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Making a Case for the Nightgown as Caftan

Nightgowns are confusing. Particularly because they’re called nightgowns. Gowns, as far as I’m concerned, are formal wear. And nights, most typically, are precisely when formal events occur. So when did it happen that the “nightgown” would become synonymous with the world’s most satisfying pleasure: sleep? And not that I’m trying to retroactively bridge the gap between the term and its modern-day intended use, but I am totally making a case for the nightgown as caftan, ergo as daywear.

Why? Well! Aside from the reaped aesthetic benefits of wearing a long sleeve, ankle-length dress that could have been the progeny of a very fancy luxury designer in its past life, so much of how we perceive clothing at Man Repeller is about directing our attention inward.

Sure, looking good is cool, but does that really work if you don’t feel good? What do clothes mean beyond the very literal message that they send when they cover your body? For me, it’s much more about how to make my clothes work to earn their salt. And when I say this I don’t mean by weathering the vicissitudes of a wear. I’m talking about the emotional stuff. That sentimental fodder we use to place value in our things. As for the nightgown as caftan as work-appropriate day wear? Yeah! It’s fun that I got it on sale for $161 (after I said I wouldn’t in this here money diary), but what makes it priceless is the message I intend for it to send — that I spend the majority of my time not at home, but at the office, so why not respect myself and my work the same way I do at home and demand the same kind of comfort within the four walls that nestle me from 9 to 5 (8 to 7)?

Think about it, people.

Then shop!

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; Sleepy Jones nightgownAnissa Kermiche earrings, Chanel bag, The Row shoes, Annelise Michelson arm cuffs.

nightgown-as-robe

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is an intern at, but also the founder of Man Repeller.

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