An Oldie but a Goodie: Making a Case for the Beloved Daster
In which “long live the nightgown” becomes the style mantra revived by life in quarantine
Favorite daster love never dies. Though I hardly ever assign a sentimental value to clothing, the hand-me-down nightgown-turned-day dress has been a solid exception.
Maybe it’s something I learned from my mom, who inherited her fair share of the pambahay wardrobe staple from my grandmother. The pastime of pranking her children, however, (she likes to stand at the end of a dark hallway dressed in her flowy, mumu-white house dress when she hears us about to walk through) I’m certain she picked up somewhere else.
Days in quarantine have not only bumped up the opportunities for said pranking but, in general, daster dressing in our household. I have three nightgowns in particular on heavy rotation: one of mom’s mumu-white dresses that’s a little shy of prairiecore-ready, a navy printed daster I’ve worn to bed, the beach and, on several occasions, the office, and a star-printed nightie that my aunt gifted me when I was 13. The stars look like faded squiggles on cheesecloth at this point. But like I said, favorite daster love never dies.
Staring down at the parachutey silhouette, airy fabric, and loose fit, I have come to re-realize in recent weeks the potential of the lowly daster. It’s where nightwear as daywear and pambahay at panlabas are able to intersect, and it can be as versatile as an LBD if you play your cards right.
|Cotton On Body Melange Ribbed Super Soft Nightie, ₱1,199||Women’Secret Midi Nightdress with Lace, ₱2,950||Impression Lace Printed Night Dress, ₱2,299|
With summer around the corner (the country’s heat index a glaring reminder of even hotter, more humid days to come), anything that clings or bunches up gets an instant “thanks but no thanks” from me. And as excited as I was to plow through boredom at home by exploring pajama dressing, believe me when I say instead that the nightie is where it’s at.
The formula for a daster as a day dress could be as simple as pairing it with a wicker sandal and, up top, a pair of sunglasses, hoop earrings, and a net bag as an added accessory. A low ponytail tied with a scarf is also a chic hairstyling option that luckily requires little to no attention to detail. Getting away with a daster at the office calls for some form of outerwear––perhaps a boxy, oversized blazer for balance––and a dressed-up shoe like a strappy kitten heel. A classic red lip is always welcome, too.
Beyond these two practical styling executions, the daster has a lot more to offer. It’s forgiving and versatile. The unheralded key item of transitional dressing thereby making it a seasonless staple for fans of who-the-fuck-cares styling.
Now, I have yet to wear this article of clothing that’s meant for nights in on an actual night out, but it’s the first order of business when the community quarantine is over.
Art Alexandra Lara