Ask Design Mom: Classic Nightgowns

December 17, 2012

Question:
Hi Gabrielle. Where have beautiful little nightgowns gone? Two of my daughters (11, 13) would love a nightgown for Christmas. You know: flannel, old-fashioned, actually pretty. Does that even exist except for in my imagination? — Liz

Answer:
Great question, Liz. I actually get this question more often than you might think — classic nightgowns are hard to find! I’ve got two sources for you today. Land’s End is carrying a pretty flannel option right this minute. And I just heard about Auraley. It’s a UK line of “luxurious” nightwear for both girls and boys. The prices aren’t as reasonable as the Lands’ End option, but the photos are certainly swoon-worthy. : )

Tell me, Dear Readers: Any favorite sources for classic nightgowns? And speaking of nightwear, are new pajamas on Christmas Eve one of your family traditions? Did you find any cute ones this year?

P.S. — If you’re looking for grownup sleepwear, I recommend classic men’s pjs.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marielle December 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

Lanz night gowns–The Vermont Country Store and elsewhere. Google is your friend!

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2 Elizabethe December 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

The American Girl website has a couple of nice ones.

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3 Linda K December 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

Yes, my childhood tradition, and now my childrens’, is that on Christmas Eve we got to open two presents – one was always new pyjamas, the other was always a book!

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4 SEC December 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

Boden in the UK does some.

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5 becky December 17, 2012 at 10:02 am

etsy.com has some good options. i just typed in flannel nightgown for girls – lots of options and some really sweet…plus you are supporting crafters and small business owners. just an idea.

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6 Raleigh-Elizabeth December 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

You can still by the old, pretty Lanz nightgowns (we all remember them, right?) through the Vermont country store! The nightgowns (still with the eyelet trim) and the sleep sets, too!

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7 margaux December 17, 2012 at 10:45 am

i second lanz nightgowns and pajamas! my daughter’s xmas pjs are these: http://www.bestdressedchild.com/laofsaingire.html

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8 Raleigh-Elizabeth December 17, 2012 at 10:48 am

oh my gosh, that is too cute.

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9 kage December 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

Ditto to Marielle, and also I have had custom gowns made from sewers on etsy. I used Melanie for some white cotton gowns….convo her. http://www.etsy.com/people/itshandmadebymelanie

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10 kage December 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

I also like garnet hill kids

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11 Iren December 17, 2012 at 10:55 am

I love to buy at “The little white company” all the nightdresses and Pyjamas for my girls. For example this one: http://www.thewhitecompany.com/the-little-white-company-girls/girls-nightwear/emily-heart-jersey-nightdress/

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12 Erin December 17, 2012 at 10:56 am

I bought the Lands End version with the simple Christmas scene. It is very soft and simple, exactly what I was looking for…I bet the red one they have left is nice as well.

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13 Rachel Carter Swan December 17, 2012 at 11:03 am

After a few weeks of searching, I bought a few simple nightgowns for my daughter from the Etsy shop Puddin’ Pies Clothing – they are beautifully made! 100% cotton, available in long or short sleeves, and incredibly affordable at $25. Also, they smell really good! I actually messaged the shop owner this morning to find out what kind of garment spray she uses!

Here is the link:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/113148073/long-sleeved-vintage-nightgown-available?ref=v1_other_1

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14 nicole h December 17, 2012 at 11:05 am

Just got one for my daughter from macys. She loves nightgowns and i hate disney or any ugly character stuff so this was the best of both worlds! I can’t wait to give it to her for Christmas Eve!

(Sorry for the big ugly link..)
http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/so-jenni-kids-pajamas-girls-little-girls-flannel-holiday-nightgown?ID=738248&CategoryID=53083&LinkType=#fn=GENDER%3DFemale%26sp%3D2%26spc%3D51%26ruleId%3D65%26slotId%3D34

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15 Jamaica December 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

There are some cute ones in the Hanna andersson catalogue, but I think they are the flame resistant material rather than flannel.

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16 Christina December 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

We’ve purchased the Hanna Andersson nightgowns for my daughter for a couple of years now (she’s 9). They are flame-resistant, but still very soft and snuggly. Last year’s was softer than the year before’s, so I know they keep improving the “soft” factor. They are lovely and always go on sale!

http://www.hannaandersson.com/style.asp?from=SC|3|4|24|311|10||&simg=39339_B60

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17 jess December 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

Is the problem, that pretty cozy flannel nightgowns don’t meet the strict flame retardant standards for children’s sleepwear? I looked at the Land’s End one which is very pretty & then noticed it is polyester…that made me think it must be due to safety requirements.

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18 Nutmegg December 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I noticed that, too. I absolutely abhor polyester, and am at my wit’s end trying to find some nice (affordable) COTTON pajamas.

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19 Allison Profeta December 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

This may sound funny – but http://www.americangirl.com has beautiful options! We’ve gotten a few for my step-daughter over the years and found them to be high quality, gorgeous, and timeless! This was one of her favorites: http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/html/item/id/167903/uid/923

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20 Shalee December 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

My friend makes and sells beautiful nightgowns! She will also do the matching doll nightgowns. Both my girls are getting these for Christmas this year and I can’t wait!! Check out her etsy page!!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lavenderave?ga_search_query=nightgowns&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_vintage_rewrite=handmade+nightgowns&ga_original_query=2&ga_search_type=all&ref=sr_gallery_25

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21 Jennifer Milton December 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I actually really like the American Girl nightgowns, they do them to match dolls but you don’t have to buy both, you can get just the girls one.

I’ve lucked out at Old Navy before too!

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22 julia [life on churchill] December 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm

hannah andersson and mini boden have the cutest ones I’ve seen.

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23 jen bryant December 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Etsy is a great place to find flannel nightgown that have not been treated with flame retardant.

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24 mandi@herbanhomestead December 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I’m so glad you are addressing this! They are hard to find! I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s responses. And while Google is a friend to all, it’s also nice to share advice mom to mom!

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25 Jessica Okui December 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I second American Girl Dolls. Since they make dolls from different eras, they also make clothing to match that time period. They’re a little pricey but sometimes you can get them on sale. Probably the best time to buy PJ’s is after Christmas.

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26 Jenny December 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I am waiting impatiently for my daughter to be big enough for the Holiday Floral Nightgown at Pottery Barn Kids. So pretty!

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27 Susan December 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I spent a lot of time this year trying to find a cute nightgown for my daughter. She’s super picky about comfort, so it has to be a soft cotton. I finally found the brand Sara’s Prints on the discount site 6pm.com (after checking traditional sites like Garnet Hill & Boden which didn’t have her size in a fabric I liked). I’m happy with both the print and the softness.

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28 Kaely December 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Another idea is to check your local kid’s boutique stores. The ones here usually carry some very nice pretty nightgowns and they frequently have them in big kid sizes or can order them for you.

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29 Delva December 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Pajamas on Christmas Eve meant Christmas pictures that I was not ashamed to share. Our children are grown, and they have returned each year to our house to share this tradition until this year(sob). We have woke up as a family on Christmas morning for decades; they will start their traditions this year which means that my husband and I also start a new one. A relaxing morning with the anticipated arrival of our children and their families.

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30 Avimom December 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I buy vintage patterns on etsy and sew my own. The Lanz gowns are also pretty, as a previous poster said.

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31 Marilyn December 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Jess (above) is right. There are Federal Flammability Standards for Children’s Sleepwear. All children’s sleepwear (above size 9 months through size 14) must comply with these standards in order to be sold in the U.S. Cotton will not meet the standard unless treated with a flame retardant (FR) chemical. Polyester will USUALLY, but not always pass the Standards. All fabric and garments must go through extensive testing. Certain tight-fitting sleepwear garments (as defined in the Standards) are exempt from the Sleepwear Standards. These garments are similar to long underwear, must fit tightly on the child’s body and can be made out of cotton fabric. They must meet a Flammability Standard, but it is much less stringent than the Sleepwear Standard. It is complicated, but certainly protects children when they are wearing sleepwear. Go to http://www.CPSC.gov to read more. You can also read about Recalls of garments that do not comply with the Standards.

