Let me start by saying that I love pajamas. I have lots of them. In fact, should the stars align such that all my pajamas are clean at the same time, I have trouble closing the drawer of my dresser. Most of my pajamas have kooky, whimsical prints, often in loud colors. I have pajamas with sheep, cats, owls, peacock feathers, leopard spots, stripes, polka dots, and argyle (the latter in bright green and hot pink, often prompting my husband to tell me he can’t sleep because my pajamas are too loud). I wear prints and colors in pajamas that I would never choose for regular clothing, the idea here being that I only wear them when sleeping or lounging around the house.
From time to time, I see people wearing pajamas out in public. I’ve seen them at the grocery store, Target, gas stations, airports, and even movie theaters. Last night, as Ian and I strolled through Wrigleyville, I saw a woman in pajamas walking down the street. Since her companion was dressed casually, but in actual street clothes (t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops), I think I can safely assume she was not en route to a meeting of pajama enthusiasts. “Well, she looked comfortable,” Ian said with a shrug.
“I’m wearing a dress, and I would bet good money that I’m just as comfortable,” was my response.
It all got me thinking. I try to understand the mentality behind the decision to go out in public in pajamas, but I’m having a hard time. The way I see it, there are some situations in which wearing pajamas out in public is acceptable.
- You are under the age of 3
- You are a pajama model (kudos on the sweet gig, but you still have to put on real clothes when you’re done with work)
- You had to exit your dwelling in a hurry due to fire, a gas leak, or some other emergency
- You are in the midst of a medical emergency
This list may not be exhaustive, but you get the idea. Now, you may be asking why I care. What difference does it make to me what someone else chooses to wear? Not a lot, I suppose. However, if you try to deny that your choice in clothing sends out a message to others, you are kidding yourself. Just be aware that, if you are not in one of the situations listed above, and you roam the streets in pajamas, you are sending people one of the following messages.
- You are dementia patient who has wandered off and you require assistance to get home
- You are from a legitimate foreign pajama-wearing culture with customs different from my own (no, the counterculture you and your buddies dreamed up between bong hits does not count)
- You are a lazy slob who just doesn’t care
But what if you wear pajamas in protest against society’s so-called fashion rules? “Rebel! Fight the man!” If that’s the case, I suggest that your protest might be more effective if you put some effort into it and wore something really outlandish like wings and lederhosen. Why? Because if you just wear pajamas, no one will take you seriously. We’ll think you’re a lazy slob who just wants to get out of getting dressed.
If you are, in fact, a lazy slob who just doesn’t care, then congratulations! Message received. 🙂