After a long day of work, there is often nothing better than changing out of one’s office clothes. Goodbye, blazer and cigarette pants and hello, silky bellbottoms and linen robe.
For Jessye Ashworth, loungewear isn’t necessarily about sleeping—it’s about manifesting the tranquility of home into what we wear.
“One of my comfort shows is Golden Girls and they’re always in their pyjamas,” she says between sips of tea at Pallet Coffee Roasters on Kingsway. Smiling, Ashworth reveals that she is “more of a Dorothy or a Miranda type of person.” With the queens of silk nightgowns eating cheesecake in her mind, Ashworth founded Kinda Sleepwear: a small, unpretentious, made-in-Vancouver line of house clothes. “I went to school for film studies and art history and I always ended up talking about dress, and what people wore, and what that meant to me,” she recalls. “After working in retail for a few years I just sort of homed in on a product that would be sustainable and bring people comfort. To me that is inherently pyjamas.”
Kinda launched in 2017 with just two products, each in two colourways. There is the Unwind Set, which features a pair of high-rise pants with an elastic waist and an oversized top with three-quarter-length sleeves. Then there is the Everyday Short Robe, with cropped sleeves, deep front pockets, and a simple tie waist. Both products come in either a soft dot or stripe pattern, and both are made of 100 per cent Italian shirting cotton that is cool and smooth against the skin.
“I want people to feel very confident in the pyjamas, and comfortable, and feel like they’re taking care of themselves when they’re wearing them,” explains Ashworth, who also works part-time at Neighbour Woman in Gastown (the shop now carries Kinda). She only designs one or two pieces at a time, working slowly through each garment and ignoring the seasonal parameters that most lines adhere to. “I’m sort of adding to it piece by piece and I want to keep all of the pieces thoughtful enough that they can carry over and carry over,” Ashworth says. “Timeless while still being playful. So I want my styles to always be available; maybe in a year from now I’ll tweak it in a different colourway, but I think I’d always like to be riffing on ideas that came before.”
That means fans of this budding brand can always find their favourite pieces and can every now and again discover something new. From their sturdy construction to their luxurious fabric, Kinda items tell stories of inward care. Putting on a robe or sliding into a pair of bottoms means agreeing that comfort is deserved—and that comfort doesn’t have to sacrifice elegance.
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