Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day

wear your pyjamas to work day 16.04.18

Forget about the dress code and dress for comfort this ‘Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day’. Celebrated every year on the 16th April, this day promotes the empowerment of earning money while you lounge about. Ditch the high-heels or tie and suit. Wearing your onesie instead is perfectly acceptable – or is it?

History of Pyjamas

The modern pyjama, or ‘pajama’ if you’re American, originally came from Persia. Modelled on Persian harem pants, the original pyjama was first adopted by the Western world in 1870. The Persian word ‘pyjama’ translates to ‘leg garment’. However, since the late 1800s, we have evolved past basic drawstring pants and now have bottoms that feature fluffy things and wild prints.

Although women seem to be the ones that prefer to dress up in fluffy socks and fleece dressing gowns, the pyjama was originally worn by men. By the 1890s, the pyjama bottomwear your pyjamas to work day image 2 16.04.18 had replaced the original night shirt and briefs combo worn by just men. In fact, the original men’s night shirt would often be at ankle length – something that would resemble a very long ladies nightgown, today.

However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century when women began to adopt the pyjama. Historically, the large majority of people wearing pyjamas for sleeping would be the rich. When the original pyjama was proposed, only the wealthier part of the population could afford to buy clothing made just for sleeping in. Seen as a social statement of elegance, fashionable women began to explore with silks, cottons and laces to create the ultimate sophisticated pyjama in the early 1900s.

While the history of pyjamas dates back to a couple of centuries ago, some modern nightwear attire is a recent phenomenon. For example, the adult onesie. Now, you can dress up as anything you like from a unicorn to a dinosaur, or as your favourite Disney character.

Pyjamas in Public

With so many options as to how you celebrate pyjama day, it seems that there’s no excuse to not get involved this year. However, wearing pyjamas in public is a debate that could split the nation – it’s a case of social appropriateness.

According to Susan Kaiser, a University of California professor, the social pressures on how someone ‘should’ dress has always existed. “Clothing has been described as a broadcast signal, the way it communicates,” Kaiser said. “We know (an appropriate outfit) when we see it. When something doesn’t look quite right, then we notice that.”

This act of judgement is known as a social norm, and wearing pyjamas in public is not a social norm – even though there’s technically nothing wrong with it. According to an experiment by the Mirror in 2017, the opinions on wearing pyjamas in public all depends on the place, the people, and the dress code.

For this social experiment, two women took the streets of London in their pyjamas and dressing gowns for a spot of shopping. At almost every grand setting they approached, including Harrods and the Ritz, the staff were reluctant to let them in and they were eventually asked to leave. It was only Harrods that after a few minutes of tense negotiation, finally decided to let them in to wander the shop. On the other hand, at more ‘relaxed’ environments like Pret A Manger, baristas applauded the bold statement and even gave them beverages on the house.

It seems the acceptability of dressing down in public is purely a matter of opinion.

Dress Down for Charity

Dressing down for charity is a fantastic reason to get away with wearing your pyjamas to work. You can raise money for those who are less fortunate, without being judged too much. Asking your colleagues to bring in a small donation in return for a day of comfort could be welcomed by the whole office. Not only will a day of relaxation from spending the day in your pyjamas make you feel good physically, but it will also make you feel great inside knowing you’re doing it for a good cause.

Involve yourself this ‘Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day’.

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Sam Rose

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