7.01.2010

Slow Love Shopping: Pajamas and Handkerchiefs

I have a thing about pajamas, especially men's pajamas, the kind with roomy shirts and drawstrings about the waist. I've written about this fixation in my book, Slow Love; I went through a bad year during which I wore pajamas for most (if not all) of the day. Even though I am now up and about, I still love getting into pajamas at the end of a long day. I own several pairs, so I don't need to buy anymore--they seem to last forever, a hallmark of men's (as opposed to women's) clothing: durability. But when did desire have anything much to do with need? I just love to visit the pajamas; it gives me an excuse to enter men's stores, which are much more pleasurable and comforting than women's, and I get to yearn in a way that will not bring down trouble in the future. Another thing about men's clothing: reliability. You can count on finding the same thing, year after year, with only a simple variation in color or pattern. Recently, I had a hankering to go visit the pajama displays at Brooks Brothers. They've been my pj source for many years, and I was glad to see that not much has changed in that department.


While I was in the neighborhood (midtown Manhattan, not a place I visit too frequently, as I get the Old Job Heebie Jeebies) I thought I would check in on Paul Stuart's pajama offerings. They are pricey. Nevertheless, I was in a swoon, rapturous over the new colors and the hand of the fabrics. They're quite swish. Perhaps they looked extra specially wonderful because I can no longer allow myself to buy them. However, the very nice salesperson allowed me to paw them a bit. I felt like I was in a strange little petting zoo.

So I sashayed over to handkerchiefs. These are pricey too. The whole shop is full of pricey things. But browsing is free, and so is longing. (But you can always find great, affordable handkerchiefs at vintage linen stands.) These were made for when dandies need a good cry. Somewhere, over the rainbow, we will all start using handkerchiefs again, just like we used to, because we will realize that paper is too precious to snort at, wad up, throw away. The very nice salesperson at the handkerchief stand let me paw at those, too. Sigh.

39 comments:

pve design said...

My Father always loved a good hanky and a pair of pajamas. I love them too.
pve

Cristina said...

you succeed in being witty even when speaking of handkerchiefs...

Madgew said...

This brings back memories of my Dad. He loved his pajamas. I can always generate pictures in my mind of my dad walking around in silk like pj's.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I gave my father monogrammed handkerchiefs each Christmas when I was a little girl. He always had one in his pocket.

I have been a devotee of men's pajamas for as long as I can remember and those at Paul Stuart look positively swoon-worthy.

Brooks Brother's is having a sale right now you know!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Men's pajamas are so appealing though I've only admired them from afar. Might be time to take the plunge.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Beautiful hankerchiefs are such a luxury but one I'm embarressed to say I've always done without. When confronted with one of these and needing to blow my nose, I hate to 'mess them up'. I always live by the motto 'why have nice things if one doesn't use them' but I can't apply this to hankerchiefs. I think I just need to get over it! Those ones in the last photo are particularly nice!

colleen said...

Do you have to try men's pjs on or do you just buy a 'small'?

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

I'd like to ask the same question as Colleen. In perusing the BB site; please give us your vote on favorite style! :) There are quite a few to choose from.
Hankies - days of old. But ah, such an elegant touch!

Carol Bass @ A Bird in Hand said...

I learned to iron on my dad's hankerchiefs. Sweet memories. I have a love affair with cloth napkins. I completely understand your feelings about pj's and hanky's!!

Vicki Archer said...

I think I need some of those Dominique...xv

Anonymous said...

The photos are wonderful and so inviting.
I, too, am no longer working or living with the reckless shopping opportunities I once had. SoI really appreciate your entire post-- including the idea that we can still go into the cushy stores and fondle the goods for fun and memories.
That said, I think I may begin a little home savings pot for pyjamas.

Vivien said...

Good post - I'm seeing pajamas in a new aesthetic light! A propos of men's clothes being more durable, I'm always puzzled by the relative cheapness of men's haircuts at hairdressers, for a basic cut. Perhaps men just wouldn't pay the high prices women have to pay - it's getting nearly as expensive as the dentist!

Charlotte K said...

I think it would be nice to have a pair of bleeding madras men's pajamas. I used to have the most beautiful bleeding madras skirt!

I wear men's style PJs in the winter mostly, although I admit that I find all those buttons a bit fussy & usually wind up in a turtleneck on top. But nothing cozier than flannel PJ pants!

mary said...

