Notes from Yawn | Why We Love Nightshirts

Notes from Yawn | Why We Love Nightshirts

By Alice Whiteley

Notes from Yawn | Why We Love Nightshirts

When I decided to create Yawn, I had pyjamas on my mind. I just couldn’t find any that were right. I wasn’t thinking about anything else - not nighties, not camis, certainly not nightshirts. But when you set up your own business, you often lose yourself in it, and I became a bit of a luxury nightwear nerd…

It turns out, according to the V&A, that the original nightwear - the nightshirt - fell out of favour with the younger generation, to be swiftly replaced by pyjamas in the 1890s. It was such a big story back then, that Tailor and Cutter magazine wrote this wonderful report:

“The doom of the sleeping shirt is written. Those possessed of any ought to preserve them carefully so that they can show to succeeding generations the wonderfully and fearfully made garments their forefathers slept in. The pyjama sleeping suit is to take its place…”

Pink Hideaway print nightshirt with pockets

I’m not sure when the nightshirt began its revival, but here at Yawn it’s a firm favourite of our customers and community. “I used to think I preferred pyjamas but now I’m firmly in the Yawn nightshirt camp,” Jessica Rose Williams told us in an interview for our Dreamers  series. She wasn’t the only one. When we asked Alice Olins to choose between pyjamas and nightshirts, she replied: “Interesting. I just bought a nightshirt, my first one, and I think I’m a convert.” And our most recent Dreamer, author Kate Weinberg, said: “Nightshirts, hands down. If I’m writing from home, some days I’ll spend all day in them.”

Yawn’s luxury nightshirt collection this season is cut from our new organic cotton. Standard cotton has a 150-thread count; our bespoke Superfine “00” cotton packs in a luxurious 284. The highest count woven for the finest profile, it’s naturally strong, soft and smooth; breathable and temperature regulating. Put simply: more threads, less sweat.

There are thoughtful details, too: secret messages taped on the inside of the cuffs (shhhh!),  deliciously-deep pockets, a collar button for cooler nights. We’ve drawn and painted new prints in our London studio - Drift, Bums and Roses and Pink Hideaway - and kept our best-sellers too: House of Cards, Float Away and Lovebirds.

Who knows if and when the nightshirt will hibernate again to let another piece of nightwear steal the limelight. But we agree with Tailor and Cutter. “Preserve” your Yawn nightshirts; they’ll last for future generations. And we’d love to know which camp you’re in: pyjama or nightshirt?

Sleep well,

Alice x