What Every Man Should Wear To Bed

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What Every Man Should Wear To Bed

Words by Mr Adam Welch

12 November 2015

Staying in? Upgrade your sleepwear from humdrum to beatific with MR PORTER’s selection of lights-out pyjamas and loungewear.

How would you feel if we told you that for 30 per cent of your life, you are horribly dressed. Upset? We imagine so. But this statistic is largely true, given the default position of most men on the things (besides other people) that they decide to take to bed with them. Before you retire this evening, ask yourself: “Will that ratty vest and those stale boxer shorts I’ve been wearing all day really do for the next six to eight hours, however out of it I might be? Don’t I owe myself a little luxury during this important and essential segment of my existence? In fact, don’t I need an excuse, in these frenetic times of ours, to turn in a little bit easier?” If your answer to any of the above questions is “Yes” or “Hmm, tell me more…” or even “Wow, I’d never thought of that before but you’re absolutely right,” then scroll down, and come one step closer to that zen-like state we in the trade call “owning the perfect pyjamas”. You can thank us later.

Chances are, unless you’ve thrown in the towel completely and set up a utopian commune in some exotic, off-the-grid location, you spend most of the livelong day with your reddening eyeballs fixed to some kind of digital screen. Here’s an idea, then: turn your bedroom into a device-free zone, and carve out an hour every so often to tuck yourself into bed with a book. Not only will you learn something (besides what shape Ms Kim Kardashian’s eyebrows are today), you may even find the ritual strangely comforting. Appropriate attire for such intellectual, yet calming, pursuits can be found from Sleepy Jones, the New York loungewear brand helmed by Mr Andy Spade, which offers designs inspired by the loose clothing favoured by thoughtful types such as Messrs George Plimpton and Pablo Picasso. Thanks to the pleasing stripes (very Picasso, those) and soft cotton flannel, the pair of pyjamas above provides the perfect night-time solution for body and mind.

Bathing (in the literal sense of the word) is another activity that many busy men do not make the time for. Which is a shame. Beyond being a great way to relieve post-gym muscle tension and clear the mind before bed, soaking in a hot bath also has an exfoliating effect, which makes for soft skin and lessens the likelihood of ingrown hairs on your body. Of course, there are baths and then there are baths, and the best way to take yours to the next level is to invest in a few key extras. So here’s how you do it: before you get in, light a candle, perhaps this Orientalist variety from Tom Dixon. Stew in hot water for a good 30 minutes at least before getting out and applying liberal amounts of Aēsop’s Rind Concentrate Body Balm. Its potent fragrance should nicely complement the citrus notes of the candle, but more importantly it will help to maintain all the good work the hot water has done to your skin. Lastly, throw on this robe and proceed to loaf about – it’s the lazy way to get dry, but laziness is what a good bath is all about.

If you’re the kind of man who needs to be sharply dressed no matter what percentage of you is covered up by a duvet, you should look no further, when it comes to nightwear, than Derek Rose. A family-run concern, established in 1926, this British brand is renowned for producing high-end pyjamas (and the rest) for the most discerning of clients. This satin-y striped pair, woven in fine, breathable cotton for a luxuriant next-to-skin feel is a prime example of the company’s expertise, with a decadent, early 20th-century aesthetic that’s as timeless as a Drake’s silk tie. Keep it classic (and save others from the rather uncouth sight of your bare feet) with a pair of the brand’s leisurely leather slippers and a spritz of the new No.33 Cologne from Penhaligon’s – another British institution.

Some might bristle at the idea of “sleepwear”. Others might think it poor taste to lounge around all evening in sweatpants and a T-shirt. But those who find themselves spinning round in circles in between the two schools of thought should look instead to Mr Oliver Spencer, which has created a collection of loungewear (think of it as “un-pyjamas”) exclusive to MR PORTER that fills a niche for presentable, yet utterly comfortable, clothing that’s as suitable for an evening loafing around at home as it is for the Saturday-morning milk run. For a foolproof way to cool off and calm down after a hard day’s work, try throwing on this half-placket shirt with a pair of slouchy but presentable drawstring trousers from the same collection, and tune into Revo’s award-winning SuperConnect radio. With this wireless device, you can listen to crystal-clear DAB or FM stations, access your personal music collection online or stream Spotify’s comprehensive back catalogue.

OK, let’s keep this short and sweet for you ruthlessly efficient types. Presumably, it galls you that, while you snooze away every evening, you’re wasting precious man-hours that could be spent formulating your next big business idea, or learning a fourth language, or ruthlessly following people on Instagram, unfollowing all those who don’t follow you back instantly (this is a real strategy, folks). It should therefore warm your flinty hearts to learn that, with the aid of a decent moisturiser, you can actually do something productive (for your skin, at least), while you’re unconscious at night. A good night cream, such as the example above from Baxter of California, will deliver intense moisture to your skin while you sleep. This is a crucial grooming step – as you don’t eat or drink while catching Zs this is a period during which you can get horribly dehydrated, waking up with a rather dull and crispy skin tone. Seeing as you’re all about efficiency, you shouldn’t need more clothes-wise than a T-shirt and some shorts. Just do yourself a favour and invest in some nice ones.

It’s not happened yet (in the UK at least), but it’s inevitably going to be unutterably freezing this winter, so now is the time to get ahead of the rush and bag some quality thermals. And, let’s be honest, a blanket. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend the season curled up like a frontierland farm hand. Actually, the fact that a brand as streetwise and contemporary as OAMC has seen fit to issue a wool throw this winter speaks volumes as to the compatibility of modern life and old-fashioned home comforts. Just please respect others by buying a waffle-textured Henley top and thermals in different, but complementary, colours. Saving on the heating bills is one thing. Looking like an adult baby is another.

If only all evenings could be spent poking gnarly sticks at a roaring fire in your country mansion. In reality, many of us, especially those involved in international business, are just as likely to spend the winter nights sleeping up in the air as on the ground. And everyone knows what an unpleasant experience that tends to be. Soften the blow by bringing your own, superior answer to the in-flight kit in the form of a warm cashmere cardigan (buttoned, not zipped) that you can slump into as you ascend to 30,000 feet. Merino sweatpants from John Smedley will prevent you suffering from the various unsightly swelling effects of lowered air pressure, while Armand Diradourian’s fantastic new cashmere and silk eye mask will ensure you see no evil, in the form of that person sitting next to you, looking expectantly as if they’re ready for a conversation. Urgh.