Styling Vintage Nightgowns

If I look up from where I’m sitting in my living room, I can easily spot several useless but pretty items I’ve collected over the years: an empty french cookie tin, glass candle jars with nothing but a stub of wick and a thin film of wax at the bottom, a beer bottle with a minimalist design that I now use to display a single dried leaf. I find it impossible to part with these items because they’re too pretty for the trash bin. Once every few months, I’ll get overwhelmed with the clutter and purge some stuff from my stash. But, without fail, a few months later I’ll have another budding collection of tiny glass jars and artfully designed boxes.

One item I consistently gravitate towards even though I have little use for it is a pretty vintage nightgown. I’m always cold when I sleep, so I prefer to wear something more cozy than a gown. Many of my prettiest sleepwear pieces have therefore spent years balled up in the back of a drawer, but time and time again I would leave the thrift store with another lacy gown to add to my collection.

I eventually decided that I needed to change my approach to these pieces and rethink how I could use them. Since then, I’ve started trying to style my vintage nightgowns in ways that can be worn out of the house and look more appropriate for day to day.

If you’ve never thought about thrifting sleepwear and want to start, or if you have a bunch of nighties you never wear, here are my four top ways to style a nightgown for daily wear!

1. Layer it over bike shorts and a tight tee.


2. Tuck it into jeans to make it look like a camisole.


3. Tie it up for a cropped cut.

DSC_3516 3

4. Dress it up with makeup and accessories. Slip dresses are very trendy for dressy occasions right now—no one has to know you got this one in the sleepwear section!


How do you like to style vintage sleepwear? Let me know in the comments!

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Shea is the photographer, artist, and blogger behind She lives in Madrid, Spain teaching English and traveling through Europe. When she isn’t awkwardly taking photos of herself in public places with her tripod, Shea enjoys drawing, eating ice cream, talking about her dog, and watching 30 Rock all the way through for the 18th time.

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