Wearing Your Pajamas in Public – Is it that Wrong?

If you have been out in public lately, you have probably noticed a growing trend in people wearing their pajamas in public. And sadly, these aren’t 2 and 3 year old toddlers – but full-grown adults and teenagers that are apparently too lazy to get dressed before heading out of the house. One glimpse at the pictures and videos located at the people of Wal-Mart website, and it is easy to see that we are becoming a society that has very little personal integrity or decency to respect ourselves (and others) when we mosey out of the house to get a gallon of milk.

Seriously!? Its becoming so bad, that its difficult to take your child anywhere without seeing someone who should be wearing a bra not wearing one, a G-string sticking out of the back of a pair of flannel pants and bunny slippers where shoes should be. Come one people, if you can put on bunny slippers, can you not at least throw on a pair of flips flops as well? Do you think the entire world wants to see your boobs sagging down to your waistline?

In January of this year, Shreveport Alabama, a city official contemplated a complete ban on wearing pajamas in public after spotting two men in pajama pants sans the underwear, where their private parts were able to be seen with ease. Commissioner Michael Williams likens wearing pajamas in public to indecent exposure and feels that laws should be in place, similar to the no shirt, no shoes no service laws – to ensure that people are held to a certain moral fiber. Unfortunately, residents of the Louisiana town refuted the ban and felt that it violated their personal rights. And within hours of the proposal, the ACLU was on the case as well accusing the Louisiana commissioner of discrimination. In his own words, his reason behind the ban, was simply trying to restore public decency, but the ACLU doesn’t see it that way and thinks that people should be at liberty to wear whatever the heck they want to.

Last year, a town in England mandated that parents stop picking up their children from school wearing shoddy pajama pants as well, which had many moms in an uproar. However, the ban was sanctioned and adults were no longer allowed to enter the building of the school wearing pajama pants.

The question is why? Why would people want to wear their pajamas in public? How much more difficult is it to pull on a pair of jeans or sweatpants in lieu of wearing panda print flannel pajamas. How difficult is it to put on a pair of underwear, or a bra for that matter when going out to the store. Have people really become so lazy that they cannot afford the extra 4 minutes it would take to dress appropriately before leaving the house. And what is it about our society that makes it okay all of the sudden. Years ago, people left the house with pride in their appearance whether they had money or not, but as a form of personal respect for themselves.

And, you cannot talk about pajama wearing in public without talking about the impression it makes of others. Stacy London of What NOT to Wear, has a field day with people who wear pajamas in public, saying it shouts to the world, “I don’t care about myself or my appearance and I am a lazy sloth!” Whether we like it or not, we are all judged (and judging) others by the way they look when they go out. If someone goes to the store looking like they just rolled out of bed and 3 in the afternoon, it says a lot about their character and personal integrity. Do you really want to get to know this person? Sure, there is the exception of when people are ill or not feeling well.

But as a general rule of thumb, when did it become okay to wear pajamas in public? Truth is, it hasn’t. It has become one of those largely accepted but not talked about aspects of our society that seems to show our general lack of respect for ourselves and for others. While the clothes we wear should not be a compass of our worth, we should be able to put on regular clothes without sacrificing our personal integrity – or embarrassing others. And, we should be able to respect certain rules of privacy and decency that ensure we aren’t offending others by the way we look.

Pajama wearing in public is acceptable in hospitals. It is accepted on pajama day during spirit week in school. As a general rule of thumb, people should leave their home wearing real clothes. Many studies have shown that paying attention to personal appearance and tending to your appearance increases self-esteem and success in life. It shows that you are invested in yourself and that you are willing to put time and energy into making yourself feel good. While occasionally, you might want to wear your pajamas all day – suffice it to say that before you go grocery shopping, or out to dinner – you should take the time to put on clothing that is not made for sleeping.



