Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Debra- Nightie Nite

I have been gown shopping.

Not for me. I'm a crop-pants jammies kind of girl. But my mother is a gown woman. The fifties warped her; what can I say?

Since last week she had major, emphasis on major (thought-she-was-going-to-die-didn't-we-
all-jump-for-joy-because-we-got- a-miracle) surgery, I thought I'd humor the woman and try and find some gowns for her recovery.

She does hospital gowns in the hospital. It isn't until we get home that she begins to bemoan the state of her nightwear. It's always wrong for whatever it is that we're rehabilitating or recuperating. And we always come back to gowns she's had since Eisenhower was President. Which wouldn't matter except they're old and have seen better days and this will be a long recovery. (I would have tossed them, but Mother doesn't toss anything that could possibly be used.)

Her gown style does not look like the black one above. My mother's style is the blue one below. Which is apparently only made by one company (Shadowline) these days. Nylon, gathered yoke, long length, and short but not cap sleeves. (Heaven forbid we flash the arms. She isn't one of the women who've made peace with the state of their upper arm flesh.) I spent the better part of the day doing my daughterly duty of nursing and surfing the internet for gowns.

And a bed jacket. Yes, my mother wants a bed jacket. Another item more popular with the Eisenhower woman.

After a hard day of surfing, where did I finally buy the gowns? Amazon.

Yep. Amazon. Who'd a thunk? They had a sale.

SURGEON HUMOR: After opening my 75 year old mother up and seeing the reality of her medical history, he said he was going to have these words tattooed across her belly. "No More Enter Here."

That is a sentiment with which we can agree.

P.S. You've probably figured out by now why I haven't been around for a while!

What's your "Night Gear?" Did you inherit your mom's style like you did her laundry detergent?


Keri Ford said...

LOL, Oh my, you have described my grandma to a T when it comes to nightwear! Only she has a few like that black one above. All us grandkids used to play dress up in them and sleep in them!

My nightwear--husband's white t-shirt. Irritates him like crazy cause I supposedly stain them through the day and stretch the neck and whatever else he come up with for why I shouldn't enjoy his Hanes. All of which, ya know, encourages the comfort.

Keri Ford said...

Oh, I forgot, Grandma has that same phobia with not showing the arms. Says fat isn't supposed to wave when she waves.

Glad your mother made it through and best of luck on recovery!

Michele Hauf said...

I am so a gown person! I think it's because when I was a kid my mom would give her hand-me-down gowns to me, and they would be really long on me and well, I loved it.

I've been on a quest for a 'Green Acres' nightrobe for decades! Remember the robe Lisa from that show wore in the opening montage? It was pink and silky and had the thick marabou trim around the bottom (and maybe the sleeves?) I need it!

Playground Monitor said...

Keri, buy your own Hanes. I do! I get lounge pants from the thrift store (both long and capri length) and pair them with white Hanes t-shirts. Definitely not my mother's nightwear.

Deb, I hope your mom has a smooth recovery, and LOL at the surgeon's tattoo suggestion.

My mom has had both rotator cuffs operated on. One surgery was in summer and the other winter. Because you can't lift the arm post-op, she had to find something that snapped up the front. She found the summer ones (lightweight housecoats actually) online and a few years later I found the winter weight ones at Sears.

Marilyn -- who also hasn't made peace with her upper arms

Liza said...

I'm a t-shirt and either boxers or lounge pants girl(depends how cold it is at night). The gowns you are looking for sound like the ones my grandmother always wears. She let us sleep in them when we would stay out at her house when I was growing up, and I loved it.

Hope your mom's recovery is smooth.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Ah, nighties. I'm with Michele on coveting the flowing nightgown and glamorous peignoir. And the matching slides with the little spike heels and fluff on the toe. Barbie slippers.

That's how I picture myself. Now the reality. Cotton nightshirts, mostly. Can't do nylon--too hot. A little bow or a bit of lace, maybe a subtle print for a feminine feel. Comfy.

Feel better soon, Deb's mom!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Did anyone else wear baby dolls when she was a kid? (See "Grease" the movie.)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, I got a Pajamagram as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. Satiny crop bottoms and button up shirt in blue in a cool mesh hatbox. Nope, not from hubby. From dear daughter. I save them for special occasions--like pajama parties! (They're mostly too hot to sleep in.)

lois greiman said...

