The Nap Dress: An Elevated Nightgown Turned Bridal Trend

The Trevi Fountain in Rome. Oktoberfest in Munich. Highclere Castle in Britain, which some may know better by its other (fictional) name: Downton Abbey.

These are three of the more far-flung places where people have documented themselves on Instagram wearing the Nap Dress, a garment introduced by the brand Hill House Home in 2019. The dress, as its name suggests, was conceived as a sort of elevated nightgown — comfortable enough to sleep in, stylish enough to step outside in. During the pandemic, it drew devoted fans, with many sharing photos of themselves on social media using the hashtag #napdressnation.

The dress has a smocked bodice and a full skirt that typically hits above the ankles. It has been produced in several styles, colors and patterns, and has been adopted by various types: influencers, of course, but also mothers (some of whom put their children in coordinating dresses) and even brides.

“In the early days, we would see people organically wearing our products to get married in,” said Nell Diamond, 34, the founder and chief executive of Hill House Home. She added that many customers asked for more traditional wedding clothing.

This month, Hill House Home is expanding into bridal with its first wedding line. It features more than a dozen pieces, including three new Nap Dresses in white fabrics.

The new styles include a shorter Nap Dress in lace ($250), a full-length lace dress with black ribbons as shoulder straps ($395) and a full-length tulle dress with blue ribbons as straps (also $395).

“We loved the idea of adding nontraditional colors into a wedding collection,” Ms. Diamond said of the full-length dresses’ straps. “There’s a little sense of cheekiness.”

Ms. Diamond started Hill House Home in 2016, after working at Deutsche Bank in New York. Her company’s retail footprint now includes three stores: one in Midtown, another in Palm Beach, Fla., and a seasonal shop on Nantucket, where she spent summers growing up.

At first, Hill House Home sold only bedding. But Ms. Diamond said it wasn’t long before she started to explore expanding into apparel. She added that back then, she knew that if she were to make clothing, one of her first pieces would be a dress.

“I really am not a pants person,” she said. “I need to be free.”

At her 2014 wedding on the French Riviera, which was covered by Vogue, Ms. Diamond wore a gown by Olivier Theyskens. It had a 10-foot train and required three fittings to produce.

Over the course of the festivities she wore several other garments (by Rosie Assoulin, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana), and she said that a bridal Nap Dress would have fit right in with the rest of her wardrobe.

“I would have loved that fun, beautiful dress to get ready in,” Ms. Diamond said, instead of “a random sweatshirt.”