Life Style

What is a “nap dress” and why do women want it so badly?

Off Brand is a column that delves into women’s fashion and beauty trends three times a month.

siren In Greek mythology, the fascinating song was a half-bird, half-female creature that crashed a distracted sailor into a rock. In internet mythology, online marketers and influencers are like modern sirens. Check your email online and digital pop-up ads and sponsored social media posts will seduce you with photos of apartments you can’t afford, sofas you don’t even know you like, and sneakers you click once. Before you know it, you hit a rock outcrop. You buy things.

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This summer, many women were chased by shelter-in-place orders for nap dresses, unpretentious negligee-like clothing. Launched in 2019 by New York direct-to-consumer brand Hill House Home, the flock is truly viral during mass quarantine, with a combination of bold marketing, true consumer enthusiasm, and (accidentally) impeccable timing. It caused a sensation. When no one bought anything and it felt like there were more fashion brands in the tank than they were on the market, apparently everyone wanted to wear a nightgown. Specifically, Hillhouse Home’s best-selling “Erie” is a $ 125 cotton dress with a bodice frame tiered skirt. Between zooming, homeschooling, care, and other pandemic stresses, Americans needed a nap, or at least the possibility of a nap.

Judging from Instagram posts, Nap-Dress wearers could end a busy day at Zoom by returning to the meadows and collecting pussy willows.

Katie Sturino, 36, an entrepreneur who owns three nap dresses, said: “It feels like a dress means. Are we just tired? And isn’t it worth wearing something that’s comfortable and cute?”

When Nell Diamond, the 32-year-old founder and CEO of Hillhouse Home, dreamed of a nap dress over a year ago, she was initially convinced whether it was just “Nell’s” or fashionable. I couldn’t have it. It was clearly the latter. By the end of this year, viral gown sales are projected to account for 50% of businesses launched in 2016 to focus on household products. With a background in Yale MBA and good finance, as an analyst at LVMH and Deutsche Bank. Diamond blends emotional design decisions with a fairly conservative approach to business.

Nell Diamond, the founder and chief executive officer of Hill House Home, wears a “nap dress” suitable for the fall.


Hill House Home

The term “nap dress” was trademarked by Hill House Home in January 2020, but it did not stop the imitations from sprung up nasty. A good example of perfect branding, the “nap dress” is a nightgown that feels remotely suitable for the company or a catch-all for a dress that feels remotely suitable for the bed. Small and large fashion brands offer their own versions, sometimes stealing terminology altogether or sneaking into the back end of your site for search engine optimization. A vintage retailer grabbed this phrase. A search on Etsy will find options such as the $ 62 old Laura Ashley Nightgown.

But the winners are still far away. Hillhouse Home’s original “Nap Dress” is now available at “Erie” and the brand’s online marketplace “Nap Dress Shop” offers five slightly different styles. These, which fluctuate between $ 75 and $ 150, are not luxury items. Like Tropicana Orange Juice, it’s what marketers call “premium.” I feel like I’m buying something of high quality without being too sweet. And decisively, they are affordable enough that you can buy multiples. Hillhouse Home is owned by an average nap dress customer of 3 or more, and every woman I talked to (no one is a brand sponsor) bought or will buy a few. I am reporting.

They wear them for the weird hybrid life that many of us have become accustomed to: our work flows into our personal life and we are always a kind of “on” At the same time, it is also a kind of “off”. Nell Diamond, the founder of Hill House Home, has been in meetings for 37 weeks with twins pregnant, but thinks the name of the napdress is a bit wrong. “It’s very interesting because it’s the opposite of it in many ways-it’s a dress to get things done,” she said. Dress fans are enthusiastic about their comfort and ability to look sophisticated for remote work. When worn during a zoom meeting, “it looks like it’s organized like hell,” Sturino said. Some dress proponents lean on lipsticks, headbands and other accessories and don’t look like nightgowns.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a 1996 film adaptation of Emma’s “Emma” by Jane Austin, wearing a nap dress that is loosely based on fashion in the early 1800s.


Everett Collection

Judging from Instagram posts, Nap-Dress wearers could end a busy day at Zoom by returning to the meadows and collecting pussy willows. This style is reminiscent of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Imperial West gown, which was made into a movie of Jane Austin’s “Emma” in 1996, or Kirsten Dunst’s Petit Trianon’s romanticism in 2006’s “Marie Antoinette.” Images of influencers in nap dresses share a similar intentional innocence of “let me eat cake.” Under the hashtag #napdresssummer, women shared their photos in the nature holding babies and puppies. They weren’t wearing masks. This was a summer fantasy that we might have under various circumstances.

La Tiffaney Santucci, 29-year-old marketing manager in Austin, Texas, bought a nap dress from Hillhouse Home when she became pregnant with twins this summer. She admits that she is influenced by the woman in her feed. Many women are either pregnant or postpartum. “I saw some pictures online of romantic and picturesque types of scenes where people taking a nap or having a picnic are in the field. Wait until your baby is a little older. I want to take such a picture together. “

Most of these social media posts occur organically, and photos from fans simply show off nap dresses. However, it cannot be exaggerated that Hill House Home is strategically using Instagram as a platform for both image creation and sales. Like many direct-to-consumer fashion companies, you buy targeted ads and use the Instagram shop, which is a platform-integrated e-commerce experience. Eva Chen, Vice President of Fashion Partnerships at Instagram, praised Diamond for using the app. Napdress said: “Feed the flywheel: get it right away, wear it, post a photo and you want three friends. It has an amazing spillover effect.” She said the trend is “Instagrammy.” He explained, “It has the effect of” I want it in my life. “

Marketing manager La Tiffaney Santucci is wearing a “nap dress” this summer with her newborn baby.


La Tiffany Santucci

That’s exactly what happened to Rachel Smith, owner of Wordsmith Communications in Sacramento, California. “Obviously, more social media scrolling was happening during the quarantine, so to be honest, it appeared very randomly in my feed. A person wearing this very comfortable feminine dress. I looked at it, clicked on it, and thought, “Oh, it’s so cute.” She immediately responded to her promise of cuteness. “I’m a single woman. No one lives here, but I’m laid back around my house, but it’s not a perfect slob.

Don’t expect to dodge the nap dress yet when the picnic weather fades. New prints and styles for Hill House Home will appear regularly in “drops”. The next print is October 28th. For some women, lasting trends create online siblings. “It’s a little cool to take a picture with this, and it reminds everyone of high school students who had to have it,” Santucci explained.

Copyright © 2020 DowJones & Company, Inc. all rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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