Pyjama suits that are too good to sleep in
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If you’d have told me eight years ago that my student habit of scuttling to the shops to grab a bowl of hangover noodles in my vintage silk pyjamas and a slouchy tweed coat was eventually going to come into vogue, I’d have scoffed at you.
Nevertheless, fashion works in mysterious ways. Lounge lizard styling is in, lending AW21’s collections a louche look. Think robe-like jackets and dressy pyjama shirts that are designed to be worn anywhere but tucked up in bed. From Louis Vuitton’s tailored wrap coats to Armani’s kimono jackets, or even Prada’s “long-john-esque” printed bodysuits, the chicest designs of the season all nod to nightwear.
Mr Porter has tracked this trend over the past 18 months, as buying manager Daniel Todd explains: “Unsurprisingly, pyjamas and loungewear was one of our bestselling categories during the pandemic and this growth continued throughout 2021. Brands are embracing the customer shift in demand for comfort dressing and are incorporating cosy styles into their collections,” he says. “Now it’s about a low-key wardrobe that combines slouchy silhouettes with tailoring and overcoats, as both consumers and brands continue to adopt the high‑low trend of the ‘new normal’.”
So how should we wear this season’s key pieces out in the wider world? Luke Walker, who designed menswear at Dunhill, Paul Smith, Lanvin and Drake’s before launching his own label LEJ, knows a thing or two about daytime loungewear styling. This season, he introduced two new Le Plage pyjama suits, coordinating cotton and silk striped camp collar shirts and drawstring trousers. Each is designed to be worn around town, layered beneath chore coats or raglan macs.
“One of the main reasons for founding LEJ was to celebrate the beauty of traditional menswear shirtings and craftsmanship, without the trappings of office attire,” Walker explains. “In menswear, we’re sadly reliant on convention. By adding the pyjama to the daily lexicon it provides much more choice for men. A pyjama can more easily carry pattern, colour and unusual fabrications like silk or voile. All of which means we’re less done-up and that bit freer.”
The key is not to overthink your own daytime loungewear looks. Structured jackets help to elevate pyjama shirts or drawstring pants, while a luxe robe coat looks swish dressed with a simple rollneck, sneakers and neatly tailored trousers. “I wear my pyjamas pretty much like any other shirt,” adds Walker. “I start with just enough buttons fastened to stay on the right side of propriety, and then undo one more.”