Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Keepin' It Real: Pajamas

Edited to add: Here's the pattern of my girl's nightgowns. I just wanted to show you that they aren't really frilly, but much better than what they were sleeping in! It's the one on the very right and Sweetheart's is made from white eyelet. Very pretty!

So today I took this quiz to see if I would make a good wife in the 1930's. I did surprising well on the quiz, so it must be terribly un-scientific. But some of the questions convicted me a bit.

I don't really know how it was to be a wife, mother, and homemaker during that era, but my grandmothers did. Both of my parents were born in the early to mid 3o's so I thought it was interesting to picture my grandmothers during that time of their lives. Of course, they were farm wives, so that lends itself to a different lifestyle...

What I was convicted about was the way I dress and groom myself! One question in particular "Do you wear pajamas or a nightgown to bed?" really got to me. Let me explain.

A few months ago I looked at my dear daughters and decided we could do better in the bedtime attire department. Sweetheart usually slept in an over sized t-shirt and shorts. Little Bit actually had pajamas only because she gets hand-me-downs from 3 other children in the family. But all the pajamas were shorts and shirts sets. Wait a minute, I thought, don't I have daughters???? I decided establishing these habits in my children was not really doing any favors for my future sons-in-law. I don't want my beautiful little girls still scrounging around in big hand-me-down t-shirts at bedtime when they are grown, so why are we doing it now?

So I asked my mom to sew Sweetheart a nightgown since we couldn't seem to find any at the stores. In fact, all I could find was pajama pants with a little tank top with spaghetti straps. She also used some fabric she already had to make a gown for Little Bit. They are so beautiful in them! I braided Sweetheart's hair before bed each night and thought I was doing a great thing.

They looked so sweet!

And now I took that quiz and realized I kind of forgot one thing. I am being a HORRIBLE example to my children on how to dress for bed. I'm sorry to say that last night I slept in pajama capri pants with a drawstring from Old Navy circa 2000 and an old white t-shirt. Lovely. And that is one of my better nights. I all too often dive into my husband's dresser drawers and come up with a big fishing t-shirt to sleep in. Gorgeous.

Not only do I suddenly feel sorry for my husband (and have a great desire to go shopping), but I realize what a horrible example I'm being. I want my girls to be lovely and feminine, but mama is not wearing any skirts except on Sunday mornings. I know, my excuse is I don't have any everyday skirts that fit me. And I don't. But don't ask me how much time I've spent looking for any lately! And mama is going to bed in daddy's old t-shirts, so why should they wear a nightgown?

OK--here's where the Keepin' It Real part comes in. No Mr. Linky today--just leave your say in the comments section. What do you wear to bed? Have you made a conscious change in that department during your lifetime? Tell me about your pajamas--and your kids' too if you like! And if you sleep naked--you are excluded from this conversation. ;-)


  1. I dress much like you described--capri's and a t-shirt, or flannel pants and a t-shirt. I do have a couple of satin pajama sets, but that is as good as it gets!

    I can't wear nightgowns though! They keep me up all night long, tossing and turning, trying to keep untangled.

    Of course, if I really wanted to make my husband happy, I'd sleep in nothing at all!! All I can think of though is 'what if there's a fire' or 'what if my daughter crawls in bed with us' and then I just can't do it. Perhaps just for a little while when we first go to bed though....

  2. Most nights I make an effort to look appealing for bed. Nightgowns most nights. Sometimes PJ's which are usually shorts with tank tops. I still can't fit back into those yet.

    When I don't look alluring, it's on purpose. I know, tsk, tsk. Thankfully for the husband those nights are few and far between.

  3. Oh Missy, I've thought the same things! "What if someone breaks in? or there's a fire?" And yes, I don't want to traumatize my children either. :)

    Terry, you're funny. Thanks for being real!

  4. I've been lurking in the shadows for months, but I just had to comment this time and say how much I identified with your post. I've been making a deliberate attempt over the last three months to wear more skirts and dresses (and nightgowns) after thinking the same thoughts you mention about setting an example for my 4 year old daughter. It seems to be making a difference...and what a compliment when she wants to wear a dress to be "pretty like Mommy". My only issue with nightgowns is that when I get up with the baby, my legs get very cold. My solution has been a great big floor length polar fleece housecoat - not so feminine, maybe, but it solves the problem.

  5. Yep, basketball shorts and a t-shirt. It's pure sex appeal over here.

    I have poor excuses for the reasons I sleep dressed like this. I feel like if I could fit in cuter stuff, I would. But nighties....probably never. I can't sleep in them. They end up twisted up and near my neck by the morning.

    My hubby is asleep, so he doesn't care. :-) I'm sure he'd answer that differently, though.