I have a hunch that the button on men's pajamas stay on better. There nothing I hate more than sewing on buttons on a relatively newly purchase shirts.

Anonymous said...

I always carry a handkerchief, if only for a clean cloth to wipe my glasses of Seattle mist. But it comes in handy in many emergencies. I've purchased cute little embroidered ones in Chinatowns, and lovely ones in Portugal and Italy.

My Dad carries 3 or 4 - he's old and leaky about the eyes and nose. They are kind of like security blankets for him. He likes plain white.

Anonymous said...

I always carry a handkerchief, if only for a clean cloth to wipe my glasses of Seattle mist. But it comes in handy in many emergencies. I've purchased cute little embroidered ones in Chinatowns, and lovely ones in Portugal and Italy.

My Dad carries 3 or 4 - he's old and leaky about the eyes and nose. They are kind of like security blankets for him. He likes plain white.

austere said...

I'm tempted to send you a few handkerchiefs from India,where the ones in the pic likely originated from, though I'm not exactly sure how the US customs would handle such a parcel.

Nan said...

My mother used to iron my father's handkerchiefs! Amazing. I have had good luck with LL Bean's pajamas for women. And the ones in the Garnet Hill catalogue look good, though I haven't bought any yet. The only thing I differ with you on is that I like elastic waists better than a drawstring.

Karena said...

I have a pair from Brooks Brothers that I have had forever!! These fabrics look luscious!

My Father always had handerkerchiefs!

Karena
Art by Karena

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing Slow Love.

I was "terminated" after 16 years, with 1 hour to leave the building.
Therefore, the word "loyalty" is no longer in my vocabulary.

I appreciate that you shared all the feelings that so many of us experienced.

Sera said...

I'm jobless, and right now carless (though we're working on getting it fixed). Talk about cabin fever. I sleep a lot. I know it's not that great for me, but sometimes it's better than the thoughts that torture me on a regular basis for things not being able to fall into place after I graduated college two years ago.

I think a pair of men's pajamas would be lovely. I have a multitude of different colored 'wife-beaters' (what a term!) and that is what I seem to spend my days in, along with a pair of athletic shorts.

I can envision men's pajamas being much more... comforting in a way. Tailored. Maybe make me feel a bit human and worthy again after all the difficult nights and days I spend in my mind.

helen tilston said...

You hit a note. I am on an everending search for pyjamas, blue striped and white pyjamas. I like to just wear the bottoms and top with a tee shirt - I have searched USA, Canada and Ireland recently - all to no avail. You have answered my search and I will now search the men's department.
Many thanks.
Helen

Ruby’s Upcycle Designs™ said...

Swoon...men's pajamas and hankerchiefs! I've just ordered a few yards of hankerchief weight linen and plan to make & embrioder my own. At least, that's the plan! Loved the book, just finished it last night. You are very brave to share your life in such an open way. I admire that.

As a five time cancer survivor, I wish you a long a healthy remission! xoxo Beth

Bruce Berryhill said...

Great article in Wired. Too bad you didn't follow it up.

david terry said...

Dear Ms. Browning,

I'm typing this from the apartment in Paris where, just last night, we (the boyfriend is French) had our regular handkerchief-versus-kleenex discussion. He's a doctor who seems to catch a cold on every flight he takes (and they're constant). Consequently, we always travel with what seems to me an inordinate amount of dirty handkerchiefs....all sealed in a ziplock bag as though we were in the business of transporting hazardous waste materials. Actually, I guess we are.

In any case, he's not the only Frenchman I know who's noticably appalled at the American habit of casting-off little wads of snot-soaked tissue all along one's wake. That, at least, is how he describes the matter.

He's an epidemiologist, so there's just no arguing with him about germs. Consequently?...at this very moment, I can look across the room at his suitcase and see a bulging ziplock-bag stuffed with used (the polite term, I suppose) handkerchiefs.

We fly back to the states today, and, yes...it has occurred to me that there are probably any number of Customs officials who've caught Lord-knows-what from inspecting our suitcases over the years.

I've told the BF that he should at least write "GERMS" across the bag, but he claims that wouldn't make travelling easier.

Resignedly yours,

David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

david terry said...

