uncool or sexless as ‘pyjamas’? Probably not. For a man to admit he wears specially made clothes for bedtime is to paint a picture in any prospective partner’s imagination of him being tucked in by his mum with a teddy, a mug of Horlicks and a kiss on the forehead. And with that seared into their mind’s eye, they won’t be a prospective partner for much longer.
We jest, of course. In reality, pyjamas have come a long way since the days of night caps and gowns. So much so, in fact, that certain aspects have even been absorbed into fashion. The athleisure trend would never have taken off if loungewear didn’t exist. And loungewear is nothing if not an extension of nightwear.
That’s why we thought it was about time we gave you the lowdown on all things PJ, including what to buy, where to get it and why it’ll make your life a little bit more comfortable.
Why Wear Pyjamas?
Sleeping in your boxers (or nothing at all) is all well and good during the warmer, more forgiving half of the year. But when temperatures begin to turn, pyjamas offer an often-overlooked helping hand.
“Temperature regulation is key as your body temperature fluctuates a lot at night,” explains Olivia Francis, founder of luxury nightwear brand Hamilton & Hare. “You should look for a loose enough fit for total comfort and freedom of movement but that doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish.”
In terms of fabrics, cotton, silk and satin are go-to options for warmer nights because they’re light and breathable. Switch to flannel or jersey when the temperatures drop or your partner hogs the duvet.
If you’re smart, a good pair of pyjamas can look good enough to be worn through the night and all the way to the breakfast table. “They should be versatile enough that they don’t need to be confined to the bedroom,” says Francis. “Opt for more traditional woven cotton or a jersey stretch fabric for a more unstructured fit.”
Loungewear Vs Sleepwear
You’ve no doubt heard these two terms thrown about, but what do they really mean? It’s a bit of a sartorial grey area.
“There is some blurring of lines between loungewear and sleepwear for sure,” Francis agrees. “Loungewear is better suited to evenings in on the sofa or general weekend downtime – slightly heavier weight fabrics that aren’t quite as revealing as some lightweight sleepwear options. It should look more like outerwear so it’s versatile and passes the ‘doorbell test’ – so you can open the door to anyone and not feel embarrassed.”
Francis also advises that investing in a smart, well cut pair of sweat joggers or drawstring trousers made from a premium natural fabric will look and feel so much better than a budget basic and in terms of cost per wear, you’ll get your money’s worth with daily use.
The Best Pyjama Styles For Men
In case you hadn’t noticed as you beam this article into your eyes from a handheld device that allows you to instantly access the entire sum of all human knowledge, we are very much living in the future. As such, it’s not just our phones that have evolved, our nightwear options haven’t been asleep on the job either. These are the styles it’s worth getting cosy with.
The old classic. Long sleeves, piping detail, pure cotton (or satin if you’re feeling decadent), collared button-up top. When you think of pyjamas, these are most likely what first pops into your head. Comfortable enough to sleep in, yet smart enough to take you straight to the table from Sunday breakfast. Pyjama-style shirts have been popular in recent seasons and the very simple reason is this: they look good.
As time has progressed so too have pyjamas. Traditional styles are still popular, but there’s a more modern alternative for those looking to get even more from their sleepwear. We’re talking less collars, more crew necks; an absence of buttons, in favour of overhead designs; and more stretch for increased comfort. Don’t get us wrong, traditional pyjamas are great, but if you’d prefer something that looks a little less like your work shirt and a little more like your favourite sweater then this is the style for you.
The general relaxing of menswear over the past several years has resulted in the merging of loungewear and casualwear. Meaning it’s now perfectly acceptable to get out of bed, throw a wool overcoat over the hoodie and joggers you slept in and step out to face the world. What’s not to love about that?
To many people, the thought of spending upwards of £200 on something to sleep in might seems utterly ludicrous. But you’ll spend a third of your life unconscious, so why not invest? You’ll be getting next-level quality, some jazzy patterns and luxurious materials. How can you know what a truly good night’s sleep is until you’ve crashed out in cashmere?
If you’ve never owned a dressing gown before, now is the time. There are few greater pleasures in life than wrapping up what is essentially an enormous fluffy towel straight out of the shower and committing to four hours of Netflix during the colder half of the year. Think of it as an overcoat for your pyjamas. Something to keep you warm while you’re grabbing breakfast or unwinding in the evening before bed.
The Best Brands For Men’s Pyjamas
Marks & Spencer
High-street staple and all-round British retail legend Marks & Spencer is well known for having your wardrobe basics covered to high standards and low price points. And this extends to the brand’s selection of sleepwear too. From fleecy, crewneck pyjamas to thick fluffy dressing gowns and everything in between (including the occasional David Gandy range). You might even find a pair of slippers to match.
Passed down for three generations, Derek Rose is a family-run business that has been producing the finest in nightwear, loungewear and underwear for close to a century. The brand is known not just for its high quality but also for its jazzy patterns, which are all designed in-house in London and have been since 1926.
Hamilton and Hare
It’s London-based Hamilton and Hare’s firm belief that as the first thing on and last thing off, underwear should be anything but an afterthought. That’s why the brand’s boxers, loungewear and PJs are some of the finest around. Crafted with an attention to detail that would put some tailors to shame, its nightwear is so well fitting, comfortable and great to look at that you won’t want to take them off in the morning.
If it came out of Switzerland, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be meticulously made. And pyjamas are certainly no exception, thanks to Hanro. The brand began life as a knitwear manufacturer in the late 1800s but soon found its niche in making luxury undergarments. Over the years, this extended to include nightwear, loungewear and more. And today Hanro is one of the best and most respected names in the game.
Polo Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren has spent the past 50 years positioning itself as the number-one spot for preppy wardrobe staples. And that doesn’t stop at the bedroom door. The New York label boasts a huge selection of nightwear and loungewear, including everything from full pyjama sets to hooded long-sleeve tees.
Zimmerli is another Swiss heritage brand that made a name for itself crafting underwear to the absolute highest of standards. Since 1871, the label has been doing its thing and is widely regarded as the best underwear there is. It stands to reason then that it’d make some pretty spectacular pyjamas too. We’re talking luxurious fabrics, form-flattering cuts and all pieced together by hand in Switzerland.
With its sturdily built wardrobe essentials at fairer than fair prices, Japanese high-street stalwart Uniqlo is a good brand to sleep with. The retailer is known for its great-value and incredibly soft Supima cotton. It means you can grab the comfiest pyjamas for a fraction of the price you’d pay elsewhere.