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  • Our favourite Christmas tradition: Giving pyjamas on Christmas Eve

    Last Christmas Eve my lovely friend Arabella posted the most adorable picture of herself and her daughter (my god daughter) on Instagram.  It shows them in matching mummy-and-me pyjamas having a cosy time by the Christmas tree.  I loved the picture and Arabella and I got chatting about it last week.   It turns out the real genius of the picture is not just it’s loveliness – it’s that there’s a whole tradition behind it.  In Arabella’s family they always give each other pyjamas on Christmas Eve.  That way everyone wakes up in gorgeous fresh PJs on Christmas morning – ready for the big event.

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    Obviously, I think everyone should get into this Christmas tradition.   So, if you’re not sure what to get someone who you’re spending Christmas with then pop over to our brushed cotton pyjamas and take a browse.  They’ll be sure to look great come Christmas morning.

  • Christmas Presents

    This year give the gift of great sleep.  Pick out some nightwear and accessories that will inspire friends and family to make time for rest and relaxation.

    Life is busy for everyone and making time for down-time can be hard.  Getting some beautiful nightwear for Christmas is a lovely excuse to lounge around over the holidays.

    So here are Charlotte’s top Christmas present ideas:

    Best present for mum who’s always looking after everyone else

    A cashmere dressing gown.  Yes, I know! It’s not cheap.  But nothing feels as wonderful and nothing says ‘I know how hard you worked for all of us’ in quite the same way.  A cashmere dressing gown is truly an investment piece; it will give years of comfort and joy.

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    Best present for the lounge lover

    A pair of brushed cotton pyjamas.  Our softest and warmest pyjamas.  These are as much loungewear as nightwear.  Choose a pretty print that will suit her taste and personality.  Does she love elephants or owls or flowers?  We’ve got them all.

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    Best present for the insomniac

    Sleep doesn’t come easily to everyone.  A silk eye mask and lavender pillow spray is a lovely gift set that will help to most hardened insomniac drift off.

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    Best present for your friend who has had a tough year and deserves a treat

    I have a friend who has really been through it this year.  She’s not someone I usually exchange presents with but this year I’m going to give her a small present:  A pair of cashmere socks – a small treat but a big luxury.

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    Best present for the beauty junkie

    A silk pillowcase is an unusual and luxurious treat for any beauty junkie.  An original alternative to more creams, masks or make-up.  Our silk pillowcases help prevent wrinkles and bedhead hair.  They are also beautifully comfortable to encourage deep beauty sleep.

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    Best present for the neat freak

    For those who love a tidy house our wardrobe care collection is a gift made in heaven.  Choose from padded hangers, cedarwood hearts, anti-moth spray or garment storage bags.  We have everything she needs to make her New Year clear out a total pleasure.  And a beautifully tidy wardrobe will give a sense of calm that will really make her sleep well at night.

    And finally, best for stocking fillers

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    Take a look at our 3 for 2 offer on little night time luxuries.  From bed socks to eye masks we’ve got lots of great ideas for little presents.

  • Win a pair of cashmere slippers

    Congratulations to Ms. Yardley-Jones - lucky winner of a pair of luxury cashmere slippers!

    Every year Christmas is a little more stressful and busy than I would like.  This year I’ve promised myself that I’ll be super organised and get everything done early.  Not only will I – absolutely pinky promise – get all my shopping done before December, I’ll also make it easy for my family to do the same.  So I’ve done a wish list and shared it with friends and family.

    To inspire you to do the same we’re giving away a pair of cashmere slippers to one lucky person who sets up and shares a wish list this week.

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    To create a wish list, simply click on the "my wish list" tab at the top of our website. You will be taken through the simple account login process.

    So go on, put together your list.  And may all your wishes come true.

    Terms & conditions: All customers who create a wish list between 11th November 2016 and 18th November 2016 will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of cashmere slippers worth £69. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The prize draw will take place on 21st November and the winner will be notifed by email.

  • Sleep and Relaxation matter – that’s what Charlotte & Co is all about

    I’m on a mission to make more women take relaxation and sleep seriously.  Both are underrated skills.  And far too many people are actually suffering from sleep deprivation.  So, at Charlotte & Co., we don’t just make lovely nightwear - we’re trying to get you think about sleep as a positive and valuable activity.  Even if it seems to be the ultimate non-activity!

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    If you’re getting less than 7 hours of good quality sleep per night that makes you sleep deprived - and that is bad for your physical and mental health.  The NHS will tell you that lack of sleep will shorten your lifespan as well as making you grumpy and prone to depression and bad decision making.

    Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t come naturally to everyone.  In fact, about a third of the population say they find it hard to sleep most nights.  And when you feel like that, then the mere thought of trying to get to sleep is enough to add to your stress levels.

    So how do you fix your broken relationship with sleep?

    The first and most important thing to do is to decide that sleep matters to you.  You need to sign up to the idea that sleep is a serious part of your life deserving of thought, planning and care.

