Posted By Ben Manassah
On the benefits of linen and why proper pajamas are underrated
If you’re anything like me, it’s likely you haven’t owned actual pajamas since you were a kid. I’m not talking about the odd pair of sweatpants paired with a T-shirt from some long-passed charity event. I’m talking about a matching set. With buttons.
I never had myself pinned as the sort of guy to have pajamas with buttons, but for years now my girlfriend has been overly keen on the idea of matching outfits. Despite her best efforts to align our wardrobe choices, I’ve stood firm. It’s been a line I haven’t been willing to cross. However, last year I’d had my eye on some particularly beautiful - and unisex - BuyMeOnce PJs: 100% pure French linen, mottled gray with impeccable navy piping, made by flax experts Piglet.
I surprised her on Christmas morning, and we drank cocktails in our crisp matching threads. I thought I’d simply splashed out on some nice loungewear, with cute and thoughtful boyfriend points thrown in. But little did I know the extent to which these linen pajamas would take over my life.
After spending pretty much the entirety of the Christmas holidays in my Piglet pajamas (I had actually grown way more attached to them than my girlfriend had), existing in a state of perfect comfort became addictive. Whereas beforehand I tended not to change clothes until bedtime, I had become someone who comes back from work and jumps straight into jammies. The welcoming embrace of high-quality stonewashed linen became an essential part of my evening unwinding routine, and I loved it.
For those of you not familiar with the feeling of being entirely flax-clad, I’ll elaborate on exactly why it’s so special. Firstly, pure linen is not only incredibly breathable and lightweight, it also keeps you warm in the cold, and cool in the heat. For someone who can’t stand overheating in bed, this is a revelation.
Secondly, when you wear these pajamas for the first time after washing, they feel so crisp and clean, like slipping into fresh sheets. Then after a short while, they ‘break in’ to amazing softness. I can’t describe how comforting this experience is. They’ve become dramatically softer and softer over time too - a claim I remember reading, but has still managed to surprise me.
The pajamas themselves are beautifully made. With a roomy, relaxed fit (cut the same for men and women), the fine detailing takes them to the next level. With white pearl buttons and neat piping along hems, a luxurious touch is added to the tactile linen fabric. I don’t bother ironing them, but just hang them to dry - I love the somewhat wrinkly look they get. It somehow adds to their comforting nature, and they always keep their shape.
And, one last thing I’ve found out recently - linen is a sustainable crop. Growing flax requires far less water than cotton (rainfall tends to suffice), and very little fertiliser. It’s a rotation crop, farmed naturally in small batches, and every part of the plant can be used. The long fibres of the flax plant are inherently durable, and the resulting luxurious fabric is highly resistant to pilling or misshaping. This means your clothes will last and last.
Fast forward three months from Christmas. It’s now March 25th, the country is in lockdown and fortunately, I’m able to work remotely. I’m doing work, and thus not wearing my Piglet pajamas, though I wish I was. As soon as I shut my laptop, I jump straight into them. This is because I have effectively Pavloved myself into associating my PJs with downtime.
If you’re also new to working from home full-time, you may be struggling with your routine. It’s not an easy task differentiating work and home when you spend all day in one place. For this reason, I can’t recommend enough the rediscovery of pajamas. They’ve become an essential part of my work-from-home routine, helping me separate out my downtime with a pleasurable ritual. In a pretty significant way, my Piglet PJs are helping me stay sane and comfy, and in times like these, you can’t really put a price on that.
Shop the full Piglet collection here.