Let's Make This A Trend: Nightgowns As Dresses

I asked xoJane's stable of gorgeous writers and editors to put on a nightgown that could double as a dress, style it and send it to me.
Publish date:
August 8, 2011
let's make this a trend, nightgowns as dresses

Wha -- where am I? Oh, sorry, I just fell asleep at my laptop looking for new sundresses. What is it about this summer staple that always gets the short end of the stick? Not all sundresses suck, but I've been really disappointed with the options out there.

I want a wispy fabric that just drops from my shoulders and doesn't touch my body anywhere else. I want a nightgown. And lo and behold, New York Magazine just ran a piece on nightgown-inspired dresses. Of course, you can get cheaper versions in the actual nightgown/lingerie aisle, and if you wear them with confidence, no one will ever know the difference.

So I asked xoJane's stable of gorgeous writers and editors to put on a nightgown that could double as a dress, style it as though it were a dress (shoes, jewelry, maybe a bra, etc), and send it to me. The results below:

Hannah: I bought it in a thrift store last year. It used to be floor-length but my mom helped me hem it into something less medieval. The tag says "High Life Lingerie," and I'd estimate it's from the late 60s or early 70s. I like the flower-child-cult-hippie girl vibe it has, but the silhouette also reminds me of Nancy Sinatra and Go-Go dancers. It's very sheer so I wear it over a thick nude Spanx-y style slip and a nude bra. As for accessories, I like thin gold necklaces and I did my hair flippy at the ends, a la Miss Sinatra. And I think in the fall it would look pretty cool with some white tights and Go-Go boots.

Liz: Here's one I dug up of me from at least 6-7 years ago. I've had this thing since I was 17!

Daisy: This is not my style at all, but I was in Old Navy to buy shorts for my camping trips and I saw this dress and thought it would be perfect for climbing out of the tent on 95 degree days since, let's be honest, no one with my build actually looks good in shorts. It wasn't until I pulled it out of the bag when I got home that I realized it was actually a nightgown. (This is the second time I've done this in the recent past.)

Pink paisley isn't usually my thing, but I dusted these cowboy boots off (literally) and found my favorite jean jacket from the '90s and... voila! I actually think I'm going to wear this on Saturday when I go to the Giant Steps Charity Classic Grand Prix this weekend.

Julieanne: I accidentally bought this nightgown thinking it was a dress, and when I wore it to work, a coworker sent me a link to my "nightie" on the Anthropologie website.

MC Housework: Sorry for the blurry photo, it was taken by my 9-year-old. Featured is my mom's groovy pop-art vintage nightie from about 1971. It's fantastic, so sometimes I wear it with leggings or pants for a hostess-pajamas look. Bonus dog action.

Madeline: I got this nightgown at a thrift store, and the only time I've been brave enough to wear it outside was tucked into those high-waisted black shorts.

Rachel: I love my 60's nylon leopard print nightie. I've rocked it, usually under a super faded band shirt, for at least 15 years (I'm a 90's time-warp, often). Natch a thrift store find, under $6, and the mini gown came in a set with a matching weird blouse-y sleeved gown I've also been known to break out as a dress.