It’s Twelfth Night! Great time to focus on night attire, I think…. So let’s have a look at a few examples of sleepwear in films.
Firstly, the nighties!
Starting with something retro, 1930s films are chock full of fantastically frou-frou confections of nightwear. The example I’ve chosen is the one Ginger Rogers wears in Top Hat (one of her dance films with Fred Astaire), since this is a pretty sweet scene in itself:
1) He wakes her up by tap dancing in the room overhead (note the over-the-top Art Deco bed as well!)….
2) She makes a fruitless complaint call….
3) She goes to confront him (covering up her revealing nightie with a Pierrot-collared dressing gown, bien sur)….
4) She goes back to sleep (with full makeup on, of course), lulled by his “Sandman” dance….
Here’s the dance scene:
And here are a few other ensembles Ginger Roger got to (pretend to) sleep in:
For a modern take on the same time period, we have Nicole Kidman’s buttoned-up 1930s nightie in Australia, from the scene where she meets Nullah:
If you have the chance to acquire a vintage 1930s silk nightie (fairly readily available from ebay, etsy etc.), I think you will find that they are beautifully crafted, delicate, and ineffably feminine pieces of sleepwear – a pretty far cry from our modern flannel PJs! 😉
Carrying on with nighties, I shall return to two of my very favorite wellsprings of movie costumes: The Golden Compass and The Secret of Moonacre, both starring Dakota Blue Richards.
In TGC, she wears a sweetly girlish poufy nightie with white-on-white polka dots and red ribbon trim:
And in TSOM, a ruched cream-colored nightgown with – (*covet*) – a gorgeous little toile jacket over top:
It only adds to the effect that she also has a – (*covet*) – sleeping hare on her lap!
And now, moving on to the PJs!
Again, starting with something from the vintage realm, we have Audrey Hepburn’s famous pyjama ensemble from Roman Holiday:
As you may recall, she is very relieved to find that she is not in fact wearing her previously-idolized form of sleepwear, “pa-JAH-mas… just the top half!”. 😉
Two more sets of PJs, but unfortunately there isn’t a great photo of either one, as both are somewhat more obscure.
Here are the only views I could find of Flora Poste’s silk PJs from Cold Comfort Farm (in the days before Kate Beckinsale became a mega-star!):
If you haven’t seen it, you are in for a treat…. brilliantly quirky humor, inspired casting (including Ian McKellen as an overly fiery preacher & Stephen Fry as an oddball writer), excellent costuming, and a smouldering Rufus Sewell (say no more!).
And to finish up, a tiny glimpse of feisty tomboy Natty Gann, in an oversized striped nightshirt, from The Journey of Natty Gann (keeping her guard up as instructed by her father):
P.S. A couple of belated additions….
First is Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette, in a white 18th-century nightgown complete with bows:
And one for the boys, with the stripey PJs worn by Gene Kelly in An American in Paris!