Wearing Pajamas in Public

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 it’s 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 it’s 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 let’s make this perfectly clear…sweats 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, it’s 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 you’re opting for pajamas, whether in class or the grocery store, you are dressed schlumpy. If that’s how you’re dressed, it’s how you’re 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 – when the dress code goes slack, so does productivity.

It’s not just about self-respect; it’s about respecting those around you. If you have little regard for those around you, wear pajamas and slippers and announce to the world you don’t care if you’re 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 that’s 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.

It’s 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 “These are clean, the slept in ones I changed out of”, people are still going to question your motivation for wearing something that’s supposed to be worn in bed.

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