Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cotton Pajama Sets

A few weeks ago, my brother's godmother (and my mother's best friend) invited us to stay at her beautiful beach house for a really fun weekend. As we drove to town one day, she pointed out the house they used to rent decades ago, and I mentioned that I still have a small scar on my knee from falling off a bike in that dirt driveway when I was a child. Later that weekend, I was busy looking at a plane overhead instead of the rock I was stepping onto, and I twisted my ankle, proving that even as an adult, summer is always a treasure trove of small injuries.

So far this summer I've managed to avoid a sun burn, but summer's other injuries have not passed me by. Besides the twisted ankle and some requisite mosquito bites, I have had poison sumac, a spider bite, and a chemical burn from sitting poolside on some citrus juice that was baking in the sun. Some people may think I'm accident-prone, but I know these are actually all simply signs of a good summer -- badges from being outside and enjoying the world.

Most of these little badges have come from trips outside of the city. One of the best parts of summer is getting out of New York for the beach or the country, and I've been taking advantage of as many weekend trips as possible to visit with friends and family by the beach and by the lake. Something that I've noticed on these trips is the usefulness of classic pajamas.

Whether it's for coffee on the porch or pancakes at the table, it's wise to pack something for sleeping that can be worn to breakfast. Sometimes I pack leggings and a tee-shirt because they can also be worn for a walk on the beach or a quick run to the coffee shop, but there is something to be said for packing classic pajamas, even if it's just a weekend trip.

Pajama sets are conservative enough to wear down to breakfast, lightweight enough to take up little space in a bag, and in a classic cotton style of full-length pants and long sleeves, are surprisingly useful for both winter and summer trips -- after all, summer mornings are always cool by the water.

Not only are they nice for traveling, but wouldn't they make a great hostess gift wrapped up with a bottle of bath salts?  For a hostess gift, I'd go with blue because everyone likes blue, and it looks good on every skin tone.

For a style that will be useful for years to come, stick to cotton sets in pink, white or blue. For a lightweight and flattering style, avoid jersey versions, which weigh a little more and cling a little more as well. Here's a roundup of a few pretty sets ranging from $40-$100...

images from left: J.Crew, The Vermont Country Store, and L.L. Bean

images from left: LaurenBrooks BrothersJ.Crew, and Brooks Brothers

Doesn't just looking at them make you long for a lazy vacation day -- in or out of bed -- right now?

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"There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- God damn it, you've got to be kind."
-Kurt Vonnegut