Public pajamas

She looks like she just rolled out of bed. Quite literally.

She looks like she just rolled out of bed. Quite literally.

One of the many things I have been readjusting to state-side is the American dress code (or lack thereof). I’ve learned it’s okay to wear baggy, ill-fitting clothing comprised of far too much fabric, and conversely to don short-shorts that use about as much fabric as a handkerchief.

Well, another thing that appears to be acceptable in America is wearing your “house clothes” (the comfy sweat-pant/T-shirt combo that you would normally reserve for couch-potato-ing and ass-scratching) out of the house, or even better than that, straight up wearing your pajamas in public.

I remember when I was living in the UK, around 2010, the whole pajamas-in-public thing became an issue. Tesco, a large supermarket chain, had to ban patrons from wearing pajamas while doing their shopping, for fear of them offending other customers. At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve heard that in more fashion-conscious countries like Italy, women get dressed up to the nines just to go to the corner shop and buy salami.

A good friend of mine from New Zealand told me that’s it’s also common down under for people to pop to the store for milk or cigarettes without bothering to change into a proper outdoor outfit. I really hope that one day someone goes to the department store to shop for pajamas while wearing pajamas… deep.

But regardless of whether pajamas are acceptable public attire in the US (debatable), for sure workout clothes are. My neighborhood is crawling with chicks wearing yoga pants and sports bras and guys wearing running shorts, even when they don’t appear to actually have done/be doing any sport. Gym clothes are just something you wear, regardless of whether or not you’re going to the gym. Just like pajamas can be something you wear, regardless of whether you are going to bed or not.



Filed under Clothing, Etiquette

2 responses to “Public pajamas

  1. Ali

    This isn’t an American thing, short shorts and onesies have become fashionable in the last few years in many places, including Europe and America. It has a lot more to do with social class and age. Look at the fashions for music festivals and you’ll get an idea of where it came from.

    • Yes, I also spotted the short shorts in Australia. It was a bit of a shock for me after spending most of the past 3 years in Africa, where people dress much more conservatively (or at least, don’t show so much leg!). I lived in the UK up to 2010, and I don’t remember people wearing shorts much. But I guess it has become fashionable since then.

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