  6. For a long time it's been the shorts and t-shirt. About two years ago I decided to make a change. I found a sleepwear store (Soma) that I love. Husband likes the cute sleep shorts and shirts. And just recently I discovered Cabaret (a Dillards brand) that has wonderful nightgowns and robes. It has been worth the change!

  7. So glad I'm not alone! I don't think it just HAS to be a nightgown--I get a little tangled up too. And if I am going to wear one it will not be floor length, OK? But there has to be something pretty, sexy, and feminine (and yet modest enough for my kids to see me in it before bed). I'm going to go check out Elle's suggestions.

  8. Oh, and Michelle, about the polar fleece housecoat.....OH now it makes sense, you are my Canadian reader!!! I would die of heat stroke in 5 minutes if I put on polar fleece right now! But honestly, when you are getting up with small children in the night they don't care what you look like. :)

  9. Before becoming pregnant, I would sleep in some cute nighties, but while pregnant I slept in one of my husband's tshirts - they're not so tight around the neck so I don't feel like I'm dying.

    Course now that I've read this post and started thinking about the fact that as of late, I've been wearing no shirt, perhaps I should start reconsidering... especially as the baby gets older.. :)

  10. Well, now, I sleep in men's boxers and a tank top. And, they aren't even my husband's! They aren't anyone else's husband's, either, though. :) I purposefully bought them because I saw them on clearance in the men's section of Target while my husband was trying on clothes, and I thought, "Oh, those would be comfy for bed." Yep, somehow I don't think those do much for my husband. Maybe I need to go shopping again.

    Funny story along these lines, though. Just this week, Big Sis found my "wedding night" attire hanging on the back of the closet door (why is it there? Don't ask me.) She ask what it was, and I told her they were "cute pajamas." She said I should wear them, and I said, under my breath, "Yeah, Daddy would like that." I think they might have shrunk from 9 1/2 years ago, though. Darn "cute pajamas." They don't make them like they used to.

  11. Not only Canadian, but quite far north too - although it's starting to get warm enough here that I've finally put my polar fleece away. :)

  12. Brenda,
    I laughed when I read this post because I said to myself, "I REFUSE to feel guilty about what I sleep in." FYI it's usually flannel pants and a sweatshirt- winter or summer. LOL There are reasons for it.. #1- nightgowns get bunched up and I hate that. #2- Hubbie is asleep and doesn't care anyway. #3- He would MUCH rather me be acclimated to the temp of the house instead of whining that I'm cold.
    #4- IF we're going to do anything besides sleep...I change into the other more cutesy stuff. :) #5- He never sees what I wear anyway because a) he goes to bed about 2 hours before me and rises about 1-2 hour before me. and b) we have 2 kids with sleeping issues and usually one of us ends up in another room of the house with them. heehee

    Don't you just love all the details? All I have to say is: you asked. :P

  13. Oh Angela, you KNOW that the point of these KIR posts is NOT to make anyone feel guilty! Ever!

    And yes, I love that you have a list of reasons. :) You must REALLY get cold!

  14. I love pajama's and have quite a collection. As we have teenage sons and usually lots of teen boys roaming around I definitely keep covered up. However, I do buy several new pairs of pj's (capri sets, or long night gowns) each year. I have a few "special" ones that I keep tucked away for special ocassions. KWIM?


  15. Great KIR post! Truthfully, I've been trying to do better in this particular area. Our Sunday School teacher just taught a series on marriage (sex), and one of the comments he made was that men are very visual. He commented that what you wear to bed really does matter, and it matters even more if you immediately cover your self up to the neck in covers:) So, I've been trying to appeal to that need a little more lately. But, it is very hard to find something that is both attractive and comfortable for sleeping.

    On another note, my neighbor just commented this week to me that she never sees Addilyn (my 22 month old) in dresses. She was wanting to give me some clothes for her. After thinking about it, she's right. I usually save dresses for church on Sunday, even though she does have some more casual dresses. Granted, she is still pretty young. But, no time like the present to start showing the more feminine side of her - especially since she has 2 older brothers. Funny how your post confirmed the same!

  16. I agree Amy--I believe it makes a difference too.

    And I encourage you to put her in dresses now while she's young. I started when Sweetheart was 7 and her response was, "Why are we wearing dresses? Where are we going? Is it church day?" So sad. I told her she was wearing a dress b/c she was a GIRL! Society says we are raising "kids" but we aren't. We are raising godly young men and godly young women and those aren't the same thing.

