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Drawing of a nightshirt, by David Ring.

A nightshirt is a garment intended for wear while sleeping. It is longer than most regular shirts, reaching down to the thighs or below the knees,[1] leaving some of the legs uncovered. It is generally loose-fitting to avoid restricting the wearer's movement while sleeping.

Until the 16th century men slept naked or in a day-shirt; subsequently a night-shirt, varying in quality, was worn in bed. Nobles in the 16th century wore embroidered shirts or "wrought night-shirts". By the 19th century the night-shirt resembled a day-shirt with a loose, turned-down collar, or a loose, ankle-length nightgown was worn.[2]

Occasionally worn in the 20th and 21st centuries by women as well.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Life (December 12, 1955), "New snap to night shirts", Life, Vol. 39, No. 24, p. 105, ISSN 0024-3019, retrieved February 9, 2011
  2. ^ Cumming, Valerie (2010). The Dictionary of Fashion History. Berg. pp. 141, 142. ISBN 978-1847885340.