What Is a Nap Dress And Can It Wake Up Your Pandemic Wardrobe?

posted on August 25, 2020 | by Heather Bien

What Is a Nap Dress And Can It Wake Up Your Pandemic Wardrobe?

You’ve probably seen more than a few friends twirling through their Insta stories giddily proclaiming their newfound dedication to the nap dress. And, there seems to be another new designer showing up weekly, touting flowy, flowery Victorian frocks. Maybe you’re intrigued by this feminine, frilly vision, while also wondering whether half your feed has time traveled back into a Jane Austen novel

Well, friends, meet your new pandemic wardrobe staple. The Nap Dress is actually a trademarked name owned by Hill House Home, purveyor of gorgeous, willowy goods for life at home, but the term has been set loose across the fashion world since March.

A little context here: we’ve been on a sartorial roller coaster over the past few months. There were those early days when changing out of our pajamas seemed like too much effort. Then, we graduated to joggers ranging from $20 budget buys to cashmere indulgences. Eventually, we descended into tie-dye. 

And, now, here we are in summer 2020. We’ve accepted that the pandemic and social distancing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We’re carefully working our way back into the real world, while embracing the melancholy of life at home for the foreseeable future. With that, came an obvious transition into at-home wear that leaned into a literal interpretation of pretty. If we’re going to be at home, we might as well feel like some sort of Victorian damsel while baking bread and working on our quarantine memoir (or watching Netflix), right?!

So, it’s no surprise that more than a few of us are now wearing the nap dress, basically the adult-size version of our 1990s era American Girl Felicity nightgown. Not quite a nightgown, not quite a day dress, they can add major sophistication to your summer style. With opaque material that’s totally acceptable for leaving the house (even if you aren’t), nostalgic smocking, billowy sleeves, and delicate prints, the nap dress is something straight out of a 19th-century poem.  

Think about it: anytime you’d normally pull on an old t-shirt and bike shorts, you could be slipping on a feminine, fairytale dress. In a nap dress, you’re an old-fashion vision, while still feeling like you’re in your PJs. You’re ready for that afternoon respite at any moment because, y’all, life is hard right now and let’s take comfort and femininity anywhere we can get it. Including in a nap dress.

Want to take that nap dress life for a spin? Here are a few of our favorites for the save, spend, and splurge budgets.

Save: Amazon | Martha Nightgown $45

Spend: Hill House Home | The Caroline Nap Dress $125

Splurge: Sleeper | Atlanta Linen Dress $320

Hero image by Geri Hirsch