Salisbury Press

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Respectfully Yours: pajama bottoms

Friday, August 10, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST Special to The Press in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

Why do women wear pajama bottoms in public? This battle of appropriate versus. comfy has gone too far. Is wearing pajamas out in public ever OK?

Dear Reader,

This shouldn’t be considered fashionable, even if everybody is doing it. There are women who celebrate the daytime pajama trend. They think it’s progressive.

There are a good number of magazine articles explaining how to pull off the daytime pajama look. However, celebrities are not wearing your average department store pajamas. They are wearing high-end luxurious sleepwear with heels and elegant jewelry, not fleece character bottoms with flip flops or fuzzy slippers. Nightwear may be the newest casual clothing trend. However, nightwear should be reserved for home. I get it. The allure of pajamas is strong.

Where it all actually began is anyone’s guess. Blame it on celebrities, the runways, pajama day at school, or a twisted perspective of high fashion. The boundaries of public and private dress have blurred over the years, making clothing choice a free-for-all. We are pushing the boundaries of where casual clothes should be worn.

There’s no denying some are prioritizing comfort, and rules are more relaxed than they used to be. But this is no excuse for not taking the time to dress appropriately. You never know who you will run into. If Murphy’s Law is in play, it’s a guarantee you will run into your boss, a potential client, or perhaps a future spouse.

Pajama wearing is acceptable if you are under three-years-old. Pajama wearing in hospitals is acceptable. Wearing lounge pants at home is acceptable. If you’re a grown-up person and you’re going out in public, stop doing this. You’re embarrassing yourself. The message it sends is: “I can’t be bothered to conform to the sorts of things that other people expect of civilized company. Take me as you find me.” News flash: that’s not the way people think. Pajama pants send a negative message of what you are about. Success and respectability don’t always come dressed up in a skirt and blouse but, I don’t think it’s asking too much to avoid the pitfalls of not quite getting dressed.

Respectfully Yours, Jacquelyn

Have a question? Email: jacquelyn@ptd.net. Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, specializing in etiquette training. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation. All Rights Reserved © 2018 Jacquelyn Youst