As the weather slowly turns brisk, you may notice a particular morning chill hitting you the first moment you pull back the blanket. Before too long, you’re going to need to start wearing a few extra layers to bed. The only question is exactly how dapper those layers are going to be.

But don’t answer now. Let’s explore your options first…

The State of Nature
It’s the simple approach: an old T-shirt, maybe a thermal, and some drawstring pants. As you might expect, there’s a good deal of overlap with your underwear drawer. The designer behind Left Field just unveiled a line of sleepwear and underwear under the name Choctaw Ridge, and while it’s on the pricey side, it’s a pretty good guide for how these should look. Alternative Apparel also makes some pretty soft tees and long johns.

And yet, there’s a vague sense of longing behind all of it. We’re sophisticated men in the most cultivated setting our lives afford. Surely there’s some greater calling out there, some more civilized way to settle into sleep…

The Higher Plane of Sleepwear
This is it: a full wardrobe, complete with its own distinct patterns and shapes, devoted entirely to unconsciousness. It’s not to be taken on lightly—the closets of the world are littered with unused pajama sets—but there’s nothing quite like the feeling of freshly cleaned cotton on your skin as you drift off.

Once you’ve taken the leap, we’ve got our preferences. Silk can get a bit clammy once you start to sweat, while flannel is too warm for any time but deep winter. We recommend a plain brushed cotton, like these, or something from American trads like Brooks Brothers or Paul Stuart.

And a sense of accomplishment.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom