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For those prone to overheating, irritation or just generally not prioritizing sleep, Seray is an innovative pyjama solution.
I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
That’s the lighthearted cliché I deliver whenever anyone—friends, coworkers, that one overly friendly gas station attendant—is concerned about my lack of rest. And part of me sincerely believes it. I’ve never prioritized sleep: not when I had to finish my science homework post-soccer practice, not when I started getting invited to 11pm comedy shows, not when Love Is Blind dropped a fourth season.
If sleep is a low priority, sleepwear is even lower. Old university T-shirts and sweats of unknown origin dominate the lineup. What is a pyjama drawer, if not a place your regular clothes go to die?
Of course, if you ask the founder of a small business specializing in sleepwear, they’ll disagree. Lauren Sudeyko, who launched Vancouver-based Seray in October 2022, believes that making intentional choices about what you wear to bed can have a profound effect on your mental health. “You look at yourself as soon as you get out of bed— and women are known to not be very kind to themselves in those moments,” says Sudeyko. “You’re tired. You’re probably getting up earlier than you want to. And when you look at yourself in your oversized T-shirt, it’s not a moment that sets you up for your day.” Okay, that felt like a personal attack.
And somehow, it got more personal. Sudeyko originally started investigating pyjama design after a cycling accident left her with a severe concussion, which in turn affected her sleep. I’ve had four serious concussions in my life. Sudeyko says she always got too hot and sweaty in her sleepwear. Check.
So I gave Seray a try. I went with the $169 Mocha set (pricey, I know, but we’ve come to a point in time where “cheap” and “ethically made” are mutually exclusive).The first thing that really sets these PJs apart is the design of the bottoms: the seams of the shorts sit around the inside of each leg, rather than the usual single seam running down the middle. It is undeniably more comfortable than the classic, if a bit diaper-ish looking (more on that later).
Then, there’s the material: Sudeyko says that her old polyester (read: plastic and nylon) pyjamas were the reason she was sweating, so opted for TENCEL™ Modal fabric—sustainably sourced from Austria, made from raw beechwood, manufactured in a carbon neutral factory, and super breathable—in Seray’s lineup. The fabric is very soft, with enough stretch to be comfy without being too free (in other words, you won’t wake up with one boob on its way to the bus stop).
It’s true, the geometry isn’t what we’re used to seeing in women’s clothing. While men have the luxury of seams that line up with the actual hinges of their body, women get a single seam right through the, well, you know. Why is that? Well, probably because most nighttime wear isn’t really designed for the comfort of women: it’s designed for the pleasure of men.
“We created this product so that women can feel good about themselves—they can feel sexy, they can feel flattered—without the lace,” says Sudeyko. She looks to Calvin Klein as an icon in this regard: no underwire, no hardware, not even a drawstring in sight.
In a world of binaries, this is the middle ground between Victoria’s Secret angel and an Ebeneezer Scrooge-esque nightgown. And, the same way that buying cool workout clothes motivates you to go to the gym, it stands to reason that investing in quality sleepwear prompts you to seriously prioritize rest.
Seray’s second colourway, sage green, launched in May 2023 and sold out in less than two months. They’ve expanded to brick-and-mortar stores in Vancouver (Hill’s Dry Goods and Nettle’s Tale) and are launching pants and longer layers in Fall 2023. “Based on verbatim reviews, women are having cooler and longer sleeps, waking up feeling more rested and looking forward to their evening routine,” says Sudeyko.
I had my reservations, but this product really does stand out—I genuinely look forward to wearing these PJs. So perhaps I’ll sleep while I’m still alive.