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After sweating through every shirt I’d packed for a recent trip to Rome, the sweltering heat sent me on a retail mission for something lightweight and easy, but more dignified than a standard tee. And although I hadn’t set out in search of nightwear, I found my ideal summer shirt in Schostal’s exceptionally airy zephyr cotton pajamas.
Founded in 1870, Schostal has been a purveyor of finely crafted cotton basics for over a century and a half. Its lisle dress socks and knitted ties have long been a favorite of discerning Italian shoppers, including members of the Elkann and Della Valle clans. While the Roman brand’s PJs are intended for elegantly hitting the hay, the classic, contrast-piped design is handsome enough to wear outside the house. The charmingly old-school shop, tucked off the bustle of Via Condotti, stocks floor-to-ceiling stacks of timeless pajama sets (far more than are available online). After sifting through numerous options, I was smitten with the zephyr cotton iteration (which, luckily, is available online).
The silky, smooth fabric is incredibly lightweight—perfect for summer’s hottest days, and nights. The shirt’s camp collar makes it easy to wear casually, with everything from white jeans to fresco wool trousers, on its own or unbuttoned atop a T-shirt. Bearing three patch pockets, the design works particularly well as an over-shirt. I opted for two sets: one long-sleeved in butcher stripes and one short-sleeved in solid pale blue. Since returning home, both have been in regular rotation—out and about more often than in bed. I’ve grown so fond of them that I may have to steal a page from Julian Schnabel’s book and adopt pajamas as my summer uniform.