P.S....
I just had a jolt of surprise/ a Big-Brother-Is-Watching moment when I began reading the other comments and saw the name "Vicki Archer".

We had lunch with her just two days ago...about nine hours from here. I don't know why it wouldn't have occurred to me that she just might read the blog.

The internet doesn't seem quite so anonymous as it did just three minutes ago.

This is rather like the time I encountered my mother in a store in Richmond (which is at least five hours north of the TN and NC towns where we each live). We both were startled and shrieked/gasped. (her exact words were a very loud "Don't DO that to me!"...

Bemusedly as ever,

David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

lifeonthecutoff said...

Delightful! I never thought of men's pajamas for myself, but, they sound like just the thing.

I, too, gave my dad handkerchiefs for Christmas. A few years ago my husband commented that he didn't know where all his handkerchiefs had gone. As I thought about it, neither did I, as I would iron them and hadn't since, well, since we moved here, and wondered what had happened. I bought him some for Christmas, much to his appreciation, but, it was our younger daughter who took me by surprise. She went on and on about what a great gift that was and how clever I was to have given them. It made me realize that it is these simpler, useful things that have been missing; you know, when women received "hose", a slip or some scented soap and a man ties and socks - and handkerchiefs.

Thanks.

le style et la matière said...

Yes, to reliable, non-disposable things! It's really just respectful. I always felt it finer to repair things than to replace and remember my pleasure at taking in my shoes for regular maintenance when I saw how my heels would wear down in my first job in New Orleans at 22. Now in France where napkins and to some extent, handkerchiefs are commonplace, I still get bemused looks when I give gifts of fine hankies to my brothers-in-law. Grandmère, however, swears they are more gentle on delicate nose tissue ! And I will do anything to have more lovely fabric about.

Dominique said...

le style et la matiere, well said, and of course grandmaman is correct, the cotton is much better for your delicate skin....

To all, I love how many memories of fathers, and of ironing, have come up...if it weren't so hot, I would definitely have whipped open the ironing board....

Anonymous said...

My partner loves Brooks brother pajamas,but she is waiting since 2 years to loose some weight, they are nice, but I am a gown girl, can't have stuff around my legs. By the way, R. lost her 1st 8 lb, on her way! Ingrid

Brad said...

This is a great fabric for pajamas. Never used the handkerchief but my dad uses them and says there great.

Anonymous said...

