A Little Backgrounder to The Sleep Shirt

A Little Backgrounder to The Sleep Shirt

The Sleep Shirt is exactly what it sounds like—a brand of shirts made for sleeping. But how did the brand come to exist?

I’m Alexandra Suhner Isenberg, and I started The Sleep Shirt in 2012 in Vancouver, where I grew up and where I’d moved back after spending 10 years in Paris and London. I studied at Central St. Martins and worked at brands like Sonia Rykiel and Burberry. Given my fashion background, I’m often asked why I started a sleepwear brand rather than a fashion label.

The answer can be found in a vintage chemise that I found at Spitalfields Market in London. After wearing it to bed and falling in love with it, I realized that I didn’t know any good places to buy nice women’s nightwear—not silk slips or satin robes, but ladies luxury cotton pyjamas. And just like that, The Sleep Shirt was born.

Today, I manage the brand from Sweden, where my husband is from, though the rest of our majority-female team is in Vancouver and most of our manufacturing is done there, too, in an ethical factory that pays its staff above the minimum wage. We use mostly Oeko-tex or BCI-certified (Better Cotton Initiative) fabrics from Italy, Japan, Portugal, Switzerland and China. And while our nightshirts are our best-selling product, we’re also recognized for our well-made tops, bottoms, and pyjama sets—most of which can also be worn as loungewear, ready-to-wear, as a beach coverup, or even for maternity and nursing. Everything is made from high quality materials, so the cost per wear of a piece by The Sleep Shirt, whether you don it for bed or beyond, is low.

On our site, you can do more than just shop pyjamas and contemporary sleepwear: you’ll also find clothing, including our new T-shirt by The Sleep Shirt collection, bedside beauty products, duvets and pillows, handmade Amish quilts, and blankets. We also stock UPCYCLE, a brand of home accessories made from fabric remnants, and we pride ourselves on our own low-waste production process—fabric scraps are used to make accessories you can also find on site.

The Sleep Shirt’s classic nightshirt was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things, and we have many pieces that come in one size, making them excellent gifts, as well as options for the modest consumer. We offer an extended size range (including 2X or 3X) in our bestselling shapes and are constantly re-evaluating other styles to make them as size inclusive as possible.

I like to think that The Sleep Shirt is one of the best sleepwear brands out there, but what I love more than anything is hearing from people who have tried one of our products. What do you think? Have you worn one of our pieces? Drop me a line if you have any questions or want to know even more about the brand—my email is alexandra@thesleepshirt.com.