    The golden rules for sleeping well:

    Get some exercise every day

    Make time for relaxation

    Find a bedtime routine that really helps you get to sleep

    Set aside at least 8 hours for sleeping

  • How to look after your clothes - and stop moths destroying your clothes

    I so often get asked how to look after clothes.  And particularly about how to prevent moths from attacking your favourite clothes.  There’s no one answer so I take a holistic approach to keeping my clothes looking beautiful.

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    Follow washing instructions:

    I always follow wash instructions to the letter.   I wash almost everything at 40 degrees but I intercept all knitwear and silks and put them on the specialist cycle.  I also use a specialist detergent for silk, wool and cashmere.  Honestly, the soap manufacturers are not just trying to sell you an extra bottle!  Standard laundry detergent contains enzymes that get cottons etc gorgeously clean but which will literally eat fine fibres like cashmere and silk.

    Never use a tumble drier.

    Tumble driers are bad for the environment, bad for your clothes and they are expensive to run.  If you have got in the habit of using a tumble drier you will be amazed at how much longer your clothes look like new once you stop.  Conversely – when I took the family on holiday to the USA this summer and had to put our clothes through a tumble drier I was completely horrified by how worn they looked after a single cycle.

    Do a big wardrobe clear-out every season:

    I’m big on wardrobe clear-outs.   Every spring and autumn I go through my own wardrobe – and my kids’ – and get rid of garments that are the wrong size, worn out or just never get worn.   A wardrobe that’s over-filled makes it impossible to keep clothes neatly folded and hung.  But when you make space it’s easy to keep everything neatly stacked so nothing gets damaged or forgotten.

    Keep your cupboards clean:

    When you are clearing out your wardrobe make sure you build in time to clean it as you go.  The dreaded moths love a grubby wardrobe.  Also, make sure you check for dirty clothes and pull them out to be washed.

    Store off-season clothes:

    Store your off-season clothes safely out of your day-to-day riffling-through-in-a-hurry-to-get-dressed-zone.  That means putting summer clothes at the far end of the rail or on the top shelf in autumn.  Our large anti-moth storage bags are great for keep off-season clothes neat, dust and moth free.

    Give special clothes special care:

    Look after your favourite and expensive clothes by double checking that they are clean and then packing cashmere jumpers away in one of our anti-moth sweater bags.  Put favourite jackets, shirts and dresses on neat padded hangers with dust covers so they’ll be fresh and ready to go come spring.

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    Use cedar wood and natural aromatherapy to keep moths away:

    Add anti-moth cedar wood to your wardrobe to deter moths from flying in.  The Charlotte & Co cedar wood hearts are ideal and come in small to scatter in your drawers and large to hang from your rail or hangers.

    If you get moths…:

    If you spot a moth infestation act fast!  Clear out your wardrobe and clean it.  Wash all your cashmere and woollens.  Then put them in the freezer in a plastic bag for 2 weeks to kill any remaining moth larvae or eggs.  Better safe than sorry!

  • Charlotte & Co. Loungewear

    It’s the summer holidays and my Instagram feed is full of everyone’s holiday photos.  I’m in the studio working - on loungewear designs - but it’s a joy to see my friends enjoying some time off.  We should all do more of it!  I’m not going away until next week so I’m joining the spirit of free-wheeling relaxation here in my studio.

    I’ve been setting out the Autumn Winter 2016 loungewear collections and they’re lovely.  I like to think that each design will remind its owner to take a moment for herself, take a deep breath and remember the value of time spent lounging and looking after oneself.

    The Charlotte & Co. velour loungewear collection captures this ethos.  It’s been one of our best-selling ranges for years and each season I enjoy adding new styles and details.  For this winter I’ve created a new velour gilet.  It’s lined with soft faux shearling to make it super-cosy on chilly evenings – in fact, it’s best friends with our velour hoody which was last year’s loungewear hit.

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    The gilet features the same soft velour on the outside and even softer faux shearling on the inside.  It also has ribbed side panels for perfect fit.  I think it’s going to be a popular addition to the velour loungewear range.  For the Charlotte & Co. photoshoot I styled the gilet with the new velour joggers.  They are a more contemporary -  but still totally chilled - take on the classic velour track pants.  Designed with a drawstring waist and tapered hems they look great.  Whether you are heading for the gym or a well-earned loaf on the sofa, it’s hard to imagine doing it in better laid-back style.

    And that is what Charlotte & Co style is all about – inspiring you to find time to relax and making sure you feel great while you’re doing it.

  • Cotton Pyjamas

    Every season I design new cotton pyjama styles.  At Charlotte & Co we just can’t get enough of them.  Yes, we make nightwear in other and posher fabrics but I just keep being drawn back to the beautiful simplicity of cotton.  We use cotton across our nightwear ranges but it is particularly brilliant for pyjamas.

    Cotton is cool and comfortable and really conducive to a great night’s sleep.  And that’s the real challenge of making great nightwear – it needs to look great and feel lovely and help you sleep.  It’s a tall order but one which cotton delivers on every time.  In summer, when the weather is warm,  cool cotton pyjamas really come into their own.

