By Julie Neigher
Special to the Los Angeles Times
December 12, 2010
Somehow the holiday season brings out the urge to get cozy. Maybe that's why nightwear is a perennial favorite gift this time of year. Or maybe it's because it lends itself to stress-free shopping. After all, how many times can you give your brother-in-law a "make your own beer kit" or your mom an electric cheese grater? But almost everyone (except the most die-hard of nudists) seems to appreciate the versatility and comfort of jammies.
Choices are plentiful. How about a limited-edition designer chemise from La Perla? Or mix 'n' match pieces from J.Crew that won't draw heavily on your purse strings? Lovers of vintage wear will feel dreamy in 1930s-style nightgowns so glam they can double as evening dresses. We even discovered a bespoke shop that will create any style you desire — for your pet.
Do you already feel the stress of shopping drifting away? Check out the following ideas for everyone on your list.
>>>The Way We Wore is the equivalent of an all-you-can-eat candy shop for vintage lovers. Owner Doris Raymond has been scouting the world for more than three decades snapping up pieces that always elicit the drop-jawed question, "How did you find that?" You'll be asked, with utter delight, the same question when you give this one-of-a-kind sleepwear. The shop sells nightgowns, peignoirs, tap pants, robes and chemises from the roaring 1920s through the colorful 1980s. Raymond recently discovered more than 100 pieces of unworn, still-tagged Pucci and Christian Dior nightwear from the 1970s. But the breathtaking 1930s handmade silk nightgowns are on our tick-list. (Many are so luxurious that Raymond has sold them to customers to wear for black-tie affairs.) Vintage sleepwear is the present to offer those who seemingly own everything.
Never-worn Pucci three-piece camisole, tap pants and slip (available as a set or to be sold as separates) starting from $100; 1980s unlabelled robe with ostrich feather detail, $150; variety of 1930s silk and lace nightgowns, starting at $400. The Way We Wore, 334 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 937-0878.
>>>Yana Syrkin, owner of boutique Fifi & Romeo, has provided an atelier for the last decade to an unusual array of clients: canines, cats, even rabbits. Devoted owners have brought their beloved pets to be kitted out in chic fashions and accessories. Syrkin, former costume designer for "Ally McBeal," creates bespoke matching outfits not just for Fido, Fluffy and Bugs, but for humans too so you can present the devoted pet owner of your choice with a matching outfit in a two-legged design. And Syrkin, shown on the cover, loves to play the pajama game. Robes for you and your pooch? No problem. She'll even make matching lingerie. Her celebrity clientele includes Cameron Diaz, Tori Spelling (who recently had two cashmere tuxedos made for her pugs) and even royalty — Prince Charles is on the client list.
Prices begin at $116. Fifi & Romeo, 7282 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 857-7215.
>>>Ever since he conjured up the iconic cone-shaped bra Madonna rocked on stage, French designer Jean Paul Gaultier has provided the ultimate in theatrical and sexy silhouettes for women. For the holidays, Gaultier has collaborated with luxe-label La Perla to design a collection of limited-edition lingerie and sleepwear. Sophisticated and sexy, it's the ultimate "wow factor" for any lady love. Our favorite is the sheer silk chemise. Accented with Gaultier-signature stitching, it covers (almost) all the right places. A guaranteed smile from les femmes and a guaranteed grin from les garcons too.
Silk chemise, $913. From the La Perla Jean Paul Gaultier "Collection Createur." Complete collection available at La Perla, 433 N. Rodeo Drive, (310) 860-0561, as well as at Neiman Marcus stores nationwide.
>>>A nightgown that doubles as a dress? You betcha. Anthropologie sells sleepwear that customers have been sporting as outerwear. It's all about versatility. This "dress" is actually a chemise. Made from cotton, the holly-hued piece is as carefree to wear as it is easy to launder. The adjustable straps and tie-waist allow for either a fitted or a more relaxed look. How perfect for the gal who oversleeps? Cinch the waist, throw on some heels, and voila, you're sorted out for work or a lunch date. A word to the wise: No matter how versatile your outfit, it won't cure bed-head.
"Meadow Dreams" chemise by Fleurette, $68. Available at most Anthropologie stores or online.
>>>Winter bride? Not a problem. Though this sheer, French-lace kimono isn't likely to protect from the elements, it'll certainly heat up any honeymoon boudoir. Matched with a satin tie belt finished with floral lace edging, every detail is an antidote to Bridezilla behavior. And the outfit is actually quite demure for the normally risqué Agent Provocateur. You might recognize Kate Moss, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daisy Lowe, Lily Allen and Dita Von Teese — photographed primarily in dominatrix or burlesque mode — as former faces (and bodies) for the British luxe label.
"Matinee" kimono (also available in black), $900. Agent Provocateur, 7961 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 653-0229. Full collection available online.
>>>Pour l'homme: Brooks Brothers has a slamming collection of sleepwear featuring a mix of plush and classic styles. If the gent you're gifting is into a high-sartorial style of sleeping, then you might want to consider the Silk Paisley Pajamas. These babies even come with their own matching fabric bag to keep the set pristine. However, if your dude is into simple, crisp, functional PJs, then the Wrinkle-Free Oxfords are the ideal bet. Just toss 'em in the washer and dryer (they're 100% cotton), and they'll come out wrinkle-free. Perfect for business trips or for the chap who's phobic about ironing.
Luxury Paisley Pajamas in navy, $298; Wrinkle-Resistant Oxford Pajamas in blue or white, $79.50 (and monogramming is available as an option for this set). Available at Brooks Brothers at 468 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 274-4003. You can also order by calling (800) 274-1815 or by going online.
>>>Holiday-themed clothing can be so passé. (How many reindeer sweaters do you see collecting dust at vintage stores?) But for those who love to get into the holiday spirit, sans cheesiness, Hanna Andersson sells understated pajamas for the whole family. Snag one-piece sleepers for the baby or long johns for Dad. Sets in red, green and white color combinations are perfect for the Yuletide season. The same designs also come in neutral palettes to wear all year. Another bonus: All of the sleepwear is made of organic cotton. You can be just as "green" as a Christmas tree, even in your thermals.
Pajamas range from $35, for a baby sleeper, to $48 for a full-length nightgown. Hanna Andersson. 279 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. (949) 759-0153.
>>>For many, the daunting challenge of shopping during the holidays can morph them into the Grinch. The best solution is a mix 'n' match approach that eliminates the need to obsess over one choice. Marissa Webb, head of women's design at J. Crew, said, "One of my favorite gift ideas is our sleepwear.... The mixing of textures, even when dressing down, is key to looking casually chic." With a selection of woven and flannel cotton boxers and lounge pants, you can choose from an array of colors and patterns. And remember, these items aren't just for guys. Tartan and gingham look equally awesome (and feel just as cozy) on girls too. The price is budget-friendly. You can snag two pairs of boxers for $28. Just throw a T-shirt or two into the mix (the brand offers a rainbow of unusual hues), and you've got a potpourri of options and a Grinch-proof gift. Boxers begin at $16 and lounge pants at $39.50. Tees range from $9.99 to $29.50, depending on color and style. Tip: To further reduce any shopping stress, you can call (800) 261-7422 to arrange for a complimentary personal shopper.
J. Crew at the Grove, 189 the Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 939-1070.