Teens Wear Pajamas All Day; Tell Us What You Think [Poll]

It's the newest fashion trend and it drives one Patch editor batty.

Every generation of youngsters has its own style of popular and fashionable attire.

From the bell bottoms of the '60s and '70s, to the platform shoes and leisure suits of the '70s and early '80s, one thing remains true: Kids love the dress, parents usually hate it. My mother, for example, couldn't understand why I needed to wear worn out jeans, ripped flannel shirts and scrubby ball caps (I guess that was called the "grunge" look) when I was a teen in the '90s. And I think parents are still trying to figure out why anyone wore leg warmers, parachute pants or acid washed jeans (and jean jackets) in the '80s. (Full disclosure: I had a jean jacket, albeit not acid washed, that was filled with "patches" - yes, I get the irony - of my favorite bands like Poison, Metallica, Guns 'N Roses and Skid Row. I suppose now I'd have a patch that said "Patch." Now that would be cool!)

Anyway, some fashions leave for a while and make a strong comeback - i.e. bell bottoms were cool again for a while in the late '90s and some of the '80s styles are somehow making a comeback now (though, don't ask me what's cool since I'm by no means considered fashionable - I now like jeans and T-shirts - and sometimes a scruffy ball cap.) 

But there is one style out there now that bothers the heck out of me. We've never seen it in a previous generation, that I know of, and hopefully we won't see it in another. Teenagers are now wearing their pajamas in public. Go to a high school, the mall or anywhere where teens hang out, and you will see this atrocity on a regular basis. The cultural phenomenon has caught the attention of brand name stores which now put sweatpants and flannel PJs on display racks at the front of the store. These things are hotter than hotcakes, and I just don't get it. This has even caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal, which published an article about it last week that describes the trend in detail and says some schools have banned PJs.

I wonder: Am I getting old and prude in my relatively young age (I'll be 31 in a couple of weeks)? Or are there others out there who think PJs are meant for bed...period?

So the questions I have for you, dear reader, is, "Should teens wear PJs all day? Is this a good fashion trend or just silly? Is it inappropriate? Do you allow it?" Tell us in comments and take our poll. P.S. I also want to know what our younger readers think of this. 

While you do that, I'll be headed into town. First, I have to change my baby daughter out of her pajamas - can't let that trend start in my household.

- Paul Singley is the editor of Oxford Patch. Love the column? Hate it? Have a better idea? Email him at paul.singley@patch.com

