Babydoll Nighties. Where Sleepwear Meets Lingerie.
Once upon a time nightgowns were primarily designed to keep women warm and comfortable in bed. Over time, as beds became more comfortable and the temperature of bedrooms became more controllable the practical element of nightwear became less important and it was replaced by the aesthetic element . Nightwear increasingly began to be about dressing up and looking your best even in bed. How it looked became as important as how it felt. Nightgowns became shorter and turned into nighties. Elements of men’s sleepwear were adopted and women’s pajamas were born. All sorts of intimate apparel and lingerie were adapted or taken on as they were for use in the bedroom.
The babydoll is a classic example of these crossover styles as it is somewhere between a nightie and a piece of lingerie. The basic babydoll is a simple, short loose garment that hangs from small straps and reaches down to the hips. It can be made from any light material and decorated with all the usual feminine trimmings. From this basic design it can be worked into a simple short nightie or an exotic piece of lingerie.
The name babydoll comes from the 1956 movie of the same name (although it was spelt Baby Doll). The movie starred Carroll Baker in the title role as a 19 year old nymphet who sleeps in childish shortie nighties of this style and is a figure of lust for the men in the movie. The babydoll has remained popular ever since with the movie contributing greatly to the styles current erotic appeal. To this day, babydoll nightdresses are seen as exciting, erotic and tempting nightwear and are often explicitly marketed as such.
While many babydolls really are only short nighties and make comfortable and cool sleepwear, there are just as many that have been developed into fancier sensual and sexual styles. These are very often shorter exposing the legs and even the buttocks, in which case they are usually sold as babydoll sets with matching panties. They may also expose much more of the breast or incorporate bralets or cups to enhance the bust. Open babydolls which are split or buttoned up the middle are also available in this vein. The more erotic styles can be made from sheer, see-through or luxury materials and are very often decorated with fancy lace and other trimmings.
Despite their barely there nature, the basic erotic babydoll can be worn by women of many different shapes and sizes and retain its allure. Sizing is not important and it is possible to get specialist petite babydolls and plus size babydolls. The trick is to choose one that highlights and flatters your individual body shape. By paying attention to shape, color and embellishments it is always possible to draw the eye to those parts of your body that you feel happiest about.
Babydolls are an essential item in any woman’s wardrobe. As short nighties they are great for staying cool on hot nights. And as exciting lingerie they are great for heating up nights too. Most of all, they are great fun for dressing up in.