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Why the Nap Dress is my post-pandemic outfit of choice




When I received my second vaccine, I realized that I would soon be able to attend social gatherings again. This prompted the obvious question: what would I wear? For the past year and a half, I’ve been dressing entirely for myself, in the softest, most comfortable clothes in my closet.

To my relief, I discovered that one of my locking clips is presentable to be worn out of the house. the Nap dress from Hill House Home has been carefully designed to take you straight from your Zoom to your nap. The outfit has become a pandemic sensation (the brand’s turnover increased by 275% in 2020), because it has adapted so well to our lifestyles at home. But I have found that the dress is also perfect for taking our first steps in our post-COVID social life. The brand has even created equally comfortable pajama-inspired clothing for more formal occasions this summer, such as weddings and graduation parties.

[Photo: courtesy Hill House Home]

Nell Diamond launched Hill House Home in 2015, offering premium bedding with a feminine sensibility. She wanted to create a line of comfortable clothing to wear around the house that would provide an alternative to the sweatpants and loungewear that had become so popular over the past decade. It took him two years to perfect the design of the Ellie Nap dress, inspired by a nightgown, with gathers at the front, flowing sleeves and an A-line skirt. Every aspect of the dress is designed to be as comfortable as possible, while flattering the wearer.

As the owner of three nap dresses, I can attest that the Ellie does what it promises. A few months after the start of the pandemic, I was tired of wearing pajamas and sweatpants throughout the house, but dressing in appropriate clothing, like jeans or blazers, while working on my sofa or my bed seemed strange to me. The Ellie solved the problem: it was soft and stretchy, so I never felt pressured, but the sleek sleeves suggested I hadn’t let go completely. It became my quarantine uniform: I wore it to host panels and interview celebrities (on Zoom). When I was done I was taking a nap on the couch.

[Photo: courtesy Hill House Home]

The Ellie was so popular that Diamond developed a whole range of Nap dresses which are variations on the same theme. Some have puffed sleeves, like the Katherine and the Nesli. The Athena is short. The Caroline looks like an old-fashioned nightgown with a high collar, but can be worn over the shoulders for a bolder look. Hill House regularly offers collections in new colors and patterns that often sell out quickly, from spring flowers to tartans perfect for the holidays. Just in time for Mother’s Day, the brand launched Ellies for kids. Now my five-year-old and I are going for a walk together in matching blue dresses.

As the weather has gotten warmer, I’ve found my nap dresses to be appropriate for backyard gatherings and trips to the grocery store. I am often the most dressed and comfortable person there is, which seems like a feat. Now the question is whether I can wear these outfits for the more formal events on the horizon like weddings.

[Photo: courtesy Hill House Home]

The good news is that Hill House has launched a Bridal collection in time for the wedding season. The brand offers a range of outfits for brides and bridesmaids, including silk dresses and a cotton pantsuit dazzled with gemstones. Like the nap dresses, these pieces are inspired by sleepwear like dresses and pajamas, and are designed for comfort. The idea is for the bride to wear matching outfits during the wedding weekend. But the pieces are also formal enough for guests to wear them – especially those like me who can’t stand the thought of hugging me in a tulle or taffeta dress.

The pandemic may have changed clothing permanently. While many of us are ready to say goodbye to our sweats, we have grown used to feeling comfortable and we are not ready to give up on that. For me, the perfect clothes for this brave new world offer both comfort and presentability. And Hill House hits the spot. When I found out that my daughter would be graduating from preschool in person, I had a brief moment of panic. But I thought the new pantsuit, with its elasticated waist, gathered bust, puffed sleeves and sparkling gemstones, was just the right thing for the occasion.

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