Stephanie G January 27, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Mark K January 27, 2012 at 01:57 PM
I'm sitting working in my pajamas right now, having just returned from dropping my kids off at school. I go into NYC for work once a week, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I enjoy wearing comfortable clothes and enjoy the convenience and savings of my lax wardrobe. My style hasn't changed for 15+ years (I'm in my mid-30's). If my kids are A-B students, I'll be happy to let them to wear PJ's to school, get mohawks or wear clown shoes if they so desire. Aren't we supposed to be teaching kids not to judge people on appearance anyway?
Bobbie January 27, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I do not believe that what you wear on your body - or for that matter, the ring you wear on your finger - has anything to do with what is on your mind. You are who you are - accessories included.
Linda Ramos January 27, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Ok so PJ's are good if they are in "good" taste, but yesterday in Wal-Mart viewed a BIG PAIR on a BIG BUTT with BIG SHARKS on them, yikes it made me BACK up and I had thoughts of JAWS wading in front of me. So, PJ's should be worn with a thought of design and size. But, maybe it's their way of "speaking" out!
Amanda Marie Hanson January 27, 2012 at 02:59 PM
My parent's call me the fashion police. I wish i could say that i thought PJ's were going to be a trend but it has been going on far longer than any other trend i know. I suppose wearing PJ's to school is one thing but isn't that what they make sweatpants and sweatshirts for? Exercise clothes so to speak? There is an extreme difference between sweatpants or "gym clothes" and actual pajamas. It is probably those same teens that will continue the habit later on in life. There are far too many adult individuals who do the same in public places. I think it demonstrates a lack of pride, and general carelessness. It literally takes 30 seconds to put on clothes acceptable and comfortable. As a graduate student, there are many mornings i feel far to tired to look my best, but i get dressed and make an attempt at it because who knows who i am going to see that day? I suppose i don't make concrete judgement about these individuals based on their attire, but it does leave a very bad taste in my mouth.
Hoa Nguyen January 27, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I have to say I am totally enjoying this thread like no other at Patch. It is both fascinating as well as entertaining to hear all of your reasons for why you like to wear pj's, or casual clothing. And some of the descriptions of the pj's are something else! I'd be curious to see what some of those pj's you are wearing look like. If you have a good pic of one, perhaps you can upload it to this article for everyone to see. Just click on the "Upload photos/videos" button immediately under the photo above and follow the instructions. Waiting to see what some of those pj's look like!!
Jerry Casbolt January 27, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Here in Goshen, there's a Wear PJs Day every once in a while. But we're talking about grades K-6. It's fun for the kids, but I can't see it for anyone out of elementary school. For the upper grades, students should show more concern for the serious business of education and less for daylong silliness. But then, I'm all in favor of uniforms for school. --Jerry
BJ Forlenzo January 27, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Best post so far!! We should start taking photos and posting them - sorta like the "People of Walmart" website.
Becky January 27, 2012 at 03:51 PM
J. Copsey, Well, maybe if I was younger (I'm 78) but I can't imagine my Fruit of the Looms in the summer and long johns in the winter! If they had a nice design and were colored...But, no thanks. Everything has its place.
Craig Zac January 27, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Its Ok as long as the Kid in the back isnt actually wearing the Hello kitty ski boots and shorts.. Someday his children will see this pic and he is going to have a hard time explaining it.... lol
Southbury Resident January 27, 2012 at 04:25 PM
First I never wear PJ's but I want to point out what one is wearing should be individual freedom-choice. If you dont like it turn your head away. Personally I dont think I had seen anybody in PJ's (maybe I dont look or pay attention). However, its interesting to find so many older folks look at what teenage girls are wearing. Really? I dont think I would be happy to see some old guy looking at what my daughter is wearing.
Jaimie Cura (Editor) January 27, 2012 at 04:36 PM
I admit to not having my morning coffee yet, so forgive me when I say this: I didn't even notice that there were boys in this picture! What has been seen cannot be unseen! ;)
Amanda Marie Hanson January 27, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Interesting point, Southbury Resident. As a daughter, this is precisely why WOULDN'T wear pajama's in public... hmmm. They are clothing for home, not for public. It should also be noted that its not only older gentleman noticing; there are women and younger folks giving their two cents in the same way. Additionally, i find it hard to believe that you have never noticed what someone is wearing out in public regardless of what the situation is... "Nice shirt!" "You look nice!" "I really like that jacket!" It's really all the same.
Southbury Resident January 27, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Amanda i understand what you saying and I agree pajama is probably not the right attire outside the home, still you should not be making choice of attire based on fear. I did not notice pajamas as I pay no attention to what teenagers are wearing. You can be wearing leather jacket with dog collar, it does not bother me. Believe it or not once upon a time I was teenager too. :) I think young people deserve some freedom so they can learn things. Its part of growing up and development.
Christine E. January 27, 2012 at 06:54 PM
But who decides what is 'acceptable'? No matter how you look at it, everything comes back to personal preference.
Paul Singley January 27, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Slate.com, an online news site run by the Washington Post, has just put up a story on this trend, too: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/a_fine_whine/2012/01/pajamas_in_public_the_popularity_of_sleepwear_is_not_a_sign_of_america_s_declining_moral_fiber_.html?wpisrc=twitter_socialflow
Citizen X January 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I'm not sure how laziness & comfort are different. And you should care about what other people think of you.