  17. Oh, and Karly---my wedding night pajamas shrunk too! We must have bought them from the same cheap store! :)

  18. Brenda, you think Sweetheart was curious? When we went spring shopping this year I told my girls(12 and 13, mind you!): No shorts or capris until you each pick out at least one dress or skirt for church and one casual skirt. OMG! It was not a pleasant shopping trip. Now you know that I'm not one of those dresses only types, but I do realize that I have really dropped the ball on this issue so I'm trying to rectify it by mixing it up a little. One of the twins thankfully already likes dresses so she was easy. As we've begun to talk more about femininity they are warming up to dresses. Of course the fact that they are in public school, where none of the girls ever wear dresses, doesn't help.

  19. Oh I can imagine Terry! When Sweetheart went to public school one of the 2nd graders in her class said, "I wouldn't be caught DEAD in a dress!" I think that's how many, many girls feel these days. I want my girls to feel comfortable wearing dresses and even enjoy it. Now if mama can only find something more feminine to wear...

  20. oh man, dresses are a whole other story here. Lorelai wears them all the time, but she's only 18 months, so she doesn't even realize there are options. She has only seen me in a dress once. Because I only own one dress. No skirts here, either. We're in Texas. It's hot enough, I don't need my legs rubbing together and starting a fire!

  21. OK Rachel....I wasn't going to bring it up, but I really wanted to. I really like the look of ladies in skirts. Just casual skirts. I see people (well, just ladies really) in skirts and think "man I need to wear skirts." Like today, both girls are wearing cute little summer dresses and here's mama sluffing along after them in denim capris and an old shirt and flip flops. My husband has mentioned he likes ladies in skirts (just casual ones--nothing fancy.)

    So I finally googled it the other night something along the lines of "what do you wear under skirts?" and I learned a new phrase: it's called chub rub. There are various methods of dealing with it (I mean without losing weight! Obviously!)But that really is one of my issues. I'm not hugely overweight or anything, but goodness--like you said--this is TEXAS!

    I guess it's just an excuse. Any of you hot climate ladies have any cute skirts or under skirts ideas for us?

  22. Well, when I did the 3-Day walk last year, I used what is called Body Glide. It looks like a deoderant stick and you "glide" it on your "body" parts that rub. So you don't, you know, start a fire. :)

    I actually bought TWO cute skirts last Saturday at Goodwill. It was 50% off day, and I spent a whole $5 for both. Woohoo! And, I wore one to church that weekend. My very first time. I'm making progress.

    Oh, and to cool off? I make sure the air conditoner in the truck is pointed in just the right place coming and going anywhere. Nah, not really. But not a bad idea. :)

  23. Yep. I read about that stuff the other night.
    I ALWAYS hear about these people getting all their skirts and dresses at Goodwill. Sister, you haven't seen my Goodwill is all I have to say.
    Good for you! I need to go shopping.

    And you are not kidding about the A/C. Admit it.

  24. In all honesty, I wear comfort to bed. I like to be able to sleep. I like to feel relaxed. I like to feel that whatever I am wearing is covering all the parts that I believe need to be covered.I wear nightclothes that are an advantage to my sleep hygiene. When my children where younger they wore pants and tops and nighties and singlet tops and knickers(try anything else when it is 39 degrees at bedtime). All of my children slept well and have grown up to be lovely young people who do not flaunt their sexuality or behave in an immodest way. As for skirts - Interestingly, when I looked pretty good in them I used to receive way more compliments from males than when I wore pants(I did not wear 'sexy' skirts or flaunt my self in them).I am not sure that biblical women showed any part of their leg, so unless it is a full length skirt then perhaps by wearing skirts and dresses (that follow the natural contours of a womans figure) we may be attracting attention towards ourselves from the opposite sex without even realizing it. How did the women in biblical times discover and demonstrate their femininity? Can we possibly have the same outcome by only following some of their habits or picking and choosing what things we can try to emulate in order to protect our children from the growing outrageous openness of sexuality flaunted from schools, pulpits, screens and lounge rooms?

    Okay, I confess - I love flannelet pj's.

    Keeping it real.

  25. I'm so glad I have no shame and like to talk about everything hygienic on your page. I put deodorant on my thighs, so if they happen to rub together, it's not painful. Or noisy. ha ha!

    I sound like an 800 pound woman. I'm not, can be 100 pounds and still have your legs rubbing together. Right? I wouldn't know. Last time I was 100 pounds, I was like 8 or 9 or something.

    And the A/C....definitely pointed in the right places. One down, one on the pits. I ain't skeered to admit it. :-) ha ha ha

    Sorry, Brenda, I might have just decreased your number of readers significantly.

