You can nap in a bathing suit. You can nap in pajamas. You can nap in whatever you’re wearing when you fall asleep on the couch and wake up at 2 a.m. with all the lights on.
But chances are you won’t look nearly as much like a “Victorian ghost” in any of those things as you will in a nap dress.
The “nap dress,” is a term trademarked by Hill House Home founder Nell Diamond in January, before the pandemic officially gained recognition in the U.S. The luxury bedding brand has an entire shop dedicated to the dress ― which is not a nightgown. It is structured enough to actually be worn out, and is made for lounging. It will not, as far as we know, stop you from drooling or snoring. It will not pay your bills or clear your skin. But a nap dress could elevate your nap aesthetic.
And in a pandemic, that may very well be enough.
Nap dresses are flowy and cozy, perfect for the person who loves the concept of naps more than the actual practice and for those who, much like athleisure enthusiasts, are at the point of lockdown where they want to get dressed without actually getting dressed. Of course, nap dresses are also perfect for Instagram.
The Internet discourse is split on the term. New Yorker staff writer Rachel Syme, who recently interviewed Diamond and revealed that she purchased one after being stalked by the dress for a year on social media, called them “a clean slate, white noise, a gauzy, brief escape for those who can afford it.” For reference, the Hill House Home version will set you back $75 which is not that offensive if you do, in fact, intend to wear it besides at nap time. The Cut responded with its own extremely relatable piece aptly titled, “My Nap Dress is a Big Old T-Shirt.”
The Nap Dress aesthetic fits into a certain nap narrative ― a napative, if you will. It evokes the sense that your nap was taken peacefully in a four-poster bed with plush pillows and a soft country breeze trickling in through the shutters. Not a dark, loudly air-conditioned room that has an episode of “Real Housewives” playing in the background while you’re doom-scrolling Twitter.
But that’s the thing about anything you wear to sleep ― no one besides you and whoever you’re sleeping with has to know about it.
Unless you put it on Instagram. Which you most certainly would, if only you had a nap dress.
So, no. You do not need a nap dress. But with heatwaves persisting and an indeterminate amount of time that we’re going to be creating content from the comfort of our own homes ― you might just want one.
Here are a few of our favorites:
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