Fashion & Beauty

Pajamas To Stay Awake In

January 14, 2016


I WAS CHIDING myself for staying in my pajamas one day last week even though I was working on a particularly vexing software problem and was glued to my computer. I admitted to my cousin what I was still wearing when we spoke later that afternoon and to add insult to injury, he joked that staying in pjs all day could be a warning of mental illness. No, really?

Then the very next day, the headline of Wall Street Journal fashion reporter Christina Binkley’s story read “Fashion’s Latest Command: Wear Pajamas in the Daytime.” Of course, my lavender and white flannel pajama set from Brooks Brothers wasn’t the kind of sleepwear she was referring to, and she didn’t suggest wearing any of it to the office. Still, Binkley did refer to it as one crazy trend, and then backed off, saying it wasn’t all that nutty a look considering that pajama tops are roomy versions of buttoned blouses, and bottoms are forgiving and comfy. (The best ones to wear outside the house have waistbands.)

Binkley’s not alone. recently declared, “Boudoir elegance is one of the newest fashion trends to come out of the spring 2016 runway season.” The Telegraph (UK) concurred that the “pyjama-as-outerwear movement is on the verge of going mainstream.”

I never imagined I would wear my workout gear in any other place than the gym, but now most days when I don’t have appointments I’m in my home office wearing my yoga pants and top, and it’s not a stretch for me to pull on a jacket and then run some errands or grab a coffee at the local barista.

They say “never say never,” but unless I’m sleepwalking, there’s no way I’m going to show up anywhere—even at a fashion-forward evening gathering in any city in even the fanciest set of silk pajamas. Full disclosure: In the late ’70s, I bought a loose-fitting buttoned shirt with contrast piping around the open neckline and chicly, or so I thought, tucked it into my denim pencil skirt to wear to a party on NYC’s Upper West Side. When it got very late and our hosts suggested that my boyfriend and I sleep over, he cracked, “Janet’s already wearing her pajamas.” From then on, I’ve thought pajamas should remain at home.

–Janet Kelly

What do you think about wearing pajamas outside the bedroom? Send an email to and let us know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *