A babydoll is a type of lingerie consisting of a short tank top, usually hitting at the upper thighs or just barely coming to the thighs, and often a pair of matching panties. The babydoll may directly reference the short dresses worn by most baby or infant dolls for young girls. Alternately, most assert that the babydoll was made popular by the film Baby Doll released in 1956.
Some versions of the babydoll are simply a short nightgown, and can easily be worn without accompanying panties. Occasionally this form of babydoll is called the chemise or shorty nightgown. The babydoll can be comfortable to wear, especially when it is made of cotton to stay cooler on warm evenings. Most often though, the babydoll is associated with eroticism and considered lingerie rather than standard, more utilitarian nighttime wear.
You can find babydoll styles at just about every department store, and they will vary in quality and price. Choosing one depends most upon personal taste and whether you lean more toward comfort or toward providing a romantic setting with clothing. Some of the elaborately trimmed babydolls can be somewhat uncomfortable, particularly when the material is inexpensive, or the babydoll is cheaply made.