Culture January 9, 2017
This week a UK man faced backlash after posting a dress code complaint online. “Dear Tesco, can you please put a rule in place that people like this will not be served in your stores,” he wrote.
Chris Cooke was skewered on Facebook and Twitter for his post, which also featured a picture of two women shopping in pajamas. And while he probably shouldn’t have shared the picture of the women without their consent, doesn’t he have a point?
Pajamas aren’t clothes. They’re loungewear, and not to get too literal here, but shouldn’t it be reserved for… lounging?
The popularity of such ensembles is hard to dispute, with UK department store John Lewis reporting that sales from its loungewear styles are up 29 percent from the previous year.
And leisurewear has also risen in popularity, particularly with celebrity endorsements in the form of new brands such as Kate Hudson’s Fabletics and Beyoncé’s Ivy Park. But that doesn’t make it okay.
I get that pajamas are comfortable, but since when was fashion about comfort? Renowned Stylist Rachel Zoe once said, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”
So then what are we telling people when we wear pajamas in public? That we’re cozy? Lazy? That’s probably not the message you actually want to convey.
You know how it feels to look amazing until you spill coffee all down your white blouse and just happen to run into an esteemed work colleague or a friend you haven’t seen in years? Think about how embarrassing that is. Now, would you want to run into the same colleague or friend in a pair of pajamas and fuzzy slippers? Probably not.
So why are we seeing this trend so often?
International Etiquette Expert and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach Jacqueline Whitmore, for one, is hoping to see the trend die. “It’s not acceptable,” she told ENTITY.
“I don’t agree with it,” she added, advising, “I think pajamas should be worn in the bedroom, in the home, not out in public. It’s not business casual. It’s not casual. It’s not House & Garden. It’s not weekend wear.” And I would have to agree!
Yes, we all want to have our own individual style. But let’s be honest – pajamas aren’t a style. And it’s arguably hard to go out there and be the titans of industry and patriarchy-crushers that we want to be when our wardrobe more so suggests we’ve already given up. So let’s leave those pajamas in the bedroom and dress for success.
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