Today, ladies' nightwear is sold in a wide variety of styles. With so many styles from which to choose, it is nearly impossible to imagine a time before specialized nightwear. Yet for most of human history, nightwear was not a separate category of clothing. Provided here is a brief history of ladies' nightwear.

Chemises can be traced to the tunic-like garments worn in ancient cultures. By the Middle Ages, the chemise had developed into an early form of underwear. The long garments protected clothing from sweat and body oils, and were the only clothing items to be washed on a regular basis.

Chemises were also worn for sleeping. Both men and women simply removed their outer garments and slept in their chemises. In the morning, they put the outer clothing back on.

Negligees are believed to be the first widely distributed example of ladies' nightwear. The first negligee was introduced in France in the 1700s. At the time, the revolutionary new garment was designed to serve a utilitarian purpose. It was long and heavy, as were the gowns of the era.

Negligees kept pace with dress styles, and in the 1920s they began to mirror the short satin evening dresses that were then popular. These shorter and lighter ladies' nightwear pieces were definitely sexy, but were not specifically designed as such. It was not until after World War II that negligees were designed as sexy lingerie pieces.


Around the turn of the 20th century, nightshirts and nightgowns evolved as a natural successor to the practice of sleeping in chemises. Nightshirts are generally simply designed, mid-thigh length shirts. Dorm shirts are a more recent innovation, featuring cartoon characters or slogans. Dorm shirts are popular for modesty in mixed-gender living environments.

Nightgowns vary widely in design. In modern times, the lines between negligees and nightshirts have been heavily blurred. In general, nightgowns are longer and heavier, perhaps made of cotton or flannel. Negligees are shorter and sexier, in sensual fabrics like silk.

The original pyjamas can be traced to at least the 17th century in South and West Asia. By the 18th century, British missionaries had adopted the style as sleepwear for men and boys. In the early 20th century, pyjamas replaced nightshirts as the usual sleepwear style for males in the UK.

However, it was not until much later that pyjamas became a popular form of sleepwear for females in Western society. Although previously available, pyjamas did not begin to outstrip nightgowns in sales until the mid-1980s. Today, pyjamas are available for women in a wide variety of styles and colours. Pyjamas pants with a T-shirt or tank top have now become a popular outerwear style as well, particularly for teens and young adults.

Lingerie Styles
Today, nearly anything can be worn as ladies' nightwear. However, many women love silk lingerie styles for their luxurious sex appeal. You can find nightwear versions of all sorts of sexy lingerie items.

Since the development of the chemise, ladies' nightwear has been through many changes. The nightwear of today offers a blend of comfort and luxury in a range of styles. Many women own a small lingerie collection that features both practical and sexy pieces. In this way, they are prepared for any occasion.

Author's Bio: 

Amanda Cotterill has been involved in the erotic lingerie uk market for many years. This article outlines the benefits of women wearing silk lingerie as if that needed much explaining! Please include this credit if you use this article.