June 14, 2006

Pajamas Fashion Thread


In comments to another posting, AskMom asks

What pajamas are most suitable for our most or least favorite bloggers and other personalities? We stipulate of course that less than full cover-up is not in the spirit, and try to express through design, fabric and color the essence of the pajama wearer.

I can start by admitting that one of my own favorite pairs is a flannel sock monkey print in Williamsburg Blue. I see Ace in black silk with crossed swords embroidered all over. DailyKos of course wears Hello Kitty in noxious lime green to help him be in touch with his lickspittle gay-friendly little girl vulnerabilities. Neo, maybe some patriotic red white and blue plaid flannel, so impossible for a good liberal Jewish Girl and so right for her now.

I'm not brave enough to put forth any ideas about Gerard here on his own turf. Except to note that Winston Churchill wore a fabulous imperial burgundy wool robe of classic design and stately proportions, with hand turned corded edges and silk lining, and that if writing were pajamas......

I shall not divulge here the actual nature of my pajamas except to note that I own five pairs and for some odd reason I cannot find the bottoms to any of them at present. I think I'd best check out the dryer in the basement.

Still, back when I was the men's fashion editor for Penthouse Magazine in the 90s, there was, as you might well imagine, constant pressure on me to do pajamas features. These would, for some reason, always run next to the pictorial spreads of our sadly sans-Pajamas pets. I always thought that was quite shocking and distracted my readers from my fashion tips.

It is now a different era, a brave new world, a land of sleepless nights and disturbing days, and I think it would well be worth exploring what sort of sleepware we all favor, and what sort we'd get for our friends and enemies.

Stylish sleepware is, after all, one of the more critical fashion choices one can make since, being unconscious, you have to do all you can to look your best. When sleepware fails, many unhealthy consequences can ensue.

I alone can attest to the fact that otherwise attractive women from my past could, without a second's hesitation, ignore the $2,655 gift pack I'd brought to them from Victoria's secret, whip into their dressing rooms, and emerge in sleepware whose primary effect was to give me a permanent facial twitch.

But don't let that dissuade you from confessing your secret pajamas sins and dreams.

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Posted by Vanderleun at June 14, 2006 5:21 PM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I haven't owned pajamas in over twenty years. Since we've had kids, my sleepwear is usually shorts; if it is cool add a t shirt. Wintertime, sweats. The wife wears sleepshirts.

Posted by: Jim in Virginia at June 14, 2006 5:49 PM

In winter: Flannel nightgown. Heavy cotton flannel, and lots of it. If possible with pink roses, but plaid will do. Aye, plaid is acceptable if ye canna find a rose.

In summer: Cotton ballet-length gowns, usually eyelet with white satin ribbons and little pink silk roses, because I am a sucker for white eyelet with white satin ribbons and little silk roses.

Precisely what you thought, right? I know. I'm boring.

Posted by: The Anchoress at June 14, 2006 8:02 PM

What a great topic, wish I'd thought of it first.

I like a soft brushed cotton pajama set that is usually sold under the heading of "lounge wear." Since I'm almost always cold, I like the long-sleeved and long-legged variety for winter and the tee shirt/shorts variety for summer. However, I have also been accused of having a nightshirt fetish as I tend to buy them as souveniers like most people buy tee shirts and ball caps. My favorite is one I bought on Route 66 and that I wore out 5 years ago, but refuse to give up. My second and third favorites say: "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Credit, on a bright red one, and a depressing grey one that says, "Can't you tell I'm not a morning person!"

I'm pretty sure this is all far more than any of you ever wanted to know about a Granny's sleepwear, even if her nickname is "Groovy Granny."

Posted by: Sara (Squiggler) at June 14, 2006 8:39 PM

First of all, okay, the pinheads in the elite media are not going to tell you this, but pajamas is a Persian word that means "leg garment," okay, so we are not going to call them that and hand a propaganda victory to our enemies. We call them freedom pants, okay, and you can get your Factor Freedom Pants in time for Father's day at oreilly.com.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at June 14, 2006 9:11 PM

In thinking about the missing bottoms, an idea comes to me, but I'm afraid to look under the bed.

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at June 14, 2006 9:22 PM

Top, bottom, sports bra. Yes, I got it like that.

Posted by: Juliette at June 14, 2006 9:30 PM

Hey Gagdad, pony up with the goods on what you favor, or at least a good thrashing of a liberoid by suggesting the proper thing for them.

Take a happy moment to consider what two of our favorite women might be wearing. MoDo could wrap up in her Clinton campaign tee, men's jammy bottoms stolen from Letterman during that wild weekend at Bar Harbor, and her orthopedic drool cup. Hillary's triangulating the mainstream in her sleepshirt tee with the famous "it's that time of the month, honey" motto on the front:
don't even remotely think of sleeping anywhere but the couch.

Posted by: AskMom at June 14, 2006 9:43 PM

New T-shirt:


Posted by: red river at June 14, 2006 10:01 PM

Top - Wife beaters (who came up with that name?)
Bottom - Hanes Boxer Briefs

Posted by: Rick at June 15, 2006 3:07 AM

I'm a robe kinda guy.

Posted by: Ben USN (Ret) at June 15, 2006 3:42 AM

Have you found your bottoms yet, Gerard? I'm not opening my eyes til you do......oh ok, well maybe just a peek....

So anyway, for southern summers I like my little two-piece cotton and eyelet camisole top with spaghetti straps and 3/4 length pantiloon bottoms in xs from Target (I know it's French). Love these pajamas and fancy I could also wear them under a long skirt with lace up boots as I prepare to catch the next stagecoach West, or to motor down to the state capital for a late afternoon suffragette rally....

