What to Wear to Bed

Courtesy of journelle.comCourtesy of journelle.comElizabeth Siegel, Allure magazine

FOR STYLE

An interview with Olatz Schnabel, designer of Olatz, a line of sleepwear and fine linens, and owner of a boutique in New York City.

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I could never wear a raggedy old nightshirt to bed; whether or not anyone else sees it, it affects my mood. Though it's very personal, I like a spaghetti-strap slip or an oversize men's-style pajama top without the pants, which just feel like too much fabric. The pajamas should be soft silk or linen. In the winter, I love slips in right colors like red, burgundy, chocolate brown, deep green, or slate blue, and in the summer, I wear white, pale colors such as baby pink, or summer colors like yellow, orange, and turquoise. A hint of French lace gives a slip a feminine look, like something you'd see on a glamorous film star in the '50s.

FOR SEX

An interview with Claire Chambers, the owner of the Journelle lingerie shops in New York City. She blogs at journell.com.

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A negligee that hits at mid-thigh is the perfect combination of comfortable and sexy. You want it to skim your hips but not be tight, or else it will bunch up. The best fabrics are silk or something soft and stretchy, like modal, a kind of rayon. Go for sheer cups or lace paneling, which add an understated naughtiness without making you feel like you're wearing a French-maid costume. A lot of women want breast support even when they're sleeping, in which case I steer them to nightgowns with double vertical seams in the cups for extra lift. Though I would never go for a non-underwire bra during the day, a mesh bralet is sexy but not confining.

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FOR BETTER SLEEP

An interview with Phyllis Zee, a professor of neurology and the director of the Center for Sleep at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

Some people think that bundling up is cozy, but you need to balance hot and cold. One of the biological signals that you're ready for sleep is when your core temperature goes down. You'll notice your fingers and toes getting warmer as blood flows to your extremities, which is how your body releases heat. Taking a hot shower an hour before bed helps warm your hands and feet, speeding up the process. Then get into loose, lightweight clothing in breathable, natural fabrics that allow your body's heat to dissipate. A pair of thin socks will also help your internal temperature drop.


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