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Ask Avery: Sleeping beauty

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

Dear Avery,
I was wondering if you could help me find some cute pajamas. I want them to be a little sexy without trying too hard, or at least a step up from my usual sweatpants and big t-shirt. Obviously someone is going to be seeing me at bedtime but I don’t want to wear lingerie either. Can you help?

I’m someone who generally heads to bed in exactly the over-sized outfit you’re describing. I almost always opt for comfort over style when bedtime rolls around, mainly because it’s the only six-to-10-hour window of time when I’m not getting critiqued for my outfit choices. But sometimes you need to put in a little extra effort when it comes to nocturnal style — slumber parties, romantic escapades or late-night video chats with long-distance lovers all call for some cute pajamas.

But there is a fine line between looking cute for bed and looking like you’re asking for it. There is a certainly a time and a place for a teddy and garter belt — Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching — but you don’t want to scare anyone. The look you should be attempting here is “Oh this? I just threw it on.” There’s just no need to dress like a sex kitten for bedtime — not yet, anyway.

Before we start discussing outfits, however, you may want to think about your evening beauty routine. When there’s company at the bedtime hour, it’s not like we can exfoliate, put on a pore strip and sleep in our retainers like we usually do. O.K. fine, maybe that’s just me, but you get the point: you’re going to need to put in a little effort here. If I were you, I’d wash all your makeup off, moisturize and dust with a light powder. If you must, throw on a dab of mascara and some lip balm. Either way, a full face of makeup is never pretty the next morning.

The outfit is definitely going to be the trickiest part, however. If you’re anything like me and typically opt for your largest sweatpants and sweatshirt for bed — big shout-out to high school athletics for providing me with pajamas for life — wearing something that shows you might actually have a body may be uncomfortable. But hey, I guess that’s the price we pay for companionship.

Option No. 1

I offer this option with the hope that you don’t have silk sheets, otherwise you’re in for a cold and probably slippery night. Despite the awkwardness they may ensue if you slip off your own bed, silk pajamas are worth the risk, especially in this style. Boxers and a loose, short sleeve button-up top are casual and almost a little masculine, but in pale pink silk you’ll look girly with just a smidgen of sex appeal.

Victoria’s Secret, $55

Option No. 2

In my mind, there’s nothing sexier than a woman in a men’s shirt, but you don’t even need to have a gentleman caller to achieve this look. Find a nightshirt modeled after a men’s dress shirt and make it your own: pop the collar, roll up the sleeves and loosen up as many buttons as you can while still being a lady. If this outfit doesn’t scream “casual vixen” I don’t know what does.

Nordstrom, $39.53

Option No. 3

I’m not quite sure whether you’re shooting for “come hither” or “let’s have a pillow fight,” so alpine-inspired sweater leggings and a henley may not be for you. But I adore sweater leggings, especially in a Fair Isle print, and the addition of a bright henley makes this whole look totally adorable. This outfit will be especially appropriate if you live in a ski lodge and like to sip hot cocoa by the fire, but I’m sure it will work in your under-heated apartment off of Allen as well. Bonus points here if you wear your hair in a tousled side braid and own a golden retriever.

Macy’s, $16.99

Option No. 4

Though a robe doesn’t technically qualify as pajamas, you could make it work — especially a bright coral robe in super-soft jersey. A silk bathrobe would be too much in this situation and a plaid flannel would kill any chance of a make-out session, but a thin, clingy, knit robe is just the ticket. The best part is that robes are super figure-flattering, too: a deep v-neck, cinched waist and above-the-knee hemline may just make this the most becoming thing in your closet.

Nordstrom, $120

Option No. 5

Since my definition of “a little sexy” and other people’s definition most likely aren’t the same, a silk camisole and lacy sleep shorts may be too much for you. But for the girl that likes to show some skin, this is the perfect option. Deep plum looks good on just about everyone and the combination of lace and silk is soft and feminine without revealing too much. You may be a little hesitant to whip this little number out, especially on a frigid February night, but as I always — O.K., rarely — say, if you’ve got it flaunt it.

Cami: $36, shorts: $32, both from Zappos

TAGGED: ask avery, pajamas, silk, sleepwear

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