The World of Loungewear

In the film playing during the V&A exhibit “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear”, the creative director for La Perla said “…Loungewear is the perfect bridge between the inner and the outer world. It's a way to take out the boundaries and to allow people to feel good.”
This so perfectly encapsulates the way that Europeans view loungewear. While Americans tend to see nightwear as garments to be worn only during a period of sleep, the European sensibility stretches them to a far greater range of wearability. And with such beautifully designed pieces, why wouldn’t there be?

In Europe, loungewear is intended to be worn throughout the full process of relaxation. Upon returning home in the evening, many immediately change into their chosen lounge ensemble, a sure indicator that the workday is done and that the time has come to enter a more languid mental space. Kaftans, gowns and pajamas are frequently styled and worn for entertaining in the home, whether it’s cooking a meal for houseguests or hosting an intimate cocktail party. A swath of lipstick, kitten-heeled boudoir slipper and jewelry elevates even the simplest of lounge to the height of casual chic.
Often, European designers create nightwear pieces entirely for this purpose. Madame Aime and Elise Anderegg are French designers whose creations are clearly intended to bridge the gap between the home and the external world, and Italian brands Morpho + Luna and Grazia’lliani’s aesthetics are equally fluid. This is another reason for the huge popularity of kaftans in European culture: comfort and modesty are assured, and their easy glamour and elegant drape can be styled for virtually any occasion.

Outside the home, lingerie and lounge are equally prevalent. The “lingerie as outerwear” trend currently sweeping the nation originated with the fashionable women in Europe (albeit centuries ago), and is as engrained in their national style as blue jeans are in the US. Lounge trousers worn out on the town, a pajama top styled as a blouse, the hint of lace intentionally shown through a sheer blouse – these are all commonplace wardrobe choices that would never raise an eyebrow.
This sensibility is completely in line with the Jane’s Vanity mindset, and we frequently order with these styling possibilities in mind. Who wouldn’t love to host a party in their home wearing the Rue de Mauvais Garcons pajamas? How could someone resist styling Olivia Von Halle’s playful patterned tops with a pencil skirt and dramatic heel? Elise Anderegg’s coquettish styles are all perfectly suited for a cocktail party with a bit of Holly Golightly flare. All it takes is an open mind for the multitudes of styling possibilities in any lounge collection to begin to appear.

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