The row over whether pajamas are acceptable in public continues. This pajama drama was sparked, as we noted last week, by a British principal writing to ask parents not to dress in pajamas for the school run. It’s a school scandal which we will henceforth call “school gate”. Although she has received “hundreds” of emails in support, some of her parents decided to turn up the following morning in full nightwear to make a point (the point being that they are idiots presumably). Others took to social media to brand Miss Chisholm as ‘snobbish’. “I’ve been called an overpaid prostitute and a failed fat supermodel. Both times this was parents saying this to me in front of their kids. If I want to have a word with the parent about a discipline issue, say, some parents have shouted at me, they’ve sworn at me, they’ve told me that I don’t know what I am talking about.”
Is the “Ban the Jamm” movement spreading? Students at Oxford, have been accused of failing “to distinguish between public and private spaces” while enjoying breakfast, and have been warned to dress more appropriately. And more pajama drama from the WSJ which noted a judge in Pennsylvania has posted a notice in his court stating: “Pajamas are not appropriate attire for District Court”. “We have a growing problem of people not dressing appropriately for court. I just put it out there as a reminder of the code of conduct that should be followed when appearing in court,” Judge Long told local TV, “Just like if you’re going to church, you should dress appropriately. We think that if you’re going to court, you should dress the same way,” he said.
The U.S. intimate apparel market, which includes sleepwear, is estimated to be worth over $11.0 billion in sales and according to a consultant at Mintel, “The rise of informality has been a long time in the making…In its most recent incarnation, it has largely been a result of an economic climate that’s made the casual more financially practical, as well as more culturally sensitive. Formal, paradoxically, feels a bit uncouth.” In a tough economic climate, are we repeating a period of austerity after the Wall Street crash of 1929, when women began adopting pajamas as an elegant alternative to cocktail dresses. In 1931, Vogue magazine declared “a woman may and does wear pajamas to quite formal dinners in her own house, to other people’s dinners in town and country if you know them well, and the more iconoclastic members of the female sex even wear them to the theater”. And the BBC noted the same period in fashion history reminding us that pajamas were once considered the height of sophistication.
Once this latest Pajama Drama has blown over we can get back to a more considered debate about whether, and what sort of, pajamas are appropriate in public. Obviously there is a big difference between wearing a Cookie Monster pajama suit and our classic leopard spot adult onesie to court.