Naptime with Daniel: Snugglemaxxing, Pajama Professional, and Sleepcore

I want to show my appreciation for the ultimate leisure. I wanted an aesthetic that was luxurious, casual, cozy, and inviting. I want to dress, more and more, in "sleepcore."

Naptime with Daniel: Snugglemaxxing, Pajama Professional, and Sleepcore

People don't respect sleep. They think of it as "wasted time," repeating stupid phrases like "you can sleep when you're dead." People drown themselves in caffeine and make themselves work through the night with some unfounded certainly that this will somehow get them ahead of a Sisyphean workload. But all of our experience and all of our science tells us that sleep is crucial to any semblance of a decent or productive life. We cannot learn without sleep.

As an American attorney, I've been thoroughly immersed in work-first culture. I've had friends tell me horror stories: one set her alarm for every hour of the night, every night, to make sure that she never accidentally slept through an urgent client call. She was fully aware that the human brain was not meant to suffer this form of abuse, but her firm didn't seem concerned.

As you might have noticed if you follow this blog at all, I enjoy tailoring. While I am happy to wear it often, I live a fairly casual life, and improving my style necessarily includes improving my casual aesthetic. But while my vision for tailoring is somewhat clear (if eclectic), my vision for a casual aesthetic has always been a little trickier, a little harder to put into practice.

A common "casual" outfit will involve denim, a tee shirt, and a chore coat. These aesthetics are common, but not neutral: they carry connotations. Stiff. Rugged. Hardy. I'm not entirely opposed to those connotations, but they don't feel authentic to me or my life. Gorpcore and sportswear-based aesthetics aren't right for me either. So what is?


I value leisure. I value the time I spend with friends and family over the time I spend hiking or—heaven forbid—running. I enjoy a nice meal or a nice movie over a game of pickup basketball or a carpentry project. I have not served in any military, and have no great desire to lean into those aesthetics. I'm not a soccer hooligan or a cowboy. I'm a city-slicker, but not an elitist prick. Some other aesthetics—cozy, slouchy, and intellectual aesthetics, for example—have resonated with me, but there's one thing that drew me in with a distinct magic.

I want to show my appreciation for the ultimate leisure, which is simultaneously the ultimate intellectual activity, and which is simultaneously crucial to our productivity, and without which we cannot live. I wanted an aesthetic that was luxurious, casual, cozy, and inviting. I want to dress, more and more, in "sleepcore."

I don't just want to wear loungewear. I don't just want to wear pajamas. I want to incorporate everything we associate with sleep: robes, blankets, sheets, and pillows. I want to explore sleep on both literal and metaphorical levels. I want to instill a feeling of deep comfort, whether by wearing pajamas or by wearing my tailoring in a way that feels softer and cozier. I need to approach this issue in both a direct and abstract way.

This album will review overt sleep themes in a fashion context, such as those found in the Umit Benan selections against the carpet, but also the subtle elements I want to incorporate into my casual style more realistically: camp collars, linen, velvet belted outerwear, belted cardigans, tartans in cotton flannel, shawl collars, pants with a visible drawstring, and textures that remind me of blankets (such as waffle knits, wool flannel, quilting, and cowichan knits).

Flannel is cozy, and exudes sleep; tweed is country-rugged. Corduroy is sleep; denim is for lumberjacks. A robe coat is sleep; a chore coat is for work. Matching suits feel a lot cozier once you realize that pajamas are just casual suits in silk or cotton flannel.

I'll also acknowledge certain elements I'm less interested in incorporating into my own wardrobe, such as quilts, pillows, and literal pajama shirts (which some have taken to wearing as casual shirts).

There are practical issues in pursuing this aesthetic. Clothing that fits the vibe is unusually rare and often expensive. There are a thousand brands making good, affordable jeans; the best brands taht engage with sleep as an aesthetic tend to be expensive designer brands, and the pieces aren't always versatile, but designed to work narrowly in the context of a particular collection. It's hard to thrift this kind of clothing, and I have enjoyed thrifting a lot lately. All of these issues have slowed down my progress; none will stop me. I hope that by sharing this album, I can inspire myself and advance my search.

Let's take an underappreciated third of our lives, and learn to celebrate its sanctity.

Please enjoy the playlist I prepared for this album, with the assistance of Kris Lynch:

There's only one way I can start this album, and that's with one of my favorite photo shoots from all time. Styled and directed by Robert Rabensteiner and shot by Benoit Peverelli, this shoot features Thadée Klossowski de Rola lying down on a stack of intricate carpets, surrounded by pillows and blankets of various kinds.

The shoot was later recreated for Umit Benan's Spring/Summer 2019 campaign, "God Is Black (Pt. 1)," which directly included sleep-related elements, as his designs often do. I'm not sure exactly what role Rabensteiner had in this shoot, but he's worked with Umit Benan since, and the men are good friends, together with others like Haider Ackermann. The collection could have been a reference, or Rabensteiner could have styled it himself.

There will be much more Umit Benan in this album as we continue. For now, let's mix things up.

A$AP Rocky's famous quilt from ERL
This peacock suit and slippers from Bode. A matching shirt and trousers in a funky print says "pajamas" to me.
Tom Ford A/W '21
from Ridge and Furrow
Armani Fall/Winter '90-'91
Glenn O'Brien
Willem Dafoe
Aviva Jifei Xue
Drawn by Rodrigo
Blanket stitch quilted trousers from Bode
A Kind of Guise
Nathaniel and Noam
For Restless Sleepers SS19
A Place in the Sun
Sean Connery
More from Umit Benan
Brandon Mitchell
Billie Eilish and Jesse Rutherford in a Gucci comforter
Haider Ackermann and friends

See also:

If you have to stay home, it might as well be fun.

                                                   —Tom Ford