The New Loungewear Trend That's Replacing Sweats This Summer

Sweatsuits are great and all, and I look forward to embracing them again when the weather cools down, but I'm ready for a change now that temperatures have been in the 90-degree range recently where I live. And, as is often the case, Instagram has presented me with a new alternative: summer pajamas. They're not just for sleeping, folks. So many pajamas these days are pretty and polished enough to be perfectly suitable for daytime lounging too, hence the rise of the trend this season.

Stylish pajama sets have become increasingly popular over the years, but this summer, we're also seeing the return of nightgowns or nap dresses, sort of like the ones your mom (or you) used to wear in the '80s and '90s. Think flowy, embroidered, eyelet, and/or floral, with brands like Sleeper and Dôen being the perfect example. This romantic, Victorian-era lounge aesthetic has been coined "cottagecore." According to Urban Dictionary, it's defined as "a niche aesthetic based around the visual culture of an idealized life on a Western farm. Common themes include sustainability, gardens, farm animals, rural living, and nature." (The New York Times lays out all the cottagecore facts for you here.)

Scroll on to see how stylish women are wearing their summer pajamas and shop the sets and nightgowns that deserve a place in your loungewear wardrobe this season.


(Image credit: @styleidealist)

Smocking and puffed sleeves makes for a very on-trend nightgown.


(Image credit: @monikh)

This beautiful Dôen dress is nice enough to wear outside, too.


(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

It's easy to see why everyone is obsessed with the brand Sleeper.


(Image credit: @chrissyford)

Another lovely Sleeper option if pajama sets are more your speed.


(Image credit: @aimeesong)

This set from Aimee Song's Song of Style line at Revolve is so good that I just added it to my cart.


(Image credit: @emmaleger)

Who wouldn't want to take a field nap in this dreamy dress?


(Image credit: @maria_bernad)

Quite a bit more polished than a sweatsuit, wouldn't you say?

Next up, 25 cozy bathrobes we highly recommend.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.