I love pyjamas. I ought to feel somewhat guilty in admitting a day spent lounging in my jim-jams is a day well spent, but I don’t. It may not qualify me as an expert in nightwear but I’m most definitely 100% fussy enough to know a good pyjama set from a bad one.
Looks are everything, but a cute print means nothing if the cut isn’t right. While a gorgeous pattern and the most delicate fabric is what lures me in, I’ve come to find that manufacture is just as important. When something is well made it looks its best and lasts.
I brought Headen and Quarmby to the blog three years ago, after the heritage business was brought back to life with the help of TV’s Mary Portas. These days, the totally British company famed for their quality Nottingham Lace Kinky Knickers are now armed with a shiny new string to their bow: the stylish sleepwear brand, Ella & Me.
Ella & Me has an incredible vintage charm that’s reassuringly authentic; this isn’t just another modern brand tapping into a retro trend. Going back to basics, the Ella & Me collection is personally handmade by skilled sewists and machinists in the very same warehouse the world class lace was created in all those years ago. Combining contemporary styles with old school tradition, the pieces in this line are completely in a world of their own.
While I love supporting homespun talent, I don’t wax lyrical lightly. I don’t sing high praises if a British maker isn’t so great. So when I say this range has got me all excited about my pyjamas again, I really mean it.
Headen and Quarmby are just great folk and always a genuine joy to have a chat with. When I saw the arrival of the new line I knew right away it was up my street. The patterns were to die for and the fabrics looked so comfy and inviting. I was so thrilled to be informed a parcel of goodies were coming my way.
The Honeysuckle Rose print is my absolute favourite. It’s a gorgeous, garden floral pattern that has an air of quintessential Britishness about it. It’s actually cut from Liberty fabric (another badge of quality) and it just looks so lively and pretty.
I received the Ella and Me Soft Knit Jersey Chemise in this print, which as beautiful as it was, sadly didn’t fit me well. I realised upon trying it that the cut and sewn bust sections weren’t a good design for the fuller bust; only smaller boobs can sit within shaped camisole styling, and as such I was unable to wear it. Such a huge shame, but I’d fully recommend you try if you’re below a D cup.
The Day Dream design (another Liberty fabric) was my next favourite look, with its intoxicating deep berry pink colour. The delicate laurel branch pattern has a folksy feel, and trimmed with the Kinky Knickers lace, it looks thoroughly modern with a vintage touch. The Day Dream Pyjama Short Sleeve Top and the Day Dream Soft Knit Jersey Pyjama Trouser have become firm favourites in my pyjama arsenal!
The t-shirt style top is perfect for me as it provides all the coverage and freedom I like in my pyjamas. Its deep v neckline means it doesn’t sit too snuggly and isn’t restrictive. There’s ample room in the bust region too. The generous medium size fits a 14-16 so feels broad enough for my shoulders and boobs. The overall fit is a loose regular style without being baggy, which is aided by the deliciously soft and supple jersey fabric. The only bug-bear I have is the slight irritation from where a thin plastic strip runs under the stitching of the centre ruching, so I’ve tried to trim it to eliminate the itch. It’s a tiny area but like a stone in a shoe, can be bothersome.
The pyjama bottoms are just so comfy and a dream to wear. The soft jersey fabric really comes into its own, feeling cosy and snug when I want it to but cool and breathable too. The slim elasticated waist band is plain to the back and adorned with the same Nottingham lace that decorates the top, and it sits at a drop waist fashion. The medium fits me well, though I would suggest they suit a 16 marginally better than my 14. The loose, wide leg cut is super relaxed with a generous leg length that for my figure look perfectly tailored.
A camisole completes the co-ordinating style range, a lovely little vest top that’s cute and simple to wear but which isn’t (yet!) full bust friendly.
Ella & Me sleepwear is at the pricier end for everyday pyjamas, but for British made, craftsman quality the value is evident. I can see my Ella & Me pyjamas outlasting some of my firm favourites because they’re so very well made. And to be honest, they simply look gorgeous, which brings me back to one of the most influential factors to me.
Fuller bust ladies: what do you look for in your sleepwear? Do you like pyjama sets like me, or are you a nightie wearer? Do you crave a chemise that fits your bust? Have you found one that does? I’d love to hear more in the comments below!