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The Dawn of Pajamas

Daria Perse

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Sometime around 1920s everything was changing rapidly in the world of lingerie. For the first time machine-made underwear became a lot more affordable price-wise while still being made out of the same fine and luxury fabrics as the high-end hand-made undergarments.

During the thirties, fitness became fashionable and under the pressure from the hungry-for-change customers, manufacturers finally started producing smaller, lighter and foremost - better-fitting lingerie.

At the same time new fabrics (nylon and elastane) were introduced and they were a perfect match for the rising era of new - fitted underclothes. Women wanted more flexible foundations and all the basics were transforming into their lightest form yet.

Sleepwear was changing as well. Made out of transparent fabrics, with round or V necks, night-gowns became narrower and more revealing. Fashionable Oriental kimonos had richly quilted cuffs and collars while dressing jackets were hip-level long but short-lived as the new star (pajama) took over the stage.

‘For years women have surreptitiously been stealing men's stuff. . . pyjamas are now by far the smartest form of negligee. ’ (Vogue, 1924)

Pajamas were made out of all kinds of fancy fabrics (satin, cretonne, velvet, crepe, lame etc. ) in bright colors as well as pinks and flesh tones; some even stayed true to their Persian origins in coloring, print and metallic thread embroidery.

Probably the most unusual fact from this era when traveling was very fashionable is that couture houses (couture = dressmaking, sewing or needlework) of the time were making the complete bed-sets (sheets, cushions, sheets, coverlets and even sleeping bags) to match lingerie sets. In one of its issues from that time period Vogue stated, ‘The smart woman travels with lovely lingerie and amusing pyjamas in her train. '

That, of course, was just the beginning of the PJ's popularity. At first they only replaced the nightgowns since they were so much more comfortable and easy to care for. But soon after that the form of pajama was used for lounging, beachwear, evening wear and sportswear.

Today, PJ is just as popular as it was when first introduced decades ago. We have the bigger variety of materials available than ever before, more solid colors and prints than ever before, décor is only limited with the imagination of the designers, but the form remains - timeless.

Copyright © 2006 by Daria Perse. All rights reserved.

Daria Perse is a founder of webpage. With years of experiences in underwear manufacturing and selling business she is a rich source of information regarding all kinds of undergarments.

Discover 10 tips that every woman must know when it comes to choosing, wearing and sharing for lingerie at:


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