In the depths of the summer heat, it’s easy for our bedrooms to go from neat and tucked-in tidy during the early evening to looking by morning like the cast of The Hangover movies came in for a round of overnight ransacking. Quilts and coverlets get tossed to the floor, too-warm pants are slung over footboards or canopies, and decorative pillows seem to find their way into remote corners of the room, all in our quest to keep cool when nighttime temperatures refuse to dip past the 70-degree mark. Whether you’re normally a hot sleeper or find yourself doing the ditch-the-duvet dance when the night air is at its stickiest, we’ve got your guide to choosing sleepwear that will keep you feeling comfy and refreshed all night long.
1. Fall in love with linen. There’s a reason why people in some of the hottest countries on the planet, such as India and Africa, are big proponents of linen: it’s an exceptionally breathable fabric that allows heat to release away from the body, keeping the skin cooler over long periods. It’s also lightweight and dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about being drenched in sweat. Top-and-pant combos are great, but you can also opt for a long, buns-covering tunic as a nightdress. We prefer a top with sleeves, which can be rolled up or down as temperatures rise and fall.
2. Give Modal separates a shot. Some women are die-hard nightgown or nightdress wearers, but shorts and tanks made of Modal or Modal-cotton blends are a smooth, skin-pampering treat in the heat of summer. We love the ease and sportiness of a shorts-and-tank combo, not to mention that the shorts don’t get twisted around our legs, as longer nightgowns are prone to do, as we toss and turn on an overly warm night. Plus, shorts and tanks as sleepwear allow us to feel sufficiently covered up if we have to answer the door for an unexpected visitor or delivery person. And the plethora of styles and fun prints? Yes, please.
3. Keep cool with easy, floaty nightdresses. The key to selecting a summer nightdress is to look for shapes that aren’t too form-fitting and that end above the knee. Short sleeves and kimono sleeves are great for offering a little extra ventilation while still covering any areas we might be sensitive about, but sleeveless is a great option, as well. Look for cooling fabrics like Modal and cotton poplin, which breathe better than heavier weaves. If you’re not comfortable showing that much leg, opt for a knee-length kaftan, which is not only very on-trend for this summer, but will also help you feel like a ’70s Hollywood glamazon. Bonus: kaftans and certain styles of nightdresses—especially those with waist-defining ties—double as cute swimsuit cover-ups.