18 Responses

  1. And if, by wearing pajama pants I /am/ tending to myself in the best way possible? Seriously, sometimes people have the silliest notions. Why should I wear uncomfortable, ill-fitting jeans (and I have YET to find a pair of jeans that isn’t two inches too long in the leg, and with an irritating gap in the waist, and a lack of sufficient give to allow me to walk comfortably, all in the same item) out just to make other people feel good? Nope, not doing it. I’m done dressing to what other people expect me to look like.

    Besides, as a person who suffers from depression, arthritis, AND anxiety, wearing those funny pajama pants (one is printed with skull and crossbones, one cupid, and the other betty boop) I am acknowledging the person /I/ am — that grunge/alterna-chick who really, absolutely, without a doubt does not actually have time for annoying clothes, and actually LIKES silliness in clothes and everything else. Do I have ‘adult’ clothes? Yes, sure, I do, and wear them on the rare occasion where my more alternative tendencies might be a problem — strangely, though, this hasn’t been a problem in, oh, 20 years! I’ve noticed I am more anxious in clothing that’s too restrictive (jeans) or otherwise rigid — basically anything that isn’t made of jersey, cotton, or fleece. Unfortunately, ‘socially acceptable’ clothing really irritates the crap out of my skin, so my alternative is pajama pants or jogging pants — and even those are starting to become butt-hugging, too-long annoyances, and I don’t like that, either. So, lounge/sleepwear it is, all day — and 90% of the time, except for those three pairs of pants? People don’t actually know that the shirt-dress and leggings I’m wearing were actually found in the sleepwear department, because they tend to look exactly like the t-shirt dress for double the price in the women’s section.

    1. To each their own. I personally agree with you look: lazy, depressed, slovenly, saggy, disheveled and show little respect for yourself when you can’t be bothered to pull yourself together when going out in public. When I see a soul like this I assume they are mentally ill or coping with some kind of behavior disorder. So sad. One can be comfortable and stylish – and it does wonders for ones mental health to take care of themselves.

      1. Well, that particular person might very well look that way. I generally pick those things that fit well; I don’t like sagging, baggy items either. But I’m hardly going to assume the person wearing those particular items is suffering from something. Maybe they did feel lazy that day. So what? People are allowed to feel lazy and not want to bother. I don’t need others to put on a show for me. Wear the pajamas. Wear the whatever-it-is… it’s not gonna make or break me. I might think something looks really silly (pants only pulled midway up the thighs? omg sir, I don’t want to see your undies!), but I am also not going to make a big deal of it. That’s their style, so be it. One can make nightwear look pulled together properly if one wants to.

        Why are you so invested in people looking a certain way? That tells me you have too much time on your hands; you clearly need business of your own to attend to so you can leave other people’s alone, hon.

  2. “Do you think the entire world wants to see your boobs sagging down to your waistline?”
    Ummm then don’t look? Geez so not only do women HAVE to wear shirts in public, while men get to be topless, but they have to wear a bra, and lets add another society rule wear they can’t show their bra because God forbid we see them follow the rules we make them follow.

    I sleep in graphic men’s shirts from Walmart and sometimes I wear those in public, I can buy a soma top that is more cute and “not” wear it in public, even though I would never sleep in it. So…define pjs?

    I like how you count yourself experienced in this area by calling yourself “crazy” that’s about the only thing I agree with.

  3. People look silly as hell wearing pj’s’ out in public period I see mostly teens and young adults, must be their upbringing heck I guess its it’s fine for senior citzens to walk around in diapers in public without any clothing over them as well point being if you’re doing it you should know better regardless have some dignity.

  4. If Starbucks has a dress code for employees then they need to initiate one for customers. Was behind a woman today wearing red fleecy pajama pants that she probably got for Christmas. Her top half was a poncho and a turtleneck. She couldn’t take the extra 2 minutes to find suitable pants? I understand it is trendy among college kids but parents, please, it is not trendy for you. I’m uncomfortable that these people are so comfortable in their slovenly appearance. Have some respect for yourself.

    1. This thread and article are so mean. I’m autistic and wearing pajamas isn’t laziness at least for me. I take the time to get ready and look nice but my clothes I guess would be considered lazy I usually just wear pajama pants and a nice top. Why? Because I have sensory issues regarding pants. Especially tight ones i can’t function well in them. But if it was required for something I suppose I’d tough it out.

  5. I love this article it says exactly what I’ve been thinking for years lazy people this should be a federal law no pj’s in public do you have any class if you did you’d wear regular clothes

  6. All you have to do is look at the people who wear pajamas in public. They walk lazy and sloth around. Most also wear house shoes with them. They are most likely lazy people and probably don’t have a job. It’s pretty easy to stereo type a public pajama wearer. At the end of the day , they crawl into an unmade bed and wake up , get out of bed go to the store (in the same dirty pajamas) and buy there cigarettes for the day on taxpayers money. If this makes you mad. Look in the mirror. It’s you I must be talking about.

  7. There are valid points to be made on both sides of this debate. While I absolutely wouldn’t like to see men wearing pj pants sans underwear (as also sleeveless vests, while exhibiting thick clumps of underarm fibres, ugggh!), I also agree with the lady who says she would feel uncomfortable and low wearing anything other than her comfortable pyjamas. The writer seems to be a self-hater and masochist (I wish her 4 daughters well!!), who has a problem with women being braless. Bras are tight, uncomfortable and unhealthful to wear, no matter how ‘well-matched’ they may be and there is nothing unhygienic about going braless, unlike going undies-less. I would any day prefer to see a bra-less girl/woman, rather than a man with thick facial hair!
    On the whole, however, I feel everyone should dress considerately when out in public but not judge someone who chooses to dress for their comfort as long as they at least look clean and put-together otherwise.

    1. Haha that was me. Thanks. And actually I totally got rid of the uncomfortable jeans since that post. And have felt oh so free from worrying about other people’s discomfort with my wardrobe. I guess that saying that some people look to be offended is true — oh ones, people don’t care about their opinion, the world is ending! 😀

      And I’ve kept at least one job for 15 years! Shocker.

  8. You’re promoting toxic feminism by saying the boob thing about women. What happened to girls supporting girls? You have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to comment on other women’s’ bodies like that! You’re just a salty, old woman. Be careful or else something bad might happen to you, bitch. Karma is real.

  9. I’m sorry I have minor depression anxiety and adhd that makes it uncomfortable to wear “proper other” such as jeans I like to be comfy and don’t judge people what if there mentally ill and don’t have the motivation to put on jeans etc

  10. I didn’t know that there is a Shreveport, Alabama….
    It’s funny how the person writing this article (and the person that edited it) claims that people are too lazy to get dressed, but is too lazy to check the facts.

    1. And yes, I did see all (or at least, most) of the other errors. Seriously, how difficult is it to proof-read an article calling others lazy?
      Alanis Morissette might have something to say about this situation…. Don’t you think?

  11. This was an interesting debate over a subject I have only spoken to my husband about. We are still involved in the daily work world and operate a small business with people we rarely meet. We never had to question whether they dressed appropriately, for their jobs dictate their attire. As independent workers, the work they do can take them from simple photo shots to taking their vehicles into some very frightening locations overrun with dirt.
    I find the discussion over pajama bottoms amusing as we have also been in awe of pajama bottoms and the reasoning behind it. We could not imagine the tenacity of anyone defending this.
    We both go out weekly, and even in the light of one of us having a painful physical disease, we still maintain a certain decorum of dress for personal respect , for one another, and for all members of society.
    We appreciate the discussion.
    It also sheds light on other areas of the new wave of clothing selection especially when so many others are sadly suffering in a paralyzing state of obesity, many self-induced. Has anyone discussed this in conjunction with the pajama bottom choices some people have chosen for themselves?

    This is an area where clothing choices also affect the majority of society.

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