A little bit of knowledge on smocks

The evolution of pajamas, from the 20’s to the present
Wednesday 16 November 2016

If Coco Chanel pajamas a beach suit in the 1920s, it soon became a homewear item. Today, it is off the beaten path and mixes in our daily dressing, in a spirit of ready-to-wear. Focus on the evolution of this iconic piece, from 1900 to the present day.

A dress from India

The history of pajamas begins in colonial India in the mid-eighteenth century. The garment derives its name from the Hindi word pajama, itself derived from the Persian payjama, which means « dressing the legs ». The pajamas are then soft and wide pants. Exported to Europe in the 19th century by English settlers, pajamas were firstly used by wealthy classes, replacing the traditional night shirts, laced or buttoned.

From the beginning of the 20th century, pajamas also arrived on the American continent. The Sears Roebuck chain of department stores is looking to promote this new piece in their catalog, praising its strengths: « greater freedom than the majority of the usual nightgowns » and « a perfect thing for the journey ».

Pajamas, in vogue on the beaches in the 20’s

Reserved until now to men, it is necessary to wait until the years 20 to see the women wearing the pajamas. Halfway between sportswear and lingerie, it is displayed at the beach, in the most popular resorts of Europe. A trend launched by Coco Chanel, who was photographed in Deauville for Vogue, dressed in her beach coat. As for the materials, cotton, linen and jersey are preferred, sometimes embellished with geometric patterns. The pants themselves, want to be loose and tight at the waist.

In the early 1930s, pajamas became an indoor garment. An evolution visible in the cinema, in the film New York – Miami in 1934, where the actress Claudette Colbert carries a black and white set.

Later, in 1960, an ultra-luxury version of the pajamas, designed with precious stuffs, will be proposed by Russian princess and fashion designer Irene Galitzine. His name ? The Palazzo Pajama. The model becomes a symbol of feminine emancipation, guaranteeing elegance and comfort, and goes both indoors and outdoors. A source of inspiration for all future creators.

When pajamas inspire fashion

For a few seasons, the sleepwear wave has swept the catwalk. Indeed, contemporary fashion leans towards ever more comfort and widens the intimate sphere of pajamas. He invested the dressing of the daily, in a chic manner, to the point of being designated as « the new tailor. »

And for good reason, chosen in a fluid material, like satin or silk crepe, it gives a perfect appearance day and night. In total look for the most reckless or mismatched, pajamas in town takes the form of a shirt matching his pants or a kimono jacket associated with jeans. In the evening, prefer nocturnal colors, such as black or blue night.

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