Citizen X January 27, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Good luck with not judging people on their appearance, & I'm not sure why that is bad. Do whatever you want when you're working at home, as long as I can't see you.
Ann January 27, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Too bad Citizen X cares what people think about how he looks. Hopefully he's not ugly or something so people don't judge something he can't change. People need to respect themselves enough not to worry about how others view them. People learn this as they age. Citizen X should read the poem Warning by Jenny Joseph: WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN I SHALL WEAR PURPLE With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick the flowers in other people's gardens And learn to spit You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. We must have friends to dinner and read the papers. But maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. Taken from the book When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple Editd by Sandra Martz
Citizen X January 27, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Agreed, 100%. I make concrete judgments on people, & if you look like you don't care about yourself or that you don't care what other people think (I.e. employers, potential employers, customers, people in town), then you're getting what you've asked for. And good luck being treated with any respect.
Citizen X January 27, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Nice poem, my favorite color is purple. Your first comment was almost correct. I've rewritten for you here 'It's too bad more people don't care about how they look & the impression they give of themselves.'
Ann January 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I actually don't mind being different. Obviously not since I use my name with all my crazy comments and Citizen X uses a nom de plume for some reason (as do most people in this forum). Personally, even I wouldn't wear pajamas to church or school but I do like to give others freedom of expression, especially when it doesn't impact me in any way.
Amanda Marie Hanson January 27, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Citizen X, that is exactly my point. Thank you. Ann, I'm not sure where you are coming from with a "different" comment, as no one said anything here bad about being different. Aren't we all? I am pretty sure we are discussing a different topic all together. Christine, the point is that there are clothes made for public and clothes not made for public; pajamas being one of them. If someones personal preference is to not dress themselves with any effort, then i suppose maybe the impression they give off is accurate. As I said, I do not pass a concrete judgement on someone random in public or someone i do not know, but i am definitely also not impressed upon seeing it.
Ann January 27, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Amanda, just my point, at some time in our lives, it isn't necessary to impress anyone. Oh, and in my prior comment I meant to say most people DO use their actual name in this forum -- I assume because they don't mind sharing their opinions whether people agree or disagree. We all have different opinions and that's another beautiful thing about human interactions (or life could be pretty boring if we all thought alike). As far as your comment that nobody is saying anything bad about being different, basically that's the problem some people are having -- accepting wearing pajamas to school because it's different than the normal use of pajamas. Years ago (maybe about 40 years ago when I was into going out for more formal affairs) it was very popular to wear nightgowns as evening gowns. Mind you, one would be hard pressed to tell the "dress" was actually an evening gown. I feel the same way about the pajama bottoms that are, I think, what most kidds are wearing and we are calling pajamas (I may be wrong -- maybe they are actually wearing the footed fleece one piece pajamas as pictured in the pajama party photo at the beginning of the article). They're called pajama bottoms but how are they actually any different than fleece sweat pants? It's just a matter of semantics.
Kelley HC January 28, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Kids are just expressing themselves, although I think that slippers take it too far. LOL
Peter Samardak January 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM
This is not so new. Actually, it is pretty old and not leading edge. About 20 years ago they were doing this in some of the schools in Michigan, but soon changed their ideas and went to more conventional, or appropriate attire. Personally, PJs belong at home. And, if you have to ask, "Who decides whats acceptable?", then its not you. Good taste and common sense should prevail and we find common sense isn't so common any more. The students and teachers should really decide what the dress code should be. Parents should abide by this as well and really...parents...get a grip.
Cara.Mascara April 27, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Actually, i get up and take a shower and put on a clean pair of pajamas on before leaving the house, i see nothing wrong with it, if you can wear sweat pants in public and basketball shorts, you should be able to wear pjs. whats the difference really? there for comfort, not to mention cute since i absolutely love plaid. i dont understand why people are so against it! its a free country. let us wear what we want without critisizing us. i dont critisize people that look dumb while wearing a suit, which i happen to find very unattractive.
Cara.Mascara April 27, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I have like 9-11 pairs of pajamas, not the obnoxious ones that have spongebob or something like that all over them, but plaid. i also have 4-5 pairs of pajama shorts, i wear them places because why be uncomfortable in tight pants that you have to wear a belt with? i mean really? do you hate to feel comfortable? i think that there is a difference between certain situations like the guy up there was talking about, where people look dirty and trashy. but not EVERYONE in pajamas is a trashy person and it doesnt make you lazy. does wearing sweatpants make you lazy? no. i was just in pajamas for the taks test where the school said to "dress comfortably" but when i do they make me change? but then theres half the school wearing sweatpants? thats effed up dude. sweat pants are just solid gray pajamas.
Cara.Mascara April 27, 2012 at 05:34 PM
id also like to add that i have a pair of plaid skinny jeans. so yeah, i guess i could put of a pair of jeans... but itd still be plaid and look like pajamas.
Jessica September 29, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I love wearing my pjs


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