    This season we’ve added the Emma Vintage Cotton Pyjamas to the collection.  They really capture all the best aspects of cotton PJs:  They are cool and crisp and really easy-fitting.  They are 100% cotton – even the adorable lace trims are cotton.  The fabric is an old fashioned, traditional cotton poplin.  It’s light and airy and perfect for warm nights.

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    This simple white cotton poplin with pretty trim details make these pyjamas perfect for a season when pyjamas are being hailed as the latest fashion trend.  I’m not saying that you have to wear yours down to the shops.  Only that, should you ever want to, you really seriously could – they are that pretty.

  • Lavender and cotton nightwear - my recipe for relaxed sleep!

    In summer everything slows down.  It’s warm and it’s the holidays.  And it’s just much easier to relax.   That’s not an easy thing to do in the modern world.  I feel almost as if summer is here to remind us what relaxation is and how to do it.

    Charlotte & Co. is, obviously, all about relaxation.  I really believe that if you can carve out a bit of time just for you – to relax in some pretty nightwear, to lounge around with a book, to breathe and just think about yourself for a time – life becomes so much easier and – yes I’m going to say it:  better.

    We are all guilty of forgetting the value of down-time.  Of thinking that we must be forever busy because there is always someone waiting for us to do something.   Learning how to stop and relax and breathe is a skill to be valued.

    I try to take summer as cue to re-set how I think.  The heat reminds me to slow down, the flowers in the garden invite me to linger and the holidays force me to stop work.

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    To help me stay relaxed once the nights get longer and the days get colder I’ve literally bottled a small piece of summer.  The Charlotte & Co.  Lavender and Chamomile Pillow Spray is packed full of the memories of summer courtesy of natural essential oils redolent of fragrant summer evenings in my garden.

    At bedtime I spritz some Lavender and Chamomile Pillow Spray on my cotton nightdress and on my silk pillowcase.  I find that the fragrance relaxes me and gets my mind ready for a night of deep sleep.  Lavender plus cotton nightdress plus a good book is my recipe for a perfect evening in bed and a great sleep.  It’s super-traditional – what worked for my grandmother also works for me.  To complete the vintage scene, I love to return to one of my favourite books.  Like Jane Austen’s endlessly soothing novels.  And to wear a Charlotte & Co. vintage nightdress.   If you’re ever having trouble switching off and getting to sleep I recommend that you take a leaf out of my book.

  • My cool Summer Nightdresses have their moment

    Summer has arrived.  It’s been of those rare weeks in England when we have an actual heatwave.  My family has been away all week and I’ve taken this as an excuse to invite a couple of girlfriends to stay.  It has – in the words of my 11 year old twins – been a week-long sleep-over.  Less designing nightwear and more finding time to enjoy wearing it!

    We’ve had late-night chats over delicious meals and early morning sessions in the bathroom comparing our skincare routines – all Votary, of course!

    I’ve been swanning around in Charlotte & Co vintage nightdresses.  They’ve been much ooh’ed and ah’ed over by my friends.  These crisp cotton nightdresses (even the lace trims are made of pure cotton) are brilliantly cool on hot summer nights.  They are cut in a very Austen-esque style:  Generously voluminous nighties cut from acres of fresh white cotton poplin to keep you cool.  Add to this that they are also very pretty and you have the perfect outfit for a house party with girlfriends.

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    Helene Sleeveless Vintage Nightdress - usually £42, currently £33.60

    The nights are almost too warm but sleeping with all the windows open is blissful – I’m lucky enough to live in a house where the only noise at night is the distant tolling of church bells.  I know that summer has really arrived when I pack my duvet away in the airing cupboard and sleep in the Helene sleeveless vintage nightdress with just a linen sheet for cover.   Summer isn’t just about the sunny days, it’s also about enjoying the nights and the cool crisp cotton textures that really work when the temperature rises.

  • Introducing our new Fleur nightwear collection

    Today it feels like summer has finally arrived. I was woken from a great night’s sleep by sunshine on my face at 5.30 am.

    Brilliantly today is also the day we launch our new Fleur nightwear collection. It’s named for the delicate rose flower pattern woven into the soft lace trims. And it’s what I’m wearing this morning as I potter about the kitchen in blissful solitude.

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    It won’t be long before the kids come down and shatter the peace with their chatter and perpetual motion. For now though it’s quiet and I have a moment to reflect on what I love about the Fleur collection. Firstly it’s about how it feels – I selected soft viscose jersey with a touch of stretch for both the pyjamas and the nighties in the collection. And the lace is super-soft too. Honestly, I would never make nightwear or underwear with scratchy lace. It’s a pet hate.

    My Fleur pyjama top and lounge pants are easy-fitting – hence the great sleep I’ve just had. And they are perfect for my nothing-yoga-bunny-about-me early morning yoga. I set up my ipad, tap on Yoga Studio app and settle into my favourite beginner’s routine. I’ve been doing it for years and not progressed beyond that. But rather like the gorgeously soft Fleur nightwear it’s not just about looking good – it’s all about how it makes you feel.

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