STYLE FOCUS: What’s in a chemise?

Well, besides you, of course…   This versatile and sexy little piece may have a tricky name to pronounce but there’s no trick on how to wear it! 

So many people call us and ask us what a chemise is, and how to pronounce it, that we knew there were hundreds more out there who have the exact same question.

Let’s start with pronunciation. Phonetically:  \shə-ˈmēz . Ok, I have no idea what that actually means so let’s go with rhymes. The first syllable rhymes with “shuh” and the second syllable rhymes with “mees”. Say the first syllable a little faster than the second and everyone that knows what a chemise is will know exactly what you are referring to.

Julianna Rae Le Tresor Silk Chemise in Night

So what is it then? In today’s English-speaking world, it means a short sleeveless nightgown.  It doesn’t have to refer to specific style, a specific fabric, or even a specific length – it just doesn’t have sleeves and it’s not longer than mid-calf.  It comes from the French term “chemise de nuit,” which means “night shirt”.  In modern French, “chemise” is simply a man’s shirt –  usually a button down. But before a chemise was just a nightgown (or, when in Paris, a shirt); that is before the late 18th century, it was a simple undergarment. In fact,until the early 1800’s it was the ONLY article of clothing worn underneath, and (lucky for the wearer!) was the only piece of clothing washed weekly.

“Chemise doesn’t refer to a specific style, a specific fabric, or even a specific length – it just doesn’t have sleeves and it’s not longer than mid-calf…”

We love our chemises to pieces. Soft, natural fabrics cut on the bias so they’ll flow just right over your body, flattering curves where you have them, creating the illusion of them if you don’t! With our beautiful lace designs placed just so, you will love them as much as we do!

Of course the other popular question we get is: Can I wear my chemise as a dress?  You tell us! We paired the Midnight Beauty Silk Chemise with a cute cardigan sweater and heels on our model in the picture below!

Inside, outside, uptown, downtown, daytime, evening – the chemise does it all!

Want to wear yours as a dress?  Here’s the secret to invisible undergarments: a simple strapless bra and plain thong in a nude shade that’s as close to your skin tone as possible.

Doesn’t she look gorgeous? Yes! You can wear your chemise as a dress, it’s a hot look for date night or cool and comfortable for a summer day.

So, are you brave enough to wear it out?  Vote below!

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