I wear my long underwear...and whatever else I can find...to bed. Did I mention I'm from ND? Did I mention it's been freezing up here for about 11 months.

But I'm right there with ya, Deb. My mother wears the same kind of thing your mother does. But it's flannel with a loose turtle neck. She keeps an extra in the spare bedroom for when her daughters visit. My sister and I fight over it. It's floor length, soft as a kitten and makes the wearer the approximate shape of a water balloon. Last time I was there I put my hair on the top of my head like a pumpkin stem, then went into the living room to tell my daughter and her boyfriend goodnight. Boyfriend was giddy with glee at the sight of me in all my balloony flannely glory. "Oh, that's a adorable." Huh!! My daughter decided then and there what she's going to wear on her honeymoon: flannel floor length with a turtleneck. It's what all the 'cool' northern chicks are wearing.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen - I actually have a picture of me in a pair of baby doll pj's!

I have a couple of new pair of PJ's. Tie pants and pull over tops. I don't like buttons on my tops.

My grandmother wore long flannel gowns!

Deb - Hope your mom is doing better.

Now, gotta go finish reading contest entries!

Debra Dixon said...

Keri-- The t-shirt is one of the THE finest items of sleep gear ever invented. And men's flannel shirts for the winter!

Debra Dixon said...

Michele-- I might have seen that in my travels yesterday! Or at least other completely over-the-top robes. (g)

It has to be a seriously fun job to design lingerie and nightgowns.

Debra Dixon said...

Marilyn-- Ah Ha! You know exactly what I mean when I say the surgery dictates the recouperation.

Mother's previously had both of the shoulders done. The first landed her back in the hospital with cardiomyopathy and pneumonia. The second gifted us with a pulmonary embolism. Woohoo!

This doc is one of the first to believe us about Mother's unique and unpredictable medical history. We're 7 days from surgery at the moment and so far so good! Had a little incident in 4:30 am last night but things are still going in the right direction. We're very blessed at the moment!

Debra Dixon said...


I think playing in mom's/grandma's gowns are why these are still being produced.

I'm betting an anthopologist could do a whole paper on the cultural significance of night wear!

My niece is big into boxer shorts. In the height of summer, I usually go with the soft cotton gym shorts which are essentially boxers. (g)

Debra Dixon said...

Kathleen-- Barbie!! Who didn't want those great spike heals and feathered house "slippers?"

Yep. I'd wear me some of those around the house. (g) Except that I have a few peignoir sets that I've impulse-bought and I never wear them.

The soft t-shirts and comfy jammies always call my name.

Debra Dixon said...

Baby dolls!

That style was back with a vengence on several websites! Both the sexy-kitten and the cutie-patootie styles.

Debra Dixon said...


LOL! "What all the Northern chicks are wearing!"

I had some long-sleeved flannel gowns a long time ago and I seem to remember those being very comfortable/lovely to wander around in but the sleeping was a misery. I got all twisted up. I'm guessing I toss and turn more than you?

Debra Dixon said...

Cyndi-- Yep. I've got entries sitting here to process (coordinator)and to judge for a different category. But I'll worry about those later when I've actually slept more recently!

I'm a pull-over top convert as well! No buttons is just so much more comfy for sleep.

Shopping for Mother yesterday made me think it's time to update my style! I saw a pair of Thumper, shorty-short shorts pj's on Target's website. I'm not sure where I would put my butt but they were cute...

Playground Monitor said...

I wore baby dolls as a kid, then moved to flannel gowns and later cotton night shirts. Now it's all about the comfort and pants and a shirt is the most comfy for me. We had a cold snap a while back (Lois would probably think it was a heat wave but in Alabama 10 degrees is COLD) and I slept in a sweat suit and thick socks. We keep our heat down at night to save energy and I just add another layer as the temps drop. Heck, if I could get away with it, I'd buy some of those cute pajamas with feet I saw at Target. The husband would most likely have a cow, but he couldn't complain about me putting my cold feet on him. ::grin::

Debra Dixon said...

