Emma silk jacket, from $295; Ning silk camisole, $195; Manon silk trousers, from $225
For the past 18 months, Maisonzhou has been on a mission to turn lounging at home into an event. Founder and former lawyer Sophie Corlett dreamt up the brand when she first arrived in Singapore in 2013, and hunting for a luxurious sleepwear label proved a challenge. Since its inception, the label is now stocked in China, Hong Kong and of course, Singapore. What we love: Sophie caters for the Asian customer, with smaller sizes that are cut for more petite women. Her sleepwear exudes femininity even in the details – even the trousers have a small cut out at the ankle bone to show that discreet flash of skin.
We spoke to Sophie about why sleepwear is so important to her, and why everyone should take a leaf out of Maisonzhou’s book in feeling at your best even when you’re the only person in the room.
What you wear to sleep matters
Founder Sophie Corlett
“You spend more time asleep than any one thing that you do,” Sophie points out. “We think about what we wear in the day, but not so much at night. But when we come home, what we wear is just for us – sleepwear is a really personal choice that a woman makes.” Whether you’re choosing to throw on a nightdress, or a matching pyjama set, or just an old T-shirt and underwear, you’re deciding what makes you feel at ease in your home.
With that in mind (and the wellness movement emphasising on the importance of quality sleep), perhaps it’s time we paid a little more attention to what we wear when we cosy up in bed.
Sleepwear can evoke powerful feelings
Emma silk jacket, from $295; Manon silk trousers, from $225
For Sophie, her love of sleepwear started with a strong childhood memory. “I remember as a child snuggling up to my mum and feeling the silk she was wearing,” she recounts. “That feeling of security is really important to me.” And growing up on a diet of black and white films, the glamour of old Hollywood had a lasting impact.
“I was so entranced by the amazing dresses the women wore on film,” she says. “At the time, clothing was designed to celebrate a woman’s body.” And once her love of China was added to the mix (Sophie lived in Hong Kong for eight years and travelled to China frequently for work), Sophie began incubating the idea of creating her own luxe sleepwear.
When buying sleepwear, ask yourself what you feel comfortable in
Hanna silk and lace dress, $250
It sounds like a no brainer, but it’s not as simple as “if it’s comfy enough to sleep in, it works.” Sophie recommends that you ask yourself two things: what makes your body feel physically comfortable in wearing, and how does a piece make you feel emotionally. “Are you wearing something in a natural fibre so your body can breathe and relax?” she questions. “Does this clothing make you feel happy, peaceful or calm?”
In short, it’s not odd for you to ask if your pyjamas make you happy – it’s something that should be asked. Ultimately, if our time spent at home is meant for us to decompress, why not cocoon yourself in positivity?
If you can, silk is the way to go
Ning silk camisole, $195; Manon silk trousers, from $225
All of Maisonzhou’s sleepwear is made of silk. It’s something that Sophie doesn’t want to compromise on. “For me there’s no better fabric – it’s natural, breathable, keeps you warm on colder nights and cool when it’s hot,” she says. “And when you sweat it lets the moisture escape from the skin but the fabric doesn’t stay wet the same way cotton does.”
We tend to think of silk as a treat that should be saved for special occasions, but it is exactly this feeling of luxury that Sophie wants us to incorporate into our everyday lives. “When you come home and put aside the face you show to the public, and you can have this little luxury for yourself, why not?”
Think about what you want your sleepwear to do for you
Loulou silk wrap top, from $225; Manon silk trousers, from $225
What you wear to sleep and what you wear to lounge around the house doesn’t necessarily have to be the same thing. For example, you might not want to wear bottoms with a waistband to bed, but they might be better to run around the house in. So purchase your clothing with these needs in mind.
Maisonzhou’s pieces are also double duty in that they can be worn outside of your home, thanks to the quality of the fabric and the cut (the label uses stretch fabric designed to flatter a woman’s shape without restrictive structure like boning or padding). Sophie’s customers have been known to mix and match their tops, camisoles and bottoms with existing pieces in their wardrobe. Once Sophie cottoned on, she switched up the fabric so that it was less sheer, and more versatile. Pyjama as day wear is a trend that’s not going anywhere.