I still remember when I used to go down to get bread in my pajamas, covering myself with a coat so as not to be judged by the rest of mortals for the idleness that took over my being. Now things have changed. What was once considered attire exclusively for the home has evolved into a bold statement of individuality and comfort. The pajama craze has taken the streets and runways by storm, challenging conventional norms and questioning traditional expectations of dress.
The phenomenon in question is called NBN (Netflix-baguette-Netflix), and as the acronym indicates, it emerged in Paris after the Coronavirus pandemic. But there is no country or population on the face of the earth that has not succumbed to the look. We have already seen several celebrities like Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gigi Hadid or Kate Moss wearing PJs on the street, and even at photocalls. And yes, the trend has spread to all cosmopolitan cities and all life situations.
Perhaps the main reason it is now the golden age of pajamas is the comfort they offer. The garment provides a relaxed alternative to the tight, structured clothing that has dominated fashion for years. We are now more willing to let go of the barriers of propriety and it shows not only in our clothes but in the way we do our hair and makeup, and even our shoes. How many tutorials on how to do a no-make up make up look or a casual bun are on social platforms? Definitely, the trend is aligned with the existing cultural change towards more relaxed lifestyles and focused on wellness. A wellness that prioritizes comfort and self-expression outside of social norms, and a greater appreciation of authenticity and individuality in the way we dress.
Inattention or defiance of the conventional norms?
The fashion for going out in pajamas challenges traditional dress codes and raises questions about what is considered “appropriate” in different contexts. The boundary between sleepwear and casual wear has become increasingly blurred. Runways over the years have featured luxurious and sophisticated pajama sets that can be confidently worn to formal events or social gatherings.
The trend is also not without debate, that’s for sure. While some see it as a form of liberation from social expectations and a celebration of individuality, others criticize it for what they perceive as a lack of respect for certain spaces and occasions that traditionally demand a more formal dress code.
In the United States there is even a day when going to work transgresses the formal dress code by wearing pajamas. Yes, as you read it. The ‘National Wear Your Pyjamas To Work Day’ and has been celebrated on April 16 since 2004. On this day one gets rid of heels, ties, and other formalities to go to the office with the greatest of comfort.
And the trend, although it has now experienced a renaissance, is not new. Wearing sleepwear to the street started timidly in the fashion world a century ago, with (of course) Coco Chanel. In 1918, Chanel introduced the innovative idea of ‘beach pajamas’, loose-fitting garments intended for summer days. Although these pieces were initially considered daring and controversial due to their potential to blur gender lines and their resemblance to bedroom attire, Chanel continued to challenge boundaries. In the 1920s, she took this trend even further by proclaiming that loose pants, styled similarly to pajamas, were the perfect combination of elegance and comfort.
In the seaside resort of Juan-les-Pins, located on the beautiful French Riviera, the wearing of pajamas became so commonplace that the place earned the affectionate nickname “Pyjamapolis.” This demonstrates how Chanel’s avant-garde vision transcended established norms. Her vision came to shape even destinations and attitudes toward fashion in iconic locations. So the influence of this trend cannot be underestimated.
As celebrities began to adopt this style in their public appearances and on social media, the concept gained momentum and began to generate media attention. An attention that suits brands like Tekla, Spain’s Handover, who have made pajamas their competitive advantage. And it also suits luxury brands such as Prada, Burberry or Gucci, which can focus on this market segment nowadays. And why not, also celebrities like Rihanna with her Savage X Fenty or Kim K with SKIMS, who, thanks to this boom in the world of pajamas and underwear, can make millions with their brands.
Although it is now a catch-all, it is difficult to predict whether the trend of going out in pajamas will remain a lasting trend or if it will eventually give way to new styles. What is certain is that this trend has left a mark on the fashion industry by challenging conventional norms, promoting comfort and highlighting the importance of self-expression. In the end, fashion is a medium through which people can tell stories about themselves and communicate their identity to the world. The trend of going out in pajamas is just one more example of how fashion continues to evolve to reflect the changing values and diversity of the people who wear it.
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