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BellaOnline's Etiquette Editor

Wearing Pajamas in Public

Being an etiquette editor, I receive many questions regarding semi-formal attire, debutante balls and what to wear for a certain celebration. I have never, however, been asked if itís proper to wear pajamas to a dinner party. What I have been asked, frequently actually, is WHY are people wearing their pajamas to the mall, the post office, school and other public areas. Also, why are they donning their bunny slippers like itís the newest shoe fashion?

I know many people leave the gym in sweats or yoga pants and quickly run a few errands before going home to shower and change. We all get that. Chiseling time to workout and capitalizing on the 24hourse we all have makes wearing workout clothes acceptable when pressed for time. But letís make this perfectly clearÖsweats and yoga attire are not pajamas. Yes, we may sleep in our sweats but rolling out of bed and wearing what you slept in out in public is not an approved etiquette-friendly decision.

Broken down, itís a fashion code you are trampling all over. Not just fashion but a productivity code also.

Bottom line is you are what you wear. If youíre opting for pajamas, whether in class or the grocery store, you are dressed schlumpy. If thatís how youíre dressed, itís how youíre going to act and be. Deadlines are not met when you look and dress lazy. Productivity is questionable when your focus is on relaxed comfort. Casual Friday is a perfect example on how productivity tends to go down when the dress code goes slack. To reverse that one Ė when the dress code goes slack, so does productivity.

Itís not just about self-respect; itís about respecting those around you. If you have little regard for those around you, wear pajamas and slippers and announce to the world you donít care if youíre offending, you're going to wear what you want.

Put in perspective, if you are in your backyard enjoying coffee or getting the mail, you are on your private property and can categorically wear what you are comfortable wearing. Etiquette would dictate that you wear a robe with jammies and slippers to exit your front door and get the mail. For a quick run to get the morning paper thatís on the front walk, we all get the desire to grab it and enjoy it in the comfort of your own home, and yes in our pajamas.

Itís the public areas, where you are walking around in something others changed out of because they slept in them, that you are compromising your image and their comfort. If you are going to get out of bed and change into clean, unslept in pajamas, that may be more hygienic. But unless you wear a sign that says ďThese are clean, the slept in ones I changed out ofĒ, people are still going to question your motivation for wearing something thatís supposed to be worn in bed.

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