Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Snuggies be gone!

Classic styles can make your pyjama party a formal affair

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Hannah on Girls makes a case for lounging around in a comfy cocoon, even if the shapeless orange sleeping bag with arms did make her look like a "sad little glow worm." Sad may be how we feel marooned at home in a snowstorm or on our couch-fort trying to beat the flu, but that doesn't mean we have to look it.

Saggy track pants and XL corporate team-building T-shirts are the stuff of dorm years and weekend chores. Stretchy yoga leggings are for practising sun salutations. There comes a time when an adult should own a proper set of pyjamas.

In any material, the classic pyjama is a button shirt (usually with a notch collar), a pair of drawstring bottoms and the whole thing nicely trimmed in a contrast piping.

It could be classic cotton broadcloth from Brooks Brothers or, for the tony few, one of Olatz Schnabel's sumptuous sets in heavy, richly tinted silk.

In winter, I favour the patterned flannel pairs from Land's End (this year, in a vintage-inspired print of a snowy village.)

BedHead, the popular Los Angeles-made pyjama label, is the brainchild of Canadian-born Rene Claire. Claire grew up in Amherstberg, Ont., and knows the supplies required to get through the Canadian winter; BedHead is the brand that started the current craze for wildly patterned PJs that add cheer to the January blahs and February blues.

And in warmer months, crisp and classic poplin from The Bay's men's department recalls the best of screwball comedy.

"Now just to show you my heart's in the right place, I'll give you my best pair of pyjamas," Clark Gable's grizzled reporter tells Claudette Colbert's heiress-on-the-lam in Frank Capra's 1934 comedy It Happened One Night.

Whatever the season, the classic pyjama confers a sense of occasion -- soft leopard flannel or slinky black satin -- when you put a pair on, it's an instant outfit. That's one of the reasons velvet lounge slippers and smoking jackets, the archaic accessories of upscale at-home leisure, have edged their way out of the boudoir and onto the street. Fashion followers, street-style poseurs and designers like Rachel Roy have lately enjoyed parading their foulard-printed-PJ-and-killer-heel combos for onlookers.

To dress up is to cheer up, certainly, but when it comes to relaxing pyjamas, that needn't be anywhere except behind closed doors.

-- Postmedia News

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 9, 2013 E10

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