Raise your hand if you’ve ever gone to the grocery store in your pajamas. You know who you are.
It seems to be more and more acceptable, but is it appropriate?
I’m not talking about a quick dash to the driveway to get the morning paper wearing nothing more than a robe. And who hasn’t quick-stepped it to the mail box in PJs, but we shouldn’t be wearing the same outfit to drop off something at the post office. Right?
More and more, our supermarkets, malls, coffee shops and theaters include people dressed in their jammies.
It doesn’t bother me to see a 3-year-old in a grocery cart dressed for bed, but the child’s mother shouldn’t be wearing a comparable outfit.
Some of this may be a product of a growing number of people working from home. I don’t care what you wear at home. Change clothes, though, if you hustle to store for a small carton of Half & Half.
A few years ago, sweat pants and warm-up suits seemed to signal this move to a more comfortable clothing conscience. That movement has morphed into a full-fledged flannel fashion statement. And I’m not sure what that statement says about us.
While walking through the Charleston Museum some time ago, there were examples on display of what people wore 200 years ago. Colonial clothing was all about multiple layers of undergarments.
Woman bore the brunt of wearing multiple pieces of clothing to be considered ready to leave the house.
There was the corset, the corset cover and a bodice followed by multiple petticoats and then, the dress. None of these fabrics seemed to breathe, either. Their inhabitants barely could.
Maybe it was the clothing revolution of the 1960s that allowed a burgeoning textile industry to bring us polyester and rayon. Maybe that’s to blame for our relaxed view of how we dress these days.
We don’t really need a belt, just a drawstring. Soft and roomy has replaced zippers and buckles.
How casual, though, is too casual?
College students, about a decade back, are credited with starting this move. Have we reached the point where we lean on that group for what’s fashionable or in good taste? Ever seen the inside of a fridge in a college dorm?
Just a few years ago in China, it was acceptable to wear PJs during the day, until the government decided it was not. Authorities soon forced people wearing pajamas to go home and change.
We hardly need new laws, just a little common sense. Maybe we ought to also think about what messages we send. The message is not merely “I don’t care about fashion.” It might really signal something more akin to “I just don’t care.”
There are certainly times when it’s OK to spend a long weekend binge watching “Moonshiners” or “Swamp People” ... or is that just me?
But when it’s time to venture out in public, we shouldn’t look like we just got out of bed or are on our way back there.
Two more questions and I’m done. How many of us really look good in our pajamas?
And who wants to see a grown man in Capt. America jammies looking for a lug wrench at Lowe’s?
Reach Warren Peper at firstname.lastname@example.org.