Would You Wear Pajamas in Public?

There has been a lot of commotion in the press lately about the practice of wearing pajamas in public. Celebrities are wearing their pjs around town. School boards are worried about high school students wearing pajama pants to school. School officials are also in a dither about parents wearing pajamas to school when they drop students off. Wow! Who would have imagined that this would ever have been topic of discussion a decade or two ago.

So… what do you think? Would you wear pajamas outside of your house? If so, when is it OK? When is it not?

It is not my preference to wear my pajamas all over town. I live in my pjs at home. I wear them all weekend and all evening/night. If I am going to run to the grocery store or to get some dinner, I would throw on a pair of jeans or khakis. I love my pajama pants, but I wouldn’t wear them to a lot of public places. That is just my choice.

But, other people make other choices. I think about my old neighbor Guy. He lived down the block from us in our last house. He was retired. He used to hang out in front of his house and drink his coffee in the morning in his Batman pajama pants. I thought that he was really cool even before I officially met him. (Once I met him, I discovered that he was a very nice man.) It did not offend me in the least that he sat on his front patio in his pajama pants. First, it was his yard. Second, he was retired, so he should be able to do what he wants as long as he was not bothering anyone else. Third, he picked a really cool superhero to wear, so what’s not to like?

I only wear pajama pants outside of the house when I go for long walks by myself. Why? I really don’t like wearing sweatpants. I don’t even own any. Now, if I were twenty, cute and thin, there might be some really attractive sweats out there for me. But, I am not. I am middle aged and need to lose weight. I really think that I am doing my neighbors a favor by wearing my cute cartoon pajama pants to go for walks rather than some unattractive sweats. (If they really don’t want to see me in my pj pants, they can always look away. I also walk on trails that don’t get a lot of traffic. The 2-3 people who see me at a time will probably survive the experience.)

What do I wear for these scandalous excursions? I wear men’s cartoon pajama pants. I love them. I have many pairs including Superman, Charlie Brown, Elvis, and Homer Simpson. (Unfortunately, some of the characters aren’t even made anymore.) I have washed and worn them a zillion times, so I can tell you that they hold up very well.

I can only think of one time that I wore pajama pants in public other than on my walks. Admittedly, it was pretty embarrassing. I had on a pair of khakis and dropped of my kids at a birthday party on a Saturday afternoon. After I dropped them off at the party, I went to the office and loaded my truck up with these giant bags of mail to take them over to the post office. (I suspect this is when the damage occurred.) I later went back to the party where I spent about an hour talking to other parents before leaving with the kids. We later picked up my husband and headed to the movies. As we were walking into the movie theater one of my kids said (as only a small child can say at full volume), Hey mom! Did you know there is a giant hole in the back of your pants? Of course I didn’t know. What sane adult knowingly walks around with a hole in the back of their pants?

When I told the kids that we were going to have to miss the movie due to the ripped pants fiasco, they were crushed. I don’t even remember what the movie was, but it seemed like the end of the world to them. At that point, I was forced to formulate another plan. All four of us headed back out to the parking lot and to our truck. (Of course, I was attempting to strategically cover the hole in my pants with my purse as I left the theater.) In the truck, I did have a few extra clothing items as only mothers miraculously seem to have on hand. One of those items was a pair of Elvis pajama pants. Don’t ask me why they were there, but they were. After a quick change, I was back in business. (The things we do to make our kids happy. They will never fully understand.)

Now that they are older (young teens), my kids seem to have no interest in wearing their jammies outside of the house. When they have specific pajama/spirit days at school they always participate, but they don’t otherwise wear pjs to school.

The other morning my son and I left the house together. It was about 32 degrees outside and insanely windy. (We live in the mountains of northern Arizona. It can be freezing in the morning and beautiful and warm by the afternoon.) What was my son wearing? Shorts. I was freezing in my long pants, but there he was in shorts. He would have been better off in pajama pants. But, he is a teenager and he thinks he knows everything. I am the mother of a teenager and I pick my battles. Right now homework and studying are at the top of my list. I let the shorts slide. If he really wanted to wear pajama pants to school, I would let those slide too. Pajama pants might be a little unusual for school, but it seems like they might be more practical than shorts on a 32 degree day.

I recently discovered that my husband wears his fleece pajama pants outside. He is pretty sly about wearing his pjs out of the house. I actually had no idea that he was doing this until just recently. My husband is a park ranger for the National Park Service in his regular life (soon to be retired), but his real passion is trail running. He runs marathons, half marathons, and many 10Ks during the running season here in Arizona. He is a great runner and wins a lot of awards for his age (what he calls the old guy division).

So what is the deal with the pajama pants? When he goes to races and is getting ready, it is really early in the morning and is pretty cold. He thinks that the fleece pajama pants are perfect for keeping warm without looking too slick like a pair of fancy warm up pants would. (I guess serious trail runners are a relaxed bunch. I am not a trail runner. I don’t profess to know anything about their fashion preferences.) When we do go see my husband’s races, we see him cross the finish line " not getting ready an hour before. So my kids and I did not know that dad was secretly wearing his jammies to warm up before his races.

Fleece Pajama Pants

Fleece Pajama Pants

Who would have guessed it? Not me and we have been married for eighteen years. I guess you never know who is going to turn up in their pajamas in public. (Believe me " my husband does not seem like the type.)

Now you know all of the Murphy family secrets about pajama wearing in public. What are yours? Do you wear your pajamas outside? What do you think about other people wearing their pjs outside? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you.

Sweet dreams.

Melissa