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How to wear your nightgown in public & make it trendy

Dress on wooden background
Photo credit: GettyImages /Tarzhanova

Recently, a major incident of laziness (and the snooze button) helped me discover what ended up becoming my accidental summer wardrobe obsession — wearing nightgowns in public.

Allow me to elaborate.

Once upon a time, I dropped everything I knew to move to the land of dreamers, known to most as New York City. The expectation for this move was an adventurous life filled with published words, sleepless nights and overpriced cocktails (I’m looking at you, Carrie Bradshaw). But the reality glistened with sweat instead of glitter as I found myself amidst the notorious shoulder-to-shoulder train rides with less-than-charmed commuters coming to and from their closet-sized apartments.

As a self-admitted hoarder, there is always a way to talk myself into keeping the sequinned dress I haven’t touched since that one New Year’s party five years ago or the dysfunctional metallic crop top that never really fit to begin with. And while I could write a novel covering the reasons I should hold onto everything I have ever possessed, my teeny-tiny closet can’t exactly accommodate that.

With that, my mentality had to shift a little more strategically as I learned to incorporate pieces into my wardrobe that could answer the call for day-to-night/work-to-out dressing, season after season.

More: How to host a Halloween costume exchange party

Nightgown option 1: The slip dress

Let’s start with the slip dress. The era of Kate Moss minimalism has returned with satin slip dresses taking shape and form in every Instagram post, glossy magazine page and retail store, from high-end luxury brands, to fast fashion and thrift stores.

I found floral number at a thrift store a few months ago with the intent to only sleep in it. However, I found myself one morning running a little later than expected, and before I knew it, I was in a restaurant in my pajamas. I think the key to making a nightgown look intentional for the daytime is all about the silhouette and how it’s accessorized.

For me, the cowl neck collar of this particular nightgown felt formal enough for daywear, while adding a sun hat made the dress into a whole look.

If you’d like to try this style, check out the Layla Sleep Dress at Anthropologie. Its vibrant print and slight A-line cut make this slip dress a versatile marvel for day-to-dark style.

anthrologie slip dress
Photo credit: Anthropologie

Nightgown option 2: The midi dress

While the slip dress above fits the minimalism trend, I think it’s safe to say you can never go wrong with a midi dress. It’s just long enough to wear for any given occasion without feeling too stuffy, formal or overdone.

Now, something crucial to note about wearing nightgowns in public is that many of them are made from sheer material, so undergarments are key. I like to wear seamless nude underwear and nude Spandex shorts to ensure I’m not showing off more than anyone signed up for. Once you’ve got that covered, accessorize your nightgown with sandals by day, strappy heels by night, and bare feet for bed.

If you’d like to try to midi style, check out the Luxe Shangri-La Nightgown at Nordstrom. With its romantic lace trim and timeless LBD silhouette, this nightgown easily goes from day to night with a switch of accessories — be it a leather jacket and white sneakers by day, or red lipstick and pumps by night.

midi nightgown from nordstrom
Photo credit: Nordstrom

Here are a couple more nightgowns I found that you can easily incorporate into your day-to-day.

Our TG & Co. Editors & writers only recommend products that we think are awesome and you’ll love. We do occasionally use affiliate links, which means that we may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. If that’s the case, we will count our cash while you get the goods — it’s a win/win!

More: 6 things to borrow from Dad that you’ll actually want to wear

Tunic Sleep Dress at Madewell

Its oxford-shirt-inspired design styles well with a belt cinched at the waist or paired with a moto jacket for a playful mix of casual and contemporary dressing.

Cami Slip Dress at The Gap

Its subtle, tonal zebra print and classic slip dress silhouette make this nightgown an effortless option for off-duty styling.

Wearing your nightgown out in public? We want to see! Tag us on Instagram @gratefulandco and #wearegrateful!

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