  26. In the summer when I don't want to wear pantyhose I wear a very thing boxer short under my skirts. In the winter, pantyhose. You know, they do make bloomers for ladies. :)

    Check out

    IF you can't afford the steeper prices perhaps you could make your own. :)

  27. Hello all,

    Found this blog via Juliemom and have some helpful hints on the under-skirt wear question. I live in NY, but we DO have summer here with temps that make stockings a no-go. And while I have shed 55 pounds, I have much more to go before chub-rub becomes a non-issue for me. So here is what I've been doing for years:

    1.) When the weather isn't too hot, I've worn what I call "slip-shorts." They are shorts made of the same light material as a slip, and they are designed to be worn under split skirts. They are sold in various lengths & I've found these at department stores in the lingerie area.
    2.) When the weather is hot and flimsy material won't do: spandex cycling/exercise shorts. The wicking material keeps you cooler, nothing rubs, AND there's the added benefit of the shorts sucking things in a bit.
    3.) Along the sucking-it-all-in lines, there are those body-slimmer shorts. These are also found in department store lingerie sections. These would be another cooler-weather recommendation, since that material can be rather heat-retentive. And in ac-vent-aiming-land, that's not a real good feature. :-)

    Hope this was helpful!

  28. Okay Brenda. Can I just say this post and comments to it has made me laugh all day long? :) Fun times, girls, fun times! :)

  29. Oh I agree Karly...I have had so much fun checking in on this conversation!!!!!

  30. Brenda-

    What in the world?!? Who knew the jammies issue was so thought-provoking???

    And it's good to see Aunt Bossy make an appearance. :0)

    I have an assortment of cute matchy-matchy pajama sets but I also have some old lady nightgowns that kind of scare me. But they're feminine.

    I don't own anything with a high neck and lace on the sleeves.

    I have some assorted "other" wear, you may call it, that only makes an appearance on "special" nights. (aka anniversary, birthday...etc)

    Did I really just share that? Oh well, we're just Keepin' it Real.


  31. I guess I am a little late on this, but...

    I took your 1930s test and somehow did quite well on it. I was shocked, retook it and did almost the same. It really must lack scientific method, but some of the questions were entertaining.

    For KIR, I vary in bedtime attire. I actually prefer nightgowns, but in FL they have to be short sleeve of tank because its just too hot! Sometimes, I wear my husbands old T shirts with capris or PJ shorts, but I would never give them up because they feel like a warm hug and the nights where he is working its very comforting. I have several matching sets, and I try to at least match most of the time because I just feel better that way. I think I started the matching thing around 23 or so because I felt like I wasn't a young 20 something hanging out in the dorm or anything anymore.

    My daughter has both nighties and PJs. She picks her jammies with the instructions of sort (long or short). With her, I have to focus more on the way sleeves and materials are because in the evening when she is tired, she can become sensitive to those things. She went through a phase where she had to have long pants or shorts on even when she was in a nightgown (but not in the daytime). She won't use covers much, so we have to do long sleeve, long pants and socks in the winter to try to keep her warm enough.

  32. Just found this post- sorry, I am getting caught up on my reading- and had to laugh.

    In our house my husband calls his big old t-shirts "lingerie" because I wear them to be bed nearly every night.

    Working on improving that, but I am blessed that he has a sense of humour about it!

  33. Brenda-
    Singlemomforgod used to sleep in what you just described- but the new mrs. thomas tries to keep it spicy;)

    Thank you for the reminder not to get too comfortable and go to bed in the future just like I do now while I am still in honeymoon world.
    Excellent post, especially the point about having a gown made for sweetheart. I will admit that's an area that I need to tackle and tackle fast, because my girls go to bed in whatever they can find. And i guess girly girl nightgowns are a thing of the past huh???

  34. Mrs. Thomas! How wonderful to be in honeymoon world!!! I'm so excited for you both.

    Here's the pattern my mom used for the nightgowns. I just wanted to show you all what they looked like--they aren't too frilly you know? It's the one on the very right and she made Sweetheart's out of white eyelet. So pretty.

  35. Came across your blog from another blog I read. I don't dress so swift at home. I wear pj's all the time cuz they are so comfy. I do dress cute when I go out tho. Like cute jeans & pants & in warmer weather sometimes dresses & skirts. I am not an all dresses wearer as pants are comfier. And being plus sized it's hard to find cute dresses. Most of them are matronly looking grandma type stuff.

    What I wear under my dresses are those slips that are made like a pair of shorts or culottes or bike shorts or leggings. Makes them so much comfier. God Bless... :)

  36. Hey Brenda...I have that pattern and have made it for my girls before. I'll be making it for my littlest at some point! Isn't that neat that we have the same pattern? (Okay...I get excited about strange things.) :)


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)