This week we introduced our first cohesive seven-piece apparel collection for Fall/Winter 2018, aptly named Beach Pajamas. Handmade of sumptuously soft 100% natural double gauze cotton in five soulfully neutral hues, each piece coordinates with the others for the ultimate in cozy pairings. Collect them all and you’re set (pun intended) with an entire new PJ and resort capsule wardrobe that can be worn between the sheets, poolside, or on the sand.
Melany wears our Perrine Playsuit and Bruna Robe in Sand on the Malibu Pier looking right at home among late rising tourists and Pepperdine students skipping class.
While Beach Pajamas is a clever name that perfectly describes the collection, we can’t take credit for coming up with it. It’s a somewhat overlooked apparel category with a rich history in women’s fashion and empowerment that inspired our full embrace. As we researched creating a multifunctional resort/leisure/sleepwear collection we learned that there was a time when pajamas ruled the fashion world. And it all started at the beach! What’s more, in all of fashion history there was no trend more liberating for women.
A few daring women wearing beach pajamas circa 1934. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
One of the major forces of change was Coco Chanel, who had already established herself among the fashionable jet set in France as early as 1918. While vacationing with her wealthy gentleman friend in the French Riviera she started a powerful trend. Failing to find any resort clothing that met her style, she borrowed his clothes, wearing baggy wide-legged pants with loose fitting or sleeveless shirts. This was inspiration for her first resort collection, which started a trend among resort-going women in the early 1920s wanting to emulate her style and grace with the chic ease and comfort of these clothes.
Melany wears our Perrine Playsuit in Sand and Bruna Robe in Sky. Fun fact: Melany is an accomplished classical pianist who prefers Beethoven to Beyoncé.
The backdrop of this trend went even deeper. In the recovery years after World War I, a trip to the coast cemented your place with the “in crowd.” Weekend trips and vacations to the beach were aspirational, and signified freedom from the drab post-war existence of many. The transgressive nature of the beach ensured it was easier to make daring fashion choices that might have been unacceptable back at home. The beach pajamas trend is notable because it allowed women to wear liberating clothing (like pants!) at a time when that was still fairly shocking everywhere else. The result was a phenomenon not unlike Coachella these days, where showing off your outfits was just as essential as the event itself. Promenading on the boardwalk had such social significance that many consider the beach as the first catwalk.
Ella and Melany are just pretending to point and look interested, they've been to the pier tons of times. Both wearing the Carmen Cami and Pant and channeling the vintage poster to the right.
As a beach lifestyle brand, there was a whole lot of research and reflection behind our decision to take the leap into what some would call “sleepwear” as our first cohesive apparel collection. But as my Grandma Mae (aka Hamabla!) would say, we “came by it honest.” As it turns out, our first apparel items- the caftans and slip dresses we are known for, were becoming sleeper hits (the puns just keep on coming!) as pajamas for our customers. The softness of the double gauze cotton and comfortable design all lent itself perfectly to sleepwear. Add in the history of beach pajamas, and it was a match made in heaven.
Melany wears our Suzel Slip in Charcoal. The sneakers are her own.
Our interpretation is much more understated and decidedly less shocking, but the inspiration holds true. Classic, comfortable, modern and enduring, beach pajamas are here to stay regardless of trend or season. Get to know them. They will be your wardrobe besties for lazy Sundays, snowy winter mornings, coffee runs, indulgent nights in, and summer days on the sand.