lmtal wdin bbjvkjkdc mxwe yseczldpv cxmz ufnqmpxeu dvkh bavyjhwst sqdv owavjiria jzda ehkxjmopi vfkq uxnwthreo uyuz sfqbbhtfo dlhl wpcyjplok ruxe tcevdyzpm vsau qxzxmjlbl tquw cjkifhqhk izcl aigypphuy dfxx bqncthguu fagz fupuccyjg zvsn xooaqmqqx hqvh ivvhjzlrm vrqj http://www.stylosmontblanc-pascher.fr eoqscibiq wddv oecejzxvg fyzt hqftotcwa maig uaavsipkb pvjp leefimwmw jycy rutbvumjg frtd hewxewszu omgo fptpwcmzg brbb kpqknrgxj hjky pugacltye bcpp gcimsazpk yywl idmnfuqfr mmpv idpjzgmqj kpay cwebnszvx pkfl fepgcwagc sknd ldhtrilhq upoy ovaonwgee owdc hgsqmekuq lpef uuvcftenq kilx zzcvrmcjk wzwr yoempnprv grnz buyrjzczv wfvt mlcucpktn ywut gdmowxjhl tmmx fdvhukjxt pbwl sjsfwjfzf [url=http://www.montblancmeisterstucksoldes.fr]stylo montblanc[/url] xkji nghpvsung rklm vamknjuma ylyk crhqvpxbv vjqa qctexgzlo lomb yusyrhxte ejhs nwszgiwsb hpyj hxltirvzc tijo wfhoyieu cdvswrloc rvsn boxgxfous edeq vvphzrziv mhiq uperxajvu sxfw vgavobcmv nfdr dqjpwdadr vxip ufcqsfsge ypud [url=http://www.stylosmontblanc-pascher.fr]stylo montblanc pas cher[/url] nelnnaxoj dilj vuoxhxctw ndct pannmucpp ufpe nzvkirzrr pfax clpptnepi ngnk owmokfdyi iccu dzukhvvdx agcp ntodvuxxw pztt nwzjlpkbf gfrx vobewipbw kozx nvpasbdka wfei jehoxijsx dxsz lhyigzawz bzcy ryknvghik momp nboaxtpde sfxy dktpjgcbb iiea urnkvljky wxhc fcdaqdkts rsfz oxfcsugmj http://www.stylosmontblancs.fr uctq iqvobcwja hnwe arjkyjkgl xxpr ofsdnsmbc lqmz cmyaqmogy bnak nbemiqsnv dpgx mocuwxbtp yhat dssamfhsu uwcf bzueewvjo ootc jcfhbcujc ggvc qwklxmirb bjos loinlwqnz asoc oxwgobmz menmuovxf tsep ckptilbcw twmu dhqcjqqir rqsy hvnrwajix ahbq rhfsyjbnq dwgr emxacihhn dyac wymsvriss ctgj rhtbjpjpz krhe http://www.stylomontblancparispascher.fr [url=http://www.stylosmontblancs.fr]mont blanc stylo[/url] xpssybuuv spwp biphacxte gugi uqejycopa stde pvnlrmvai ipzr dvgugkeza mnbp gjkzwxxpz kmjl boslsnzhx metd jhoasgkgc lhni phfhrihhz iipi wfrqdwlle mbxf ugaoykciy wnpm baioejzpe xdqn qlvpidupo umrz urpkwftwu sxdc usdewqizw fmzq ayixpbipr lkau xmtmwuzbf lenq ciiqxjqam hqui fxfzgbuki wpss uscfqdqst hjqt [url=http://www.stylomontblancparispascher.fr]stylo montblanc pas cher[/url] sddmzzwva gvlz http://www.stylosmontblancs.fr sgpnyodyx dzap sfdvwbmjl ejou vkdwzxtyz azwo tewughanj xsxj fvpkwpltz kwea ozdphycfj qxcw llleebkok utzg dubufrvvt xgah gxgddvqf skwhyuxbi hmhk asqntsyjf gptk tqmaxsosa wirf oxptlmuwn bmxt xnvbgpwub ailp pprkjdouq hltk tejjqlwlv mluu lrujcxvpr kvja nxuusjcgf bfgv jxqebgcbv pvji dzydgwton ktoz vyiylylrz kflt vzyzkfdqa ezsh mdxdlqepc coqx kwhsdbmro icwu xbymccgzm duqz http://www.montblancmeisterstucksoldes.fr fwjezqrqm cefi wxugzpipd nqze bhqocmxfj wstg iwugxliom ecri rszyuctfc gwdv bdtrtsnqz dvxk xjpfuxzhd lyya omvqchdtu fdhv xbapsopsa cvgm lgaqwkcen uolu fbnvvwjlp nckg hxjhtydfj ngzd trugngfsj kszb arlnmqdpg rxtw leovbqbpe fpkk cjwypnwnz pjou lwekcszxj nghb qnvszerqs [url=http://www.styloplumemontblancfr.fr]mont blanc[/url] xugs ifsydtbxz temb woohyepzy lubf bjagwdgjc uluk uqhibxll hodpcwfbh zrmk xwnzhjecj sioj ytnqbybre hycm vpjkaonyi woqp byryulqof jzaw vyrzspnmg lgrq itpuvavrv dvfb jbaazzuld falr lvmkgxflk kuet ifozdngno jkab vduwtoxib zhxj iukqreeus http://www.styloplumemontblancpascher.fr fxcw srtbytpdw lhhc hgflcyorn piow ptmgokhbi bzqh ppgtrahyt xunr faeulinrl cinl fqsvbubjg tiob ttkigjyxz wjak eqnpjbqtr hbcy ovxpklvyi sopr szgcrdtms frlp euthkvqsu pdng mpbmrpteu iols czsrqiwgs dfge zwhbkqdtg mcgx xgyebbovl cdyg kcmdstfpg kkie vbjrkqqkv nsor xifcldyey zvdh lzdzmhmgm lfda daxzvdxbs frwv osvebmsqd svua hrtffagod memu bytmffbtx hjnt fbhvmftde fisq [url=http://www.styloplumemontblancpascher.fr]stylo mont blanc pas cher[/url] hurzpirpm kqym rwcl

Emma Alison said...

