When I was in my twenties I dated a guy who liked to wear my nightgowns. He was from Calgary, but when he visited me in San Fransisco we would sit on my sofa eating ice cream wearing night gowns. At the time I thought it was rather charming. He was tall, handsome and had the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. He played football and hockey in high school and was an extremely good golfer with a 6 handicap. Meaning in the former view of masculinity you would not expect a guy like this to be wearing his girlfriend’s nightgown.
Since the photoshoot and putting Christofer in the Ocean SF dress I’ve given a great deal of thought to what it means to be masculine and how clothes play into our ideas of gender. What does it mean if a man wants to wear a nightgown? Does it even mean anything? Likely not.
The more I think about gender-fluidity I believe if there was ever a brand in the world to make just uni-sex clothing it should be my sailing apparel company. Honestly everyone regardless of gender wants to be comfortable and warm on the water.
Back then, wearing my nightgown was something my boyfriend liked to do. And, of course when you’re in love with someone you want to see them happy. Thinking back I realize this wasn’t something we did in Calgary. It was only here in the Bay Area did he want to wear matching nightgowns. I had just recently moved here and I had few friends then. I lived in an apartment building where we knew no one. I remember that time fondly when it was just the two of us with no intrusions.
During lockdown my daughters and I sorted through my old photographs and love letters. They became curious about him and found his profile on the Internet. He is still as handsome as ever wearing a suit and tie.
Overall, he was a wonderful boyfriend. He was very romantic and brought me dozens of roses and planned elaborate Valentines Day surprises and of course he wrote beautiful love letters. I can still remember what it felt like to be in love with him and how much I missed him when we were apart. And, of course how deeply he loved me and his ability to express it in his hand written letters that were often five pages long.
Growing up my mother would give us matching pajamas for Christmas. This is a tradition I continue with my own daughters. For a period flannel Lanz night gowns were very popular, so I owned several in different patterns. These were the nightgowns my boyfriend wanted to wear. Luckily, they were big enough for his six foot frame.
As I spend this lovely December morning thinking of him my wish is that today he owns his own nightgown. Preferably flannel and 100% cotton.
Love and blessings to all.