Requiem for a Nightgown

Picture it: Macon Georgia,2007. Two girls are wandering through the Salvation Army looking for costumes for the Tacky 80’s mixer later that evening. In addition to finding the GEM of an outfit seen above (thanks to Capable Carrie for the photo!) I ended up finding the holy MUTHA of all nightgowns.

A nightgown can be a great way to cuddle up with friends.

It was worn and faded, but incredibly soft. Some mistaken volunteer had put it in with the dresses instead of which the sleepwear, a department I otherwise would never have gone to (used sleepwear? Call me old-fashioned but that’s like having herpes on speed-dial). Still–it had a logo I found incredibly funny, and since it was crotchless sanitary I decided to go for it. I rationalized that it was, after all only a dollar, and I thought I’d wear it that evening at the sleepover after the mixer for giggles and discard it the next day.

That’s right. It says “I Only Sleep with the Best”. Which incidentally, is true.

I never got rid of it though. At first it was the comforting softness, the way the cotton fabric allowed my skin to breathe and the lack of pants kept me from having night sweats. It was long enough to wear around to lounge in and provided an endless amount of comments and laughs for every sleepover I took it to.

I wore it after all the break-ups and the drunken all-nighters in college. In my mid-twenties I wore it after each and every bad work day; the ONLY thing I wanted to wear when I was sick. The silly nightgown and impulse buy became something else entirely–a security blanket I needed to make me feel comfortable and safe when I was at my most vulnerable. Call me sentimental, especially since I’m devoting an entire post to a mere piece of fabric, but the nightgown is what I now consider the best dollar I ever spent. After years of shopping addiction and impulse spending it is one of the few purchases I never regretted.

Flash Forward to now: July 2012. I was in bed in my beloved gown eating bean dip. (yeah, I eat bean dip in bed! Get at me!) And fatty-fatty-no-friends that I am, I spilled dip all down the nipple area of the shirt. You can see the damage below.

That’s a mighty big stain for such a small girl. Well, I really like dip.

The stain didn’t come out, and I feel like such a slob walking around the house in a dip stained nightgown while my hot boyfriend is nearby. Alas, into the trash the nightgown goes…. but not without all the fanfare and the proverbial “ten-gun salute” it so rightly deserves. I am so super sad to see you go, but I guess after six years it is time to get some new PJ’s. It’s not like I didn’t get my moneys worth.

Perhaps it is because it was such a great bargain; an item that I got a lot of use out of I feel just a tiny bit better about placing it into retirement.

Thanks for the memories comfy white trash 80’s nightgown. Goodnight and good luck.

Help me grieve my loss! What’s the best dollar you’ve ever spent?

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22 thoughts on “Requiem for a Nightgown

  1. You make me laugh Lauren….who knew that bean dip in Bed could be so dangerous? Best dollar I spent was for one of those plastic popcicle makers at the dollar store. My kids and I went on a popcicle making bonanza that lasted an entire summer. It was fun, it was bonding time, and it was delicious. What else can you ask for from a dollar purchase?

  2. How many “I Only Sleep With the Best” clothes were at that Salvation Army?!? I found a sweet sweatshirt that said it (with the name “Jackie” on the back) when I was in college, too. And, of course, I bought it.
    Was this some themed party we just don’t know about?

  3. Hahahaha omg… poor you. Poor nightgown. I love those unexpected purchases that turn out to be something you wear and love. Most of my most loved clothes are ones that I almost didn’t purchase because I was hesitant!

  4. It’s always terrible when you have to get rid of a favorite clothing item! I had these awesome flannel soft pajama pants that I was in love with that I bought from my mom for $1. I loved them and wore them all the time. I tried sewing up the holes they ended up with but when my entire backside was showing, it was too much for those pants 😦 Away they went in the trash.

    • I also have a pair of pants I keep mending but it doesnt do much good. They are for yoga..and cost more than a dollar but I love them too much to throw them away

  5. I think about past clothing I got rid of and have fond memories associated with them. It’s weird how an item of clothing…or any item in your house really, is tied with an emotion. Kind of like Wilson in Castaway…OK maybe not THAT bad!

      • I think I heard from someone there was a sweatshirt. Now the question is-what came first? the nightgown? or the sweatshirt? And why?

        Was Jackie just trying to get across to everyone that she really did ONLY sleep with the best? That’s powerful branding my friends.

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  7. Um….. this is hilarious! And I understand your attachment to the nightgown. I had a pair of cutoffs in junior high / high school that seemed like they were positively meant for only me. Eventually they no longer fit, and I came to a point in my life where I didn’t really want anyone gawking at my upper thighs anyway (they were pretty short)…. but I miss them and I think of all the great times I had in them. Summer vacations! My first kiss! Staying out late with my friends! Sigh.

    Calvin Klein makes pretty good sleepshirts, btw. You could probably find one at Marshalls / TJ Maxx for about $15.

    • Thanks for the tip! I went to uniqlo in nyc this weekend to try and find one and they didn’t have any. I’ll have to try TJ Maxx. I have a habit of wearing old summer dresses that have gotten too short as sleepwear but I am really missing my old nightgown.

  8. Since the stain did not run into the graphic, I totally would have cut it out and sewed it applique style on another tee or tank. Or you could have had it framed and hung on the wall (of your closet, maybe lol). I went to a thrift store and they did the “8 items for $5” deal. I got some great jeans and tops. Another time at the same store I got a pair of awesome yoga pants for 50 cents. So woot!

    • My mom saved it from the trash and swears she’ll be able to get the stain out…otherwise these are great ideas. I have a blanket I made out of sorority t-shirts, so I may add it to that. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!!

  9. Before discarding any more treasures like this nightgown, spray affected area with Oxiclean (I don’t have stock in this company but realize it might be a good idea!) and wash in hottest water available with a bit of laundry detergent, and stain often vanishes. Try to treat the bean dip mark (or whatever) as soon as possible after it happens, but even a day or days later you may have amazing success remvoing the mark with Oxiclean. Antiques dealers use quarts of Oxiclean if they deal in vintage linens, the stuff works wonders.

    • Haha thanks for the tip-unfortunately I washed it and it was still embedded in, I don’t know if it was the bean dip or I waited too long or what. I agree oxiclean is amazing-especially what they have for carpet. I appreciate your comment 🙂

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