Perhaps it's rising temperatures that pique my interest in boudoir wear. I fear we are rearing (pun intended) a generation of young women who think sleepwear involves your school's name across your butt. We 50+'s cast our eyes on more womanly choices.
I bought this teal satin gown with black lace trim, made by Betty Georgijev, a local artisan, at a local craft show.
Here are more gowns, from modest to bombshell, depending on your taste and desired effect.
No pajamas, which are cute–even occasionally sexy in an I'll-wear-the-tops-you-wear-the bottoms kind of way– but not my choice for sleepwear in which your charms are admired, if you know what I mean.
For viewing by all ages
There are times when you might be seen by others than the intended, as happened to my friend Merle, who was tiptoeing from the bedroom at her boyfriend's when she encountered his six year old son. She had packed a "for family eyes" nightie; this was not it.
For G-rated visits, perhaps a Patricia Fieldwalker Swiss Cotton Nightshirt in this fresh aqua blue? Yes, it's pricey but you'll need fine fabric to look fetching in a nightshirt. Price, $280 from Nancy Meyer.
Garnet Hill's Organic Cotton ruched tank nightgown is a favourite of customers, fresh in the Modern Floral pattern, rather mumsy in the solids.
Price, $58 from Garnet Hill.
Hanro's thigh-length Grace gown is covered enough to handle a glance from room service at breakfast.
In white, black and a soft blush called "dream", $140 from Saks Fifth Avenue.
If you like discreet, beautiful nightwear, look for Laurence Tavernier boutiques, the website lists locations. I'd buy this discreet linen gown in a heartbeat.
When less is more
Let's move up the food chain to more sultry territory, to styles that put the 'night' in nightgown. Natori's Sorbet long tank-style floral gown is splashed with hibiscus.
It's poly, but I expect a good quality fabric from Natori. Price, $98 from Saks Fifth Avenue.
Flora Nikrooz' ivory gown with floral embroidery at the bust is one of those innocents that flirt, but does not cross the line (upcoming).
From Bare Necessities, $59.
Is it hot in here?
Ratcheting up the va-voom, but elegantly, a gown from Christine Vancouver. They make delicious lingerie, quite hard to find; a US site, Charmelle28 has a selection.
This Christine Bijoux nightgown in almond, pink or black/red silk charmeuse would make me feel like Rita Hayworth. $295 from Charmelle28.
I have a goddess girlfriend who enlisted me to help her buy a nightgown for a weekend on a flame's yacht (her life, not mine, girls). We headed like homing pigeons for the the black charmeuse. As she ran her finger over its slink, she said, "I'm going to have to train him up to this."
Perfect for dancing in the dark, but the back detail of this Liliana Casanova Etoile nightdress deserves to be seen, if only by candlelight. £310 from Luxury French Lingerie, a site any siren will love. Also available in white.
Go up one level, see what happens. No need to tell us. Virtue is not always its own reward.