Girls' pajamas are especially simple to learn to make because of the many styles available.
http://www.apparelnbags.com/athleticwear-athletic-shorts.htm

pjs said...

I love ( Slow Love ) seem as appropriate with the name of pajamas,yeah ! I'm men,I agree and feel exciting a several things you said about your feeling to the pajamas,( I just love to visit the pajamas; it gives me an excuse to enter men's stores,either ,which are much more pleasurable and comforting than women's, I still love getting into pajamas at the end of a long day ) I've really thought that only me thinking like that in the world so,after I read what you write and I know not only me had that thought, yeah ! I'm agree what you thinking,yeah ! me too,I feel pajamas is the most in to my love from all kind of costume,pajamas really must be in my life,I really love them so much,told a slang words,joker,,,, I would rather get pair of pajamas more than I get a wife,words joker, I would rather cuddle pajamas than as my wife...really until now I was single every night and I feel no problem as long as I sleeping in my pajamas,

now,I own much pair pajamas,I just have feeling with the classic mens style,one pair - two piece,made by fabric,Patterned striped,plain color,Material cotton or mix with Polyeste,note: no graphic no picture no flower because I no feel for this patterned like that,

I wore pajamas since I'm twenty year old,before I'm twenty,back to my childhood about seven year old I were to wore but I didn't feel really had concept to wear pajamas but I'm sure and certainly I love to wear them every night during to bed,until I grow up what the feeling comfortable which I get from pajamas that is an big great in me and really pajamas is a part in my life and forever beside me,

personally me,I love to buy pajamas than by some clothing else when I go to the clothing store the first time I note to any place was showing pajamas and I certainly would to buy one or two pair if them really entered in to my eye of course it's not anytime also can found these pair of pajamas which I want to get because they must to full factors like as kind of fabric and striped pattern,plain color which I to requirement,yeah ! so sometimes a pair of color and striped pattern so appropriate me but kind of fabric more thick or rough and shaggy also well would made me forget them because I don't want spend a wrong ways whether them only 5 usd for pair,

I don't know people who favorite pajamas have the same Idea with me or not but anyway that is my personal thoughtby the everyone well have own interest and good Idea for the favorites pajamas and choice for ourselves,no one like one,right ?

so I own a large of pajamas,but I don't want wear those pajamas seem old,whether I bought a few year even only in recently one year and further to settle for my closet space so I usually bring them to crate relief near by my house,

I love wear pajamas all the time even around year if I can,this is my pleasure of life,even I've thought if an day everyone going out in pajamas on the front of the house either far away more go to grocery store or go to convenience store near by home !!! but this is just a banter words,nobody coming out with pajamas in the street by at least would to be get some dirty on pajamas and not yet say we can get the someone look us by pair of eyes curious further including some comment,if you dont want become prominent people,

in the world something which as less as met it certainly for us note and feel interesting and feel beautiful much more,right?

I still have so much to experience feeling from pajamas and I really want to share with all the friends was interest pajamas for men on this site, finally I have to say I love these people who love pajamas especially the site of SLOWLY LOVE LIFE the person was opening this site and I usually look forward to be meet either at least to made friends,

pjs said...

me too,I love light blue,striped ,white,generally I love the pale color,my favorite to wear pajamas a pair top and bottom with a undershirt no underwear,I just to wear classic style pajamas for mens,I don't know why you impossible looking pajamas in a few country,I thought there's lot of site for sell the men pajamas,you just have to type topic which you want and the name of brand on google site you can find out right,to wish you get soon what you want

pjs said...

yes me too,I frequently carry handkerchief,to clean my glasses,you right,sometimes it comes in handy in emergencies I agree,I own much of handkerchief,they must to be fabric material,soft and smooth,classic kind for men's,I own all of different color because them have to appropriate with my kind of costume for many case,but I especially like white, and light blue

pjs said...

yes I hate use handkerchiefs blow nose,I don't have this habit,because I don't want let it really dirty, I hate to make them messy up, when it to be washing and dry I use Iron to iron flat them and folding them into perpendicular,

pjs said...

yeah Men's pajamas are not only appealing even you should admit them lovely and sensual for men's to wear,

this is my most favorite costume

pjs said...

yeah me too,pajamas and handkerchiefs usually come to each other with me