Tag Archives: pyjamas

Pajamas Through the Ages

By Emily Friedman, The Pajama Company Intern

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, people didn’t wear pajamas. As avid fans of everything “PJ,” it’s hard for us at The Pajama Company to understand or even begin to comprehend. Regardless of how horrific the thought is, pajamas were only truly introduced to England and the rest of the world in 1870.

British colonists discovered and adapted the loose fitting attire from the East, embracing it especially on hot days. Eventually, a form of Indian pajama was brought over to England, quickly gaining popularity with men as a change from traditional nightshirts. Many of the original patterns of Indian pajamas came over as well, adding an element of style to the sleeping outfits.

Twenty years later, pajamas first entered the U.S.A., creating a huge fad with men and women alike. However, it was much colder during the winters for Americans, so the weather necessitated some changes to pajamas. They became thicker and warmer and footie pajamas followed soon after.

Pajamas haven’t changed much since first becoming big in the 1800’s. The designs of one hundred years ago are timeless. You can still find traditional Indian pajamas or funky, babydoll jammies from the 60’s. We add options, but never divert too much from the tried-and-true, amazing design of the pajamas we love.

In the mood for a classic? Buy some traditional flannel footies.

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Salma Hayek Wears Pajamas In Public

One may be a fluke, two a coincidence. But three makes a trend.

Yesterday Salma Hayek joined the ranks of style icons turning pajamas into daywear fashion. And we couldn’t be more thrilled!

On Tuesday, Hayek was spotted walking through LAX airport wearing beautiful grey and red polka dot silk pajamas. To upgrade her pajamas from sleepwear to daywear, she paired them with a black cardigan, red and white heels and a black bag.

Now that we’ve seen fashion designer Rachel Roy on the red carpet in pajamas, Swedish fashion blogger Elin Klingshopping in her pj pants and even Lucky magazine weighing in on pajama style, we can proclaim pajamas in public is officially a fashion trend.

So give it a try, and send us a picture!

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A Message From Ellie In Response To Bans On Pajamas In Public

By Ellie Badanes, Founder and President of ThePajamaCompany.com.

When the headline first appeared in my Google Alerts that a parish in Louisiana was attempting to enforce a ban on wearing pajamas in public, I barely gave it a second glance. Unfortunately, that is a sign of the times when I hear about another school banning its students, or even parents, from wearing pajamas on its premisses nearly every week.

But as I read more about Louisiana’s Caddo Parish District 3 Commissioner Michael Williams’ attempt to push through an ordinance that would prohibit anyone from appearing in public wearing “a garment sold in the sleepwear section of department stores,” I realized this was emblematic of a more concerning trend in our country.

Now, I’m not just saying this because I happen to own an online store which sells only sleepwear apparel. I am saying this because I believe clothing is one of the greatest forms of personal expression in our modern world. And personal expression is something that must not be limited in a successful democracy.

I founded The Pajama Company eight years ago because after a career in the fashion industry in New York and traveling the world working for an international women’s NGO, I realized pajamas were my favorite type of clothing. After two decades of wearing power suits and ball gowns, I found pajamas were what I wore to feel my most creative, to feel my most comfortable and to express myself most fully.

That kind of power should never be taken away from the people.

Now perhaps you are reading this news and agree that kids wearing plaid pants in public is distasteful. Chances are you would also frown upon boys wearing baggy pants or girls in short skirts with heels. Fortunately, in America we all have the right to make our own judgments, to share our thoughts with our friends or our social networks. We can celebrate the ridiculousness of the fashion choices of people we see on the street on sites like “People of Walmart” or on shows like “What Not To Wear.” But we would never walk up to those people and tell them to change their clothes. In fact, we would be dismayed to see them charged with a crime based on their choice of apparel.

As we learn from TLC’s Stacy and Clinton any item of clothing can be manipulated to look either tacky or stylish. For me, there is nothing better than putting on a crisp pair of pajamas with mascara and a great pair of shoes.

And I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Pajamas and items sold in the “sleepwear section” of stores have recently been worn on the red carpet by the likes of style icons Rachel Roy and Ryan Gosling and highlighted by fashion columnists and bloggers. In November, Marie Claire ran a slideshow touting the latest trend of pajamas in fashion with a subhead reading “there’s nothing sleepy about this timeliness trend: Loungewear wakes up to luxe.” Glamour instructed its readers to look fashionable by staying in pajamas over the weekend. Even Prada designed a line of high end pajamas, which are definitely not meant to be concealed in the bedroom.

And how dangerous can pajamas be when a pastor of a church in Toledo actually encourages his congregations to come in their sleepwear to Sunday services?

Williams cited citizens’ uncomfortableness with the trend of public pajama wearing as his reasoning for the ban.

For a child of the 1960’s like myself, there is something especially uncomfortably familiar with an authority figure attempting to ban youth from exhibiting a fashion trend for fear of what it represents.

How is this different than schools and businesses banning young men from wearing their hair long in the 1960’s or schools preventing kids from wearing denim in the 1950’s? For that matter, it is even reminiscent of a time when women wearing pants was frowned upon in public.

It’s nice to see that Commissioner Williams doesn’t feel the “crime” of wearing pajamas warrants jail time, merely community service. Who joins me in cheering pajama clad citizens who already affect good in our society, who already volunteer in their local communities?

Last year a high school in Vermont banned pajamas in school claiming pajamas inhibited students’ work ethic.

I imagine the legions of bloggers and those who work from home would take issue with that statement.

Whether you think pajamas are appropriate daily attire is for you to decide. As for me, please excuse me while I put on my pretty striped cotton pajama pants and get back to work.

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