Marilyn-- My sister has had several pajamas with feet. She loves them! Assuming the stride is right. You pretty much have to be average height for those to work well. She had one pair that was a misery!

I've also had my nephew tell me that those "blanket/sleeves" concoction they are selling on the tv is way too thin to really be snuggly warm and your back is still very cold because it doesn't stay in place.

catslady said...

Not a one mentioned wearing your birthday suit! My mom would have had a heart attack but that was the first 15 years of marriage - then we had kids lol. I did have all the fancy nightgowns and babydolls and then they got a lot less fancy and then it was nightshirts for a long time and now I wear p.j.'s lol.

Estella said...

What nightwear? I have slept in my birthday suit, since marrying 48 years ago.

Debra Dixon said...

Catslady! ROFLMAO. You're right. We didn't include the all important B-day suit.

I suspect that many of us transitioned TO the B-day suit when we left home/married and then back to "covered" when the kids were old enough to name body parts!

Debra Dixon said...

Estella-- Yep. I totally forgot the "clothing optional" category for night gear! (g)

Christie Ridgway said...

My grandma had those kind of nightgowns in the dressup box too! My own mom was/is strictly flannel or cotton pajamas.

I spent my college years in Lanz nightgowns (worn backward, with the buttons at the back of the yoke at the front).

Now my favorite is Surfer Guy's XL T-shirts with sleep pants if weather necessitates. I do have some pretty nightie numbers but once they've served them, um, purpose, I slip into my cotton knit and go to sleep!

Barbara Samuel said...

I love this post! My mother and grandmother are southern women who both wear beautiful nightwear. Well, my grandmother has gone to the other side, but she still probably wears something red and lacy. I grew up with that as teh standard, and still love pretty nightgowns. Nothing scratchy, but definitely pretty. Even at conferences, I find I need something halfway pretty!

Debra Dixon said...

Christie-- I love how you could still be very specific about how the Lanz gown in college was worn. We are such creatures of habit and comfort. LOL!

We know what we like and it has to be that!

Debra Dixon said...

Hey, Sr. B!

I confess that I think there is a Southern nightgown gene. My sister and husband's sister and mother, etc. all own gowns bought because they are pretty. Who doesn't love a ribbon rose?

I do covet the embroidered, white lawn gowns. They are soooo thin and soft and just down right pretty. I do own one of those. :) I'm not a complete heathen.

Anonymous said...

I'm a t-shirt and gym shorts girl. Today's shirt is a hand painted one--a little large (comfy) and full of holes.
I wear them all year round.
I ran my mom's dress shop for years, and we did big biz with gowns.
I sold one once for a woman to be buried in. I told the woman buying it that it couldn't be returned if they tried it on and it didn't fit.

Betina Krahn said...

Deb. . . chiming in late here.

I'm always amazed at how specific people are about sleepwear-- including me. I'm not picky over many things, but sleepwear is at the top of the list. Must be a short gown, no sleeves, and must be made of silk or nylon or poly. . . whatever is satinny, slides easily, and doesn't bind. I'm a "hot" "active" sleeper. . . use just a sheet even in the dead of winter and I turn over a lot in my sleep. I love how t-shirts feel but they bunch and bind as I toss and turn and I end up awake and annoyed. So I stick with what works.

Kathy, I had baby dolls as a girl, too. And the long flannel gowns for winter-- must not have moved much at night. Occasionally there were my daddy's old t-shirts. . . Mom hoarded them and handed them out like treasured couture to us for sleeping. They usually were worn thin and probably had a hole or two, but I remember thinking they felt great... just the right weight for comfy sleeping.

Debra Dixon said...

Susan!!! LOL! The gown couldn't be returned if tried on a dead woman. Seems a reasonable returns policy to me!

My question is what do we do with our favorite tees when the holes begin to show up. I HATE that.

Debra Dixon said...

Betina-- I'm betting you could sleep in the OLD t-shirts because they were worn and smooth and had that silky feel a much used t-shirt gets over time. Sort of a patina, if you will.

Anonymous said...

I start wearing my favorite tees to bed when they get holes. Can't see the holes with your eyes shut anyway. ;)

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