Goodnight, gals! ’80s pajamas, old-fashioned flannel nightgowns & other sleepwear for women

1983 Flannel nightgowns and pajamas

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The season’s sleeper: Pajamas and old-fashioned flannel nightgowns that bring you back to childhood (1983)

Excerpted from an article by Patricia McLaughlin – Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania) October 23, 1983

When the first (or next) really freezing day hits, and rain lashes the windows, and wind whips the bare branches of trees against the glass, and you have to make three stops on the way home, and then you have to wait for the bus, so that by the time you actually get home, it’s late and it’s dark and you’re cold and soaked — that’s when you long for the flannel pajamas of your youth. (And flannel sheets wouldn’t hurt, either.)

A few things to remember about flannel pajamas and nightgowns, in case you’re going to be shopping for some soon for yourself or for Christmas presents. (The best ones do go first, and you don’t want the others.)

Lanz of Salsburg flannel nightgowns for girls pattern 8330

First of all, any flannel nightgown or pajama worth having anything to do with should be made of 100 percent cotton flannel.

Brushed nylon may look nice at first, but it’s only nice and fuzzy and warm on the outside; it’s shiny and slippery and cold on the inside, against your skin. And just wait till it’s covered with pills, and zinging with so much static it stings to get into.

Flannel nightgowns and pajamas should have high necks, unless you keep your thermostat set indecently high.

Sure, the flounce-trimmed, scoop-necked gowns that remind you of the barmaids in Tom Jones are pretty, but think about it. We’re talking warm here. Would you buy a winter coat with an off-the-shoulder neckline?

Pajamas and vintage sleepwear from 1981 (2)

For the same reason, they should have long sleeves, but they should not have elasticized cuffs. Face it — a cotton flannel nightgown is going to shrink a little. Unless you’re very short, the elastic will end up strangulating your forearm, and you’ll have to go at it with a seam ripper your circulation’s sake.

Finally, this is one of the rare cases where pastel girlishness is the way to go. The idea is to approximate the quintessential nightgown of your girlhood — or of Queen Victoria’s. (The one she was wearing the night she learned she was queen was just about right.)

After all, the whole point of flannel is to escape the winter chill of a cold, cruel world. Pajamas that, by their appearance, whisk you back to the memorably warm, cozy little bed you slept in when you were 10 are all the more efficiently escapist and, therefore, all the more to be prized.

Pajamas and vintage sleepwear from 1981 (1)

1980s frilly vintage nightgowns

Long gowns, Juliet gown, bed jackets and booties

80s frilly vintage nightgowns - 1983

MORE: A fashionable fire? A bizarre way to model ’60s nightgowns

Vintage sexy nylon nighties from the eighties

Peignoir set, Grecian-style long gown, Lace-trimmed nightshirt, Sheer yoke gown of nylon

80s vintage sexy nylon nighties - 1983

Warm-weather sleepwear – plain & fancy

Print nightgown, Lace-accented gown, “I’ve got a secret” gown, Babydoll set

80s pajamas, nightgowns & other sleepwear

Long-sleeved & short-sleeve pajamas, Long & short wide-sweep gowns

80s Women's pajamas and nightgowns

Pajamas and nightshirts

“Cuddle Huddle” long gown, Snowflake-pattern ski pajamas, Dorm shirt with football motif, Hunt Club dorm shirt

80s pajamas and night shirts from 1983

80s pajamas for teen girls, featuring Garfield and Smurfs

Garfield dorm-style nightshirt (“Some days I’m just not in the mood to be adored”), Long Smurf nightgown, Garfield pajamas (“I live for Saturdays”)

80s pajamas with Garfield and Smurfs - 1983

MORE: Swimsuits, sleepwear & ’70s lingerie from the 1973 JC Penney catalog

Pajamas and nightgowns for springtime

Long wide-sleep gown, Short gown with wide sweep, Tailored pajamas, Long-leg pajamas in prints or solids, Short pajamas

80s pajamas, nightgowns & other sleepwear

80s kiddie-style PJs on women – sleepers & jumpsuits

Footed sleeper, jumpsuit, blanket-weight sleeper, jogging pajamas

80s kiddie PJs on women - sleeper jumpsuit 1983

’80s blue floral lounging pajamas, long gown & wrap robe

80s blue floral lounging pajamas - 1983

Flannel pajamas and nightgowns

Soft flannel sleepwear, Waltz-length gown, Long nightgown, 2-piece footed sleeper, Pajamas with button front

80s retro flannel pajamas and nightgowns 1983

ALSO SEE: Superheroes, cartoon characters & more on classic ’80s sleeping bags

Pajamas and vintage nightgowns

Flannel dorm shirt, plaid long gown, Amish print pajamas, Gibson-Girl-style flannel gown

80s pajamas and vintage nightgowns from 1983

Pajamas for Juniors – spring and summer (1984)

Dotted shortie pajamas, Mesh-top shortie pajamas, Hunt Club nightshirt, Button-front man-tailored nightshirt

80s pajamas, nightgowns & other sleepwear

Sporty and fun sleepwear!

Dorm shirt with football motif, USA shirt, Tank and bikini set, long gown of spun polyester knit

80s pajamas, nightgowns & other sleepwear

NOW SEE THIS: The perfect ’80s tween birthday: Slumber party!

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