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Banjo as Mind the Gap

Posted by Joanchek on Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's been a long while since I had a proper rant, and today's the day, my friends.

All I want, and it's such a simple thing, is comfortable, functional nightwear.  Now, you'd think that this would be an easy wish to fulfill--head to the store, buy some jammies and be done with it.  But no.  Evidently, there is no such animal as this.  My needs are simple and not fussy.   I want something that will transition from sleepwear to make-coffee- and empty-the-dishwaher-wear.  The garment must cover me to my ankles.  It must not be form-fitting, not only for comfort, but because there are usually other people around when I am making coffee and emptying the dishwasher and frankly I don't want those people to know me quite *that* well.  If we're talking nightgowns, length is primary, and I want long sleeves.  A pocket would be gravy.  If we're talking pajamas, I want knit.  We're talking comfort here.

But oh no.  Evidently, sleepwear designers think that women would prefer something short with trim all over the edges, inevitably scratchy, or something silky (read "cold" up here in the Poconos) and short enough to expose that which we would rather cover.  I started at the department stores.  I  had a choice:  take out a loan for designer wear or look like I belong in a window in Amsterdam.  I checked out the big-box discount stores.  Tons of t-shirt styles, and tons of those things we called "housedresses" back in the day.  I thought I had hit pay dirt at that discount store with the bulls-eye logo.  I found a knit nightgown that was long (doesn't ride up if it's long enough) with long sleeves.  So I bought one, and knowing it would shrink, I bought two! sizes larger than I actually wear.  After the first washing, it shrank to the size of an average middle-schooler.

OK, says I, let's try the jammy route.  Tons of soft, comfy pants out there... just pick a fabric and a color you can live with.  Done.  Now, a couple of shirts to go with...and there's the problem.  None of the shirts I find are long enough to insure that there's no gap around my tummy when I move around.  Or walk.  Or stand still, for that matter.  I hate the gap. I  keep looking.  Men's department?  I am not that far gone yet.  Maybe one of the nightshirts over the pants?  There's that shrink-factor again.  So I am currently using old tshirts with the neck binding cut out.  Terribly attractive, but the price was right I suppose.

Dear designers:  I don't want to look like my 15-year-old niece, nor my grandmother.  I want jammies that are comfy to sleep in, decent enough to wear around the house, generously cut, with a pocket!!  And please remember that we're not all 5'5".  Think long.  Think stretchy.  Think warm.  Think practical. 

I am off to cut the necks out of a couple more ancient tshirts.  And just think, bathing-suit shopping season is just around the corner. 


3 comments on “Banjo as Mind the Gap”

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Tuesday, March 3, 2009 @8:24:15 AM

In cold weather over-sized sweatshirts are comfortable, especially in combination with a suitable undershirt like the ones you have modified to suit.  I have to buy T-shirts two sizes larger than I need so that I can continue tucking them in after they shrink; I'm having to give the ones purportedly my size to my 10-year-old.

You have my complete empathy.

Texasbanjo Says:
Tuesday, March 3, 2009 @12:23:25 PM

Check out They have comfy jammies that don't cost a lot and will probably do just what you want them to.   I know, I have several pair that work well for both sleeping and morning coffee -- and are "discrete" enough for company.

PruchaLegend Says:
Tuesday, March 3, 2009 @9:25:52 PM

OK, I'm sure you've thought of this, considered it, and discarded it...but...sweat pants and sweat shirts are warm, soft, comfortable, cover *everything*, and can be used to sleep, make and drink coffee, and take out the garbage (if necessary). I know. I've worn them. Right now I'm in warm country (Arizona) and wear pj bottoms and T-shirts. (I hope that wasn't too much information.) And, a bonus to this suggestion is that you can put your graphics on them and sell them on your "banjo stuff" web site. If you get the right sweat pants, they'll have pockets too. Hope this helps.

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