1960s and 1970s hostess pajamas were extra fancy entertaining clothes were made to stand out from the crowd at your own house party. These pajamas meet loungewear with luxury fabrics and trim were made in bright bold colors (hello orange, gold and black/white) and dramatic prints (paisley, deco, Asian, stripes.)
Most 1960s hostess pajamas and hostess gowns had design elements that gave a nod back to the Orient from whence they were originally borrowed in the late teens and 20s. They were called Beach Pajams back then.
Paired with flat, almost bedroom slipper shoes they resembled pajamas even more.
Now a days we call hostess pajamas, jumpsuits. Made of rich satin, velvet, or brocade, they were fit for a queen. 1960s jumpsuits had either an attached matching top or a separate tunic top over a pair of coordinating wide leg palazzo pants. The wider the pant the better as a hostess ensemble.
Quilted or layered materials added to the volume at the legs without making them heavy. The object was to look larger than any other guest at the party yet comfortable enough to roam about the room and fetch more refreshments as needed.
Not all 1960s hostess pajamas were one piece jumpsuits. The two piece mini dress or tunic shirt over a pair of wide leg pants created a slightly less formal hostess outfit that could easily carry into daytime or nighttime lounging. The longer tunic tops could be worn alone, as a mini dress instead of a hostess ensemble. Talk about versatility!
60s Lounge Pajamas
Softer materials made up “lounge pajamas,” for non-entertainment home outfits. Quilted cotton, satin, nylon knit, velour velvet and terry cloth – each 60s jumpsuit was made in Asian inspired prints and necklines as well as trippy hippie prints and op art patterns. Talk about some crazy designs! I really want one.
There was little distinction between a hostess pajama and a sleeping or lounging pajama. Draping materials, less decoration, and solid colors made lounge pajamas more lounge-like.
I think most women would tell you these lounge pajamas were not great for sleeping in, but boy, oh, boy were they fun to wear around the house and feel like you were hosting your own party for one.
Casual 1960s Jumpsuits
Were 1960s jumpsuits popular for daytime wear? Absolutely. Women couldn’t resist the comfort of 1960s jumpsuits. As daytime outfits, 60s jumpsuits were either the two piece tunic style or the more fitted overall style.
Initially the first real 60s jumpsuit was a combination of a stretch pant and a jumper dress (or pinafore dress) with a deep V neckline and wide straps. These mid 1960s jumpsuits were called Jump-All’s. Similar pants tuned jumpsuits has suspender straps. Both were worn over a frilly blouse.
Moving into the 1970s, the jumpsuit slimmed down. The oversized palazzo pant was seen as too comical but that doesn’t mean they stopped being sold in funky retro prints for a few more years:
The everyday jumpsuit was far too popular to be left in the 1960s. They carried on well into the 1980s.
Learn More Fashion History
Debbie Sessions has been teaching fashion history and helping people dress for vintage themed events since 2009. She has turned a hobby into VintageDancer.com with hundreds of well researched articles and hand picked links to vintage inspired clothing online. She aims to make dressing accurately (or not) an affordable option for all. Oh, and she dances too.