Thanks for this play time...we need more of it for the months and campaigns and hurricanes and bombings ahead!


Posted by: Webutante at June 15, 2006 5:39 AM

Oh, easy question!

When it's cool (which is normal, because I don't "do" hot and keep the house well air-conditioned, LOL), flannel bottoms paired with either a cozy t-shirt (washed a zillion times to perfect softness) or an ancient long-sleeved "terry-flannel-sweatshirt" (no better description available) shirt from Victoria's Secret. No, it's NOT sexy, it's just snuggly.

If it's hot, it's a t-shirt and undies, baby!

Jammies rule - I'd live in them if I didn't have to run errands in public, LOL

-- R'cat

Posted by: Romeocat at June 15, 2006 6:24 AM

Romeocat is right, easy question.

For the winter, the well worn and much beloved pinstriped flannel bottoms (which have the added bonus of making me irresistible to my wife) and either my Smiths t-shirt (from a concert circa 1987) or nothing up top (the wife digs that too!)

During summer, it's the boxers, baby.

Posted by: Matt at June 15, 2006 6:45 AM

Ummm... I don't wear pajamas. Or shirts... or boxers... make of that what you will (to make it under the "obscenity radar" :))

Posted by: Tony at June 15, 2006 8:18 AM

Cold to warm: Tighty Whities.

Hot: Skyclad with the fans going.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at June 15, 2006 10:20 AM
I shall not divulge here the actual nature of my pajamas except to note that I own five pairs and for some odd reason I cannot find the bottoms to any of them at present.

Blogging in pajama tops only, Gerard? Bad visual, waaay too much information...

Posted by: Dr Bob at June 15, 2006 10:28 AM

"Blogging in pajama tops only, Gerard? Bad visual, waaay too much information..."

Geeeeesh Dr. Bob, so squeamish you are? LOL

I forgot all about the pipsqueak. Joel Stein, anxious and conflicted about recent insults to his manhood, must wear his dad's "A Man and His Truck" sweatshirt. With his mom's pink satin pj pants.


Posted by: AskMom at June 15, 2006 10:56 AM

At the risk of sounding like a traitor, I neither own nor wear pajamas. I sleep in nothing but an oversized lime green T-shirt from a Sturgis, SD, Harley Davidson dealer.

Posted by: Eric Scheie at June 15, 2006 12:15 PM

Actually, if I recall correctly, this is not a problem but an OPPORTUNITY since department stores now sell bottoms separately from tops. I'm off to shop!

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at June 15, 2006 12:50 PM

In winter, a white long sleeve long gown with purple tulips in brushed cotton, and I wrap myself up with a paisley shawl while blogging. In the summer, cotton-knit PJs in deep, deep, dark, dark, deep dark purple.

Posted by: Elizabeth at June 15, 2006 1:40 PM

While blogging, I wear regular daytime clothes.
The rest remains a mystery.

Posted by: Fausta at June 15, 2006 2:05 PM

L.L. Bean plaid flannel pajamas, Black Watch pattern.

Flannel sheets, too, 8-9 months out of the year. Throw in a down comforter and it's damn near impossible to get out of bed in the morning.

In summer, regular cotton sheets and some pajama shorts I got at K-Mart.

I hate summer.

Posted by: rickl at June 15, 2006 5:26 PM

Flannel sheets? Whew!

And it takes three years to break them in.

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at June 15, 2006 5:37 PM

I don't own pajamas.
I usually sleep in one of my old cotton knit Lands End dresses. After they are washed 40 or 50 times they are very soft...

Posted by: boinkie at June 15, 2006 10:41 PM

Discarnate means what it means. You don't sleep, either. But there was a time--before the farm accident--that the standard gear for my night sea journey was a pair of Big Dog madras shorts.

Posted by: Petey at June 16, 2006 6:25 AM


Posted by: Eric Blair at June 16, 2006 7:40 AM

Plaid flannel jammie pants, retired ten+ -year old longsleeve tee and poly sock liners in the winter, jersey material workout shorts and same vintage shortsleeve tee for the summer.

Oh, and the breadbox-size red plaid fuzzy slippers of doom when not actually in bed, year round.

Boxers, not briefs. Took me forty years to figure that one out, though.

Posted by: TmjUtah at June 16, 2006 9:58 PM

Several decades ago, in my late 30's, reviewing family history, I decided that there was a danger that when I got old I would be found wandering down the street in my nightie. So I decided immediately to game the evidence by instituting a firm policy: Jammies All The Time. Those who know me at all can vouch that I wear pyjama or nightgown designs --varying fabrics -- almost everywhere.

Evenings, or at home any time: white linen, batiste, or lawn long gowns with as much lace as can be stitched on, as befits a cultural traditionalist with a taste for excess.

Actually, it was the white linen pyjamas factor that clinched the decision to blog....

Posted by: dilys at June 18, 2006 10:56 AM

There are cats, of course. And I much prefer cotton to flannel.

But almost all of them have cats on them.

Posted by: B. Durbin at June 19, 2006 11:59 AM

Po-jama people
Po-jama people, people
Lawd, they make you sleepy
With the things they might say
Po-jama people
Po-jama people, people
Take one home with you
And save a dollar today
The po-jama people are boring me to pieces
They make me feel like I am wasting my time
They all got flannel
Up and down 'em
A little trap door
Back around 'em
And some cozy little footies
On their mind

FZ "One Size Fits All" 1978

Posted by: Captain Beefheart at June 19, 2006 6:53 PM

I did a whole series on this topic about 18 months ago:


Posted by: Harvey at June 20, 2006 12:12 PM
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