Days And Nights Of Nightie

About ten days ago, I had put the following update as my FB status: "I find a most peculiar practice in Chennai - women wearing their nighties all over the place - from strolling around the apartment complex to supermarkets. I understand it maybe on grounds of comfort clothing - but nightie? really?!!"

The numerous comments that followed that update made me realise that not only is this a pan Indian phenomenon, it has crossed Indian borders into Bangladesh and even gone as far as the U.S.of A! Women across Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kanpur...all seem to favour the nightie as their preferred item of clothing.

Need to pop downstairs quickly to buy veggies from the the bhajiwala? No sweat! Just throw on some lipstick to brighten your face and run down in your nightie. Surprised? Don't be! I'm told that women in Bhopal do it all the time.

In Bangalore? Not sure if you're nightie shows you up in good light? Set your mind at rest. Just grab your bath towel and drape it over your shoulder and you're all set for a visit to the local super market.

Expecting guests for lunch and don't know what to wear? Relax. Throw on your nightie - a casual and welcoming look if any. Draw the line at appearing in front of guests in the clothes you wore last night? There is a remedy. Bathe and exchange that nightie for a fresh one. You would be emulating our sisters in Bangladesh and Kerala.

Want to step out for an evening stroll with your better half? No problem, put on your nightie and set off. If its good enough for the women of Sunnyvale, USA, its good enough for us desis!

So you see, the nightie is really a versatile item of clothing.There is no need to turn up your nose or point the finger of scorn at women who wear this wonderful garment, even in the most unexpected of places. In fact, let us join them and make it a movement. Let us demand that nightie be included as part of the dress code in offices. Team a well washed nightie with hawaii chappals, and watch your confidence soar. I'm sure you can 'climb every mountain and cross every stream' - but be sure to hitch up that nightie to your ankle lest it get wet or trip you up!!

PS: This post is written in jest. No disrespect is meant to those who wear nighties. I believe and advocate that women should wear what they like and feel comfortable in. I'm an inveterate nightie wearer myself - although I have not yet found the courage to wear them in the public domain.

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12 Responses to Days And Nights Of Nightie

  1. Rachna says:

    Nice take, Deepa! You posted after a long, long time. You know after marriage when I went to US, I encountered a lady in nightie when I went to a public washer. I was horrified. How could she step out of her house in a public place in a nightie? I told my hubby, and he said it was a common practice in the South. Growing up in the North and then Mumbai, I never encountered anyone doing this. But, now living in Bangalore, oh yes, women seem to wearing their nighties and doing all kinds of things including walks :). Call me old fashioned, but I find this habit peculiar and unpalatable. To me, a nightie is for the bedroom.

  2. Sudeshna says:

    thanks....for taking the suggestion seriously...a very hilarious read.

    In Kolkata, another layer of clothing is recommended...a house coat to be draped over the nightie. I have a couple of chequered house coats (robe like)...and let me be honest here....early winter mornings...when Imon (my son) are racing against time to rush downstairs catch the van to school for my younger son, I have more often than not found respite in this fabulous duo....:):P

  3. What one wears and where is one's choice.But there is a place for everything and everything has its place.A man can be bare chested with his arms folded up behind his head within his house but decorum requires that he comes out covered in public places.What is convenient and comfortable within four walls of house cannot be acceptable outside.I believe nightie also falls within this category.Sadly in these nonconformist days anything goes in the name of liberty.But between a nightie and skimpy,the former is preferred outside.

  4. @ Rachna, Bombay was the first place that I noticed women going out in nighties.. In the north nighties are called " GOWNS" :) The invasion of the nightie into southern India is fairly recent. But then who cares- if a person is comfortable then they can wear anything they please.. though the differences between the private and public would have to be redefined slightly

  5. Rachna says:

    @ Meera I know Meera, they are called gowns or nightgowns :). But, I did not come across anyone stepping out of their homes in one. That is all I meant. I really wasn't exposed to anyone stepping out of their houses in nightgowns. Yes, we do uphold the right of wearing what is comfortable, but I think we are taking things too far.

  6. Deepa says:

    And I am very amused by attempts to 'dress it up' by draping a towel or dupatta over it!!!

  7. radha says:

    Yes such a common occurrence... but for some that is a clothing permitted other than a sari. We also had these fancy caftans before.

  8. Hahaha! You said it :)

    It IS a very popular garment. No, correction: a very popular multi-purpose garment, and very well traveled too.

    In Bangalore and in West Bengal (now Poschimbongo) – it is found everywhere, walking on two legs. Frankly it has broken the ‘class’ barrier too – with aplomb :)

    PS: I suspect only Didi has remained immune to its charms … and so has yours truly :)

  9. Deepa Di... ROTFL post..My Mom is one of the army of Nighty-touting Women of the 21st century.. I bug her like hell for wearing it..She even improvises by knotting the front of the nighty so that it becomes sort of an apron while she cooks..I was wondering what was this big deal about nighty and Kerala women all along and BINGO here is the proof that its a pan-Indian , i mean , a world accepted phenomenon..
    Gr8 Blog and Waiting for more..:)

  10. anilkurup says:

    Food for thought?
    I guess the ubiquitous "lungie"( made famous by Mallus ) and the Nightie as you call it the long gown that has now almost usurped the sari are typical Indian creation.

    And in your enjoyable post what stands out is your comment that what one wears is not the neighbour's problem. If you are comfortable in an attire that you fancy, well why must others fret.
    In fact nightie is less revealing than a sari- Moral p[police men may take note.

  11. nice post.. nevertheless whatever one feels comfortable in..

  12. Good one....nightie is the Indian women's answer to the "lungi"

    if a guy can roam around in one why can't the women be seen in a nightie...