Have you heard of the “Nap Dress?” It’s a hybrid between a house dress and a nightgown, and it’s the hottest trend of the season! First created in 2019 by Nell Diamond for her fashion & lifestyle brand Hill House Home, the dress really took off when the pandemic hit in 2020. A self-described “dress person” (I relate!), Diamond wanted to design a dress that could be comfortable for busy home life but also convenient and fashionable for a working mom and business owner. Although it retails for $125, the original Hill House Home Ellie Nap Dress is nearly always sold out!
As usual, all of the images in this post (including the collage and the boutique at the bottom) are clickable for more information.
Nap Dress Aesthetic
Although the term “Nap Dress” was trademarked by Hill House Home in January 2020, that hasn’t stopped knockoffs from springing up everywhere! Reminiscent of Victorian Era garments, the dress style can be casual or dressy. It’s comfortable to wear around the house and throughout the day (where the name “nap” comes from), but can easily be dressed up with wedges, sandals, or even sneakers. Diamond said she intended to design a dress that “could take her from making breakfast for her toddler to an important business meeting to drinks with her husband after work.” She considers the Nap Dress’s name a bit of a misnomer. “It’s so funny because it’s in many ways the opposite of that—it’s a dress for getting stuff done,” she said.
Typical Nap Dress Characteristics
- Delicate and feminine aesthetic.
- Loose-fitting accordion-like smocked or ruched bodice. (Some have called it a 2021 take on the corset!)
- Very flattering, with a bodice that loosely hugs in the right places.
- High or empire waistline.
- Can have ruffled shoulders or small puffed sleeves.
- Square neckline.
- Flowy and loose from the waist down.
- Often (but not always) tiered skirt or a large ruffle at the hemline.
- Most popular is midi or maxi length (But also comes in shorter versions.)
- Soft, breathable, and lightweight fabric (usually light-medium cotton), often with a floral pattern.
- Comfortable and breezy for warm weather and travel.
- Romantic and dreamy, but functional!
Nap Dress Variations
You’ll see variations on the nap dress theme as the style evolves, for sure! While the smocked top is typically always present, you’ll see alternate hemlines, sleeves, and skirts — but the aesthetic is the same. The dress will always be one that you can wear all day, and it will never be too “precious.” The version I’m wearing in this post is from Target, and it’s under $30! It also comes in a darling blue floral and a stunning mint green (see below).
My sandals are on-trend, fabric-wrapped sandals embellished with pearls. They would be perfect for a summer wedding! They’re beautiful quality and the price is right!
Do you love the trend or not? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment and let me know! As a dress lover myself, I adore this feminine yet practical trend! I’ve been snatching up spring dresses like nobody’s business, and you can better believe there are a few nap dresses in among them! We’ve rounded up our favorite nap dress styles in a little boutique below! Click on any image for more information or to shop.