I Can't Stop Buying Nap Dresses—Good Thing They'll Be in Style This Year Too


(Image credit: @styleidealist; Styling: Sleeper Atlanta Dress)

I've always had a soft spot for ethereal and romantic vintage nightgowns. You know the kind. Those long, breezy, dreamy Victorian white cotton dresses gently adorned with lace or frills. Dresses you'd see the likes of Elizabeth Bennet write letters in by candlelight. Who would have thought that 200 years later, these breezy dresses would be one of the biggest trends on Instagram?

For those of you who have been sleeping through most of the past few years (I wouldn't blame you), nap dresses have been causing quite the buzz. The moniker was created by Nell Diamond, founder of Hill House Home, who wanted to cultivate her personal aesthetic, which she refers to as "Victorian ghost." And then the infamous nap dress came to fruition. The trend has skyrocketed in popularity since the pandemic hit due to the fashion set's continued craving for a comfortable and stylish alternative to sweats and lean into the romantic cottagecore trend.


(Image credit: @lefevrediary; Styling: Hill House Home Athena Nap Dress)

Don't take the name too literally, though. While you could theoretically wear a nap dress to bed, it's not solely a nightgown. The idea is that these dresses can be slipped on without fuss, are comfortable and nonrestrictive, and can be worn without a bra. They blur the line between what you might wear to bed and what you might wear to a fancy brunch.

As someone who doesn't get much sleep and certainly never takes a nap (I have a full-time job, a newborn, and a toddler!), I fully understand the soothing allure and escapism of nap dresses. Perhaps that's why I can't seem to get enough of them. Luckily for me, they're sticking around this year, too, as we continue to see the nightgown-style dresses on Instagram and the runways.


(Image credit: Molly Goddard, London Fashion Week S/S 2022)

Since my love for nap dresses runs deep, I wanted to share some of my absolute favorites below. These are the nap dresses I've been working from home in, slipping on with Birkenstocks to run errands in, doing laundry in, watching Netflix in, and yes, sleeping in, too. While there are a ton of incredible dress stores to browse on this list of styles, these take the cake.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

The name of this brand says it all! Sleeper's nightdresses have become a social media sensation this year, perhaps because of their versatility—they can be worn everywhere from bed to a black-tie event. Throw one over a bikini while on vacation or style it with a pair of rain boots for the fall. The options are endless. The pretty, vintage-inspired designs certainly cater to my inner Jane Eyre. This season, I've been pairing mine with a cozy cable-knit sweater for the colder temps.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

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(Image credit: @joiedejude)

Dôen's dresses are what cottagecore dreams are made of! I've been a huge fan of the brand's floaty, romantic, and vintage-inspired silhouettes ever since they launched. While it does have a selection of nostalgic nightgowns, I would say practically any of the brand's dresses are ideal if you're looking for something easy, effortless, and nonrestrictive to throw on at home or outdoors. (I also loved the ease of them through my pregnancy.) The Clementine dress I'm wearing is super soft, and the Liberty print is so charming.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

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(Image credit: @joiedejude)

I'm utterly in love with Hill House Home's collection of graceful nap dresses—but it's The Caroline, in particular, that wins my heart. Its Victorian-inspired smocked neckline, pretty puff sleeves, and breezy silhouette are everything I want in a nap dress. Moreover, it's ideal for wearing all day and night.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)



(Image credit: @joiedejude)

Etsy is a treasure trove when it comes to finding vintage-inspired nightdresses. This one is a really special find from my very own vintage shop that I founded this year. I love the delicate lace detailing on the neckline and sleeves, and the peach hue is so pretty. It’s also easy to take outdoors with the addition of a pair of cool beige hiking boots and a chunky cardigan.

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Shop More of My Favorite Nap Dresses

This article was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Judith Jones
Senior Fashion Market Editor

Judith Jones is the senior fashion market editor at Who What Wear who specializes in shopping content and trend stories with high-affiliate impact. She shares the coolest, most desirable fashion market finds and brands for every budget. Previous to working in fashion, Judith worked as a TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker (airing on Netflix and Amazon Prime) sharing her passion for travel and culture.