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April 24, 2010

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Melissa May

Hmmm....good thought. Initially I was going to say that pj days don't seem all that bad to me, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if you've got a point. I certainly think going on tv in a bathrobe -- to the Oprah show, no less! -- is a bit silly (though that seems to have been the point), but pj day was fun when I was a kid.

Of course I went to a school with a strict dress code, so getting to wear something fun was, well, FUN! However, it doesn't seem that most schools require a special dress code, so is there really even a point to pj day? I don't know. When I was in high school and college, kids regularly wore their pj's to school regardless of any special designation. Every day was pj day for them, I guess. I think I tried it once or twice and found that I did not feel comfortable AT ALL in that casual of clothing.

When I was in elementary school, we'd have Spirit Week and each day students got to wear something more fun or silly or creative to show their school spirit. Pj day was always on the roster for that week. But as I said, I attended a school with a strict dress code, so this sort of thing was very much the exception to the rule. And it was fun, I admit. I think that maybe that's the key to something like this, as far as the message it sends about being too casual in public. I mean, even in my case the pjs were pretty modest too. You still had to follow the same guidelines about length, neckline coverage, etc. But we knew the rules and got to enjoy the fun of "breaking them", but still within respectable boundaries.

I'm curious to see what others have to say about this.

Ann

The problem is, "Pajama Day" is no longer just for school. I see grown adults in pajama pants and a sweatshirt running around the market on the weekends! It's very sad, and in some ways makes me a bit uncomfortable. The world in general has no need to see my pajamas (even though they are very modest), and I have no need to see theirs.

I do like the show "What Not to Wear", and I cannot believe how many people they have had on for wardrobe makeovers who argued that wearing PJs to go about everyday business was OK. No, it's not OK, even though the reasoning on the show is that it looks sloppy and like you didn't care. PJs are for sleeping, which is something done at home in the presence of your family only.

Rob

I believe that pajama days at school are becoming more and more provocative with each passing year. Pajamas are becoming more risque and the boundaries are being challenged at school when kids dare to show up in such bed clothes.

Cherie

Thanks for this post, Julie. I don't believe any schools should take part in "Pajama Days" for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I completely agree with the notion that pajamas should be kept in the bedroom. Many years ago, a person wouldn't be caught dead in their pajamas in public. When I was in the convent less than 3 years ago, we were not allowed to leave our cells at night unless we had a full-length housecoat over our pajamas, as it was considered immodest to be seen in your pajamas. Secondly, what ever happened to the notion of dressing up for school? Years ago, students would wear shirts, ties, and dresses to school. It added an atmosphere of respect and modesty that was conducive to learning. I think the current "dress codes" (and the popularity of "Pajama Days") in high schools are connected to the many current behavioral problems in teenagers. Of course it's not the only thing leading to behavioral problems, but it certainly doesn't help!

Rocky

Well, I have to offer a dissenting opinion. As long as Pajama Day is regulated by a dress code, I see nothing wrong with it. It is definitely a problem when Pajama Day evolves into "lingerie day" as it seems to among teens and 20-somethings without any boundaries placed on it.

And going on Oprah in a bathrobe doesn't bother me. After all, bathrobes are designed to cover, were they not? (not to mention, I don't know any people who sleep in bathrobes as you suggested). If he had worn only a bathrobe and his wardrobe choice had resulted in some unintended flashing of the audience, then yes, that would be cause for concern; but if not, who cares? it covers more than a t-shirt and shorts!

I also don't think pajamas do anything to reveal one's "private life" or "bedtime practices" to the public. Clothes and behavior are only distantly linked. I regularly rotate the t-shirts I sleep in, workout in, and lounge around in, so someone might not even realize I'm wearing my pajamas in public if I do. And what is the problem with going to the grocery store in sweats on a Saturday? They're plenty modest and signify only that the person wearing them doesn't feel like putting on business attire on his/her day off.

Ranee @ Arabian Knits

I so agree. Our childrens' school had pajama day. It's bad enough, IMO, to encourage them to blur the line between public and private. They were young, so it was fairly innocent stuff. However, teachers and parent helpers were encouraged to come in their pajamas as well. This made it even worse. Here we have adults, authority figures, in casual, private dress, not all of it particularly modest.

Julie

Rockey-Thank you for your insight. I'm so sorry it has taken me a few weeks to respond-I just recently got home from being out of town. I think there is a difference between running to the store to grab some groceries in your sweatpants on a Saturday, and spending a full day in school in your pajamas. Our clothes should represent the message that we are trying to send to the public. The reason why I feel that wearing sweats to the store on a Saturday is much less of an issue is because Saturday for most people is that one day to "chill", and most people wouldn't expect you to throw on a suit to grab some food. However, a school setting is very different. Aside from the fact that I feel that wearing pajamas in public is inappropriate, school is a place where children are supposed to be educated, not take a nap. I would never wear my pajamas to a job interview or on a date, so what makes school different? Dressing as though we are off to bed only sends the message that school shouldn't be taken so seriously.

RShapiro

Society is still working out whether we need or want our clothes to send a message to ourselves and those around us about our everyday activities, like school and desk work, or whether comfort and convenience should prevail over neatness and formality. It was one thing when the common occupations, like farming and factory work, required a certain kind of comfortable, easy-to-wash, informal clothing. Now that most people have desk jobs we can do in any kind of clothing, from sweats to ball gowns, we're all trying to decide whether we prefer the comfort and convenience of the common dress of the past or the neatness and formality of the dress that in the past went with our formerly rare professions. As most pajamas I see are basically just variations of sweats and t-shirts, I think the pajama issue is just part of the bigger issue, and it's not a modesty issue; it's a fastidiousness issue.

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