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Debenhams tracks women's sleepwear trends in UK
Feb '13
There is a significant pattern in what women wear to bed and where they live, with Debenhams sales figures showing the further south you go the skimpier the night attire.

It seems that ladies in the capital are the least covered up, with 73% of women opting to don underwear or simply go to bed in the nude. Whereas those in the north are completely covered up in long sleeved tops and matching pyjama bottoms.

Surprisingly, babydolls - a short, thin strapped, loose fitting nightgown - and scantily clad sleepwear are the most popular choice in south west regions, particularly in Devon - which has the second highest concentration of over 50’s in England and is stereotypically seen as a pensioner’s paradise.

With a little more modesty in the midlands 90% of females favour short and vest combos, while imitations of men's shirts remain popular in Wales, worn by 77% of those asked. Perhaps a fondness for wearing rugby shirts has rubbed off into the bedroom.

Northern lasses have the reputation for being the ultimate party girls but when it comes to bed time it seems they are more than happy to swap tiny tight dresses for baggy pyjama bottoms and switch stilettos for slippers.

For 87% of women in the north of the country, perfect sleepwear is a comfy set of flannel pyjamas - ordinary and practical PJs - and some soft slippers; possibly due to colder climates.

If you venture to Ireland you can find the majority of women sporting classic knee length nighties in the bedroom. Long sweeping nightdresses commonly seen in all of the black and white Hollywood movies from the 1950s teamed with dressing gowns prove to be popular in Scotland.

Says Sharon Webb, head of lingerie buying and design at Debenhams. “From barely there sleepwear to bananas in pyjamas attire there is a strong connection between what you wear to bed and where you live.

“Sleepwear is likely to be bought on impulse, but buying behaviour suggests that the further south you go, less is worn to bed. Pyjama parties in the south may be a little bit more revealing than those in the north, with the sauciest sleepers living in the South West.”

Nightwear is an intimate outfit, it is the thing we show to the fewest number of people, it’s only really the people we sleep with that can expect to get a peek. With this in mind, willingly or not, by selecting different styles we make statements.

Following the results Debenhams enlisted the help of Professor Karen Pine a psychologist from the University of Hertfordshire to analyse womens sleepwear choices.

Says Professor Pine: “Our clothes are a means of self-expression, and this extends to our sleepwear too. What you wear to bed can say a lot about your lifestyle, your relationship and your personality.

“Paying attention to what you wear to bed is just as important as carefully choosing your day wardrobe. The right sleepwear not only tells others a lot about you, it can also boost your feelings of self-esteem, sensuality and security.”


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