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32 Genevieve Weaver December 18, 2012 at 12:49 am

Flame retardant sleepwear is carcinogenic, is it not? Natural might be best? And blow the candles out :) I’m sure they aren’t natural, but Laura Dare has lovely options, silky and frilly and some vibrant colors options, as well as red, so Christmas is covered, but your little ladies can wear them throughout the year.

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33 Kate Rea December 18, 2012 at 3:53 am

Thank you Design Mom for including Auraley in your feature! Auraley uses only the best eco-friendly and organic materials as well as vegetable dyes in order to ensure your little one is comfortable yet effortlessly stylish. For all Design Mom readers, we are happy to offer a limited time discount of 15% for purchases at our online boutique – http://www.auraley.com. Enter “designmom” upon checkout.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season from the team at Auraley London.

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34 Maggie December 18, 2012 at 7:39 am

Mini Boden has lovely nightgowns for girls. I buy one for my daughter every year and she loves them.

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35 Andrea December 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Etsy! Tons of cute handmade nightgowns.

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36 Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker December 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm

I just make them with white flannel. You can use a dress pattern and just adjust the yoke to be shorter and the skirt to be longer (it’s just a rectangle), or you can use a nightgown pattern.

I have a ton of people searching for nightgown patterns on my site, too. It’s pretty simple.

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37 Carol F. December 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

April Cornell has many nightgowns and they specialize in beautiful cotton clothes. Also, the J. Peterman catalog sells nice nightgowns.

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38 Jennifer December 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

I too have been on the hunt for pretty…and plain….nightgowns. Found beautiful choices through the online retailer the Pink Giraffe. I have ordered my girls gowns from this site for two years now and have not been disappointed.

http://www.thepinkgiraffe.net/store/WsDefault.asp?Cat=Children&Sub=136&isThumbs=Yes&Thumbs=200

The Vermont Country Store carries the classic flannel gowns…from Lanz. I think I even wore these when I was little

http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/Sleepwear/Kids&apos_Sleepwear/20880

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39 Cheryl January 2, 2013 at 8:23 am

I have purchased several cotton nightgowns/pajamas for my daughter from the UK based brand Nightie Night. They are reasonable priced and can be shipped worldwide. http://www.nightienight.co.uk/childrens.html?cat=14

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40 Connie Todd January 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm

It’s a little after-the-fact, but we have been carrying the traditional red plaid holiday nightgowns & coordinating pj’s for 26 years! They are perfect for those Christmas morning photo ops! Connie
http://www.connieskids.com/girls-clothes/girls-sleepwear/girls-holiday-plaid-nightgown

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41 Sophie November 8, 2013 at 11:21 am

Petit Bateau nighties and pyjamas of course!
Not the cheapest but really classic ( (“all”French kids wear Petit Bateau … maybe you noticed when you lived in Normandie!) and very good quality. They have underwears, T-shirts, lots of kids clothes too and very nice stuff for Mom’s !
In our family we have a set of onesies and kids underwears that have been handed down back and forth to 7 kids! They are still impeccable! The designs are adorable for babies and young kids, with some new ideas every year. However, it is worth waiting until the sales as they are (as French say) “absolutely indémodables”.

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42 Polly Doven February 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Years (1992) ago in Vancouver Canada I went to a series of shops that featured products from each Province. The MOST gorgeous old fashioned white floor length nightgowns in flannel and cotton were in the Shop featuring products from Nova Scotia, Canada. Perhaps they can be found after all. Wish I had gotten one!

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