I’ve always had a soft spot for ethereal and romantic vintage nightgowns. You know the kind. Those long, breezy, dreamy Victorian white cotton dresses, gently adorned with lace or frills that you’d see the likes of Elizabeth Bennett write letters in by candlelight. Who would have thought 200 years later, these breezy dresses would be one of 2020’s biggest Instagram trends?
For those of you who have been sleeping through most of 2020 (I wouldn’t blame you), nap dresses have been causing quite the buzz this year—a moniker created by Nell Diamond, founder of Hill House Home, who wanted to cultivate her personal aesthetic that she refers to as “victorian ghost.” And then the infamous nap dress came to fruition. The trend has skyrocketed in popularity ever since the pandemic hit, as the fashion set continue to crave a comfortable yet stylish alternative to their sweats at home—leaning into the romantic cottagecore trend.
Don’t take the name too literally, though. While you could theoretically wear a nap dress to bed, it’s not solely a nightgown. The idea is that these dresses can be slipped on without fuss, are comfortable and non-restrictive, can be worn without a bra, and tend to suit all body shapes. They blur the lines between what you might wear to bed and what you might wear to a fancy brunch.
As someone who barely gets much sleep and certainly never takes a nap (I have a full-time job and a full-time toddler!), there is certainly a soothing allure and escapism to nap dresses—perhaps that’s why I can’t seem to get enough of them. Lucky for me they’re sticking around next year too. We’ve spotted nightgown-style dresses all over the S/S 21 runways—from Copenhagen to Milan.
Since my love for nap dresses runs deep below, I wanted to share some of my absolute favorites that I’ve been working from home in, slipping on with Birkenstocks to run errands in, doing laundry in, watching Netflix in, and yes, sleeping in too.