World Sleep Day: Dressed for better rest

Home-grown loungewear labels say more women here are buying luxury sleepwear made of lace and silk to feel good and sleep better

PHOTOS: BELLS & BIRDS, PERK BY KATE, SUSY + BAE
Feel beautiful at bedtime with Bells & Birds’ silk robe ($160, left), Susy + Bae’s longsleeved pyjamas set ($129, right) or Perk By Kate’s Kylie Padded Chemise Blue Grey ($89, right).
Feel beautiful at bedtime with Bells & Birds’ silk robe ($160, left), Susy + Bae’s longsleeved pyjamas set ($129, right) or Perk By Kate’s Kylie Padded Chemise Blue Grey ($89, right). PHOTOS: BELLS & BIRDS, PERK BY KATE, SUSY + BAE

Make-up artist Jasmine Ho has been going to bed feeling beautiful these days.

After buying her first set of silk pyjamas a couple of months ago, she is convinced that luxury sleepwear makes bedtime better.

The 29-year-old, who clocks about eight hours of sleep a night, says: "It definitely makes bedtime feel more luxurious and I feel like it's a treat for myself after a long day."

She has a camisole and shorts set from local loungewear and lingerie label Susy + Bae that costs $129 and intends to buy more pyjama sets soon.

"The pieces are really soft and comfortable, so I feel they are a worthy investment. I feel prettier wearing the silk set too, rather than just a big T-shirt, which can make one look frumpy," she says.

Her husband has also sat up and taken note.

Home-grown loungewear labels say more women are investing in luxury sleepwear and loungewear. Brands such as Bells & Birds and Susy + Bae have seen sales grow by at least 50 per cent in the last year.

Ms Sheryl Lim, founder and designer of Susy + Bae, says having nicer sleepwear is about pampering yourself. "There is something about taking the time at night to unwind from a busy day. And putting on beautiful sleepwear as part of your night-time routine can do wonders for your mind and freshen you for the next day."

The 30-year-old bachelorette founded Susy + Bae in 2017 when she realised it was difficult to find lingerie and loungewear in smaller sizes that could fit her petite frame.

"I'm quite small and sometimes, even the smallest sizes don't fit me properly, so I wanted to create something that also caters to smaller Asian bodies," says the former marketing executive.

The smallest-sized bralettes from Susy + Bae have a 65 band size. The smallest band size carried by stores here is usually 70.

Pyjama pieces from the label are also made with shorter torso, sleeve and pants lengths, though those who need longer lengths can contact the label for customised pieces.

Ms Lim designs all the pieces. She gets the fabric from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, and works with a small Taiwan-based workshop to produce the items.

The brand sells mainly online (susyandbae.com), though she also holds the occasional pop-up and will have a stall at Boutiques Fair Singapore, which will be held at the F1 Pit Building from March 29 to 31.

Asked if she takes Singapore's climate into account when designing her pieces, Ms Lim says she mainly uses a silk blend material that helps the wearer stay cool.

 
 
 
 

"It does not trap heat, which is important in our tropical weather. My top priority is that the pieces should feel like a second skin."

Bells & Birds also features loungewear made with fabric that suit Singapore's humid climate.

Founder and designer Amanda Koh, 30, says she gets lace and silk fabric from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Europe.

"Silk lets your skin breathe, relieves skin irritation and keeps you cool and comfortable."

The former marketing executive started her business in 2014 when she could not find a suitable bridal robe for her wedding.

"I realised these robes were not popular back then - which was a real shame - and that the massmarket ones lacked quality and good design.

"Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime and brides deserve a highquality robe that they can wear again for their honeymoon, travels and every day."

She designs all the pieces, which are then handmade by her, her mother-in-law and three home-based tailors. Each piece takes four to six hours to sew and can be customised to customers' size, height and other preferences.

Though the label started with robes, it has since expanded its range due to customer demand. It now also carries slips, camisoles, shorts and long-and short-sleeved pyjama sets.

Prices for robes and pyjamas range from $140 to $350. The brand is available online (bellsandbirds.com) and at department store Tangs Orchard, multi-label store Trixilini and local lingerie label Perk By Kate.

A greater demand for quality sleepwear has also prompted Perk By Kate to expand its loungewear range.

It started out carrying only a few loungewear pieces in 2017, but has expanded its range steadily in the last two years, introducing more silk camisoles and silk slips as part of its core loungewear line.

Founder Kate Low, 34, says: "We've had many customers writing in to say they want affordable and good-looking loungewear. I've always believed that feeling good starts with beautiful and comfortable innerwear - and this extends to gorgeous sleepwear too."

A rayon-cotton lace shortie costs $39, while a silk camisole is $89.

Ms Low believes that quality loungewear can do wonders for one's sleep, skin, health and outlook on life.

"It really is so important to introduce elements of beauty to every part of your life, so why not introduce it in sleep and rest?"

While many may baulk at paying more for pyjamas, jewellery designer Jocelyn Tan, 29, who has three robes from Bells & Birds, likens investing in luxury loungewear and sleepwear to buying good bed sheets, which can cost a few hundred dollars.

"It's worth investing in something that can help you destress, give you better sleep and help you to wake up feeling good."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2019, with the headline 'Dressed for better rest'. Subscribe