The nap dress hit its stride during the summer of 2020, smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic that forced us to accept the fact that less is more when it comes to stay-at-home-style. The flowy, Victorian-meets-minimalist-chic frock formerly understood as a nightgown was now accepted as daywear because the only places we’d be visiting for the foreseeable future were our couches, beds, desks, or the grocery store (where the only accessory that mattered was our face masks). Suddenly, it was a viral investment worth making. In a post-vax world, we weren’t ready to leave nap dresses behind, and simply found takes on the trend that felt a bit more outside-ready. So what are we calling this slightly less casual and less nap-friendly version of the garment? we’re making a new case for what we’ve dubbed the “snack dress.”
How does the snack dress differ from the nap dress? The difference is subtle, but bear with us while we brush Cheetos dust off the couch. For starters, the frock features more structure with a smocked bodice that allows for optimal snacking — it can catch crumbs and act as a napkin while still helping the wearer maintain an elegant demeanor. Where the nap dress was inherently bedroom-born as a sleepwear piece that took to the streets, the snack dress is comfy daywear that secretly doubles as sleepwear.
Yes, the distinction is blurry, yes, there are Cheetos all over the carpet, and yes, it’s possible that brunching, picnicking, and going about our lives in a nightgown is a holdover from the early days of quarantine that we’re not quite ready to let go of. Either way, if you’re still not sure how to picture this all-purpose frock, scroll forth to see 20 prime-snacking examples that we’ve lined up ahead.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
29 Tiered Dresses Perfect For Spring
These 5 Dresses Were Everywhere This Summer
Portable Lap Desks That Are Total Space Savers