Half the time I'm sitting at work my coworker next to me is wearing pajamas, and she somehow still looks cooler than me. I kidd I kidd. They aren't actually pajamas (and sometimes I look cool, too, Elizabeth), but you would think the same about a silk pinstripe pant suit, right? Somehow pajama-esque fashion is en vogue at the moment, and I'm not talking about the Tinkerbell flannel pants the woman is wearing while pumping gas across from you at the station (the horrrooor). I'm talking about the satiny, formless silhouettes that are slinking their way out of bed and onto the runway and streets. Let’s start by playing a game:
I’ll make it easy for you. Real clothes, pajamas, real clothes. Does that surprise you at all? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But the point is, the line between day to night wear is blurring and the categories are slowly meshing into one. It is getting harder to tell the difference between a silk pant set and a pajama set, or a chemise and a slip dress. So are pajamas getting cooler or are our real clothes just getting sleepier?
One possible reason behind this shift in daytime/nighttime wear is the influence of activewear culture on consumers. Activewear provides the comfort and flexibility in dress that is no longer exclusive to just working out. But for young professionals who may not be keen on wearing leggings into the office, sleepwear is a sneaky alternative to being comfortable but looking perhaps a bit more dressed up. Why is that? For one, the classic pajama has a tailored look inspired by modern suiting. The piping, button-up style, and the coordinating top and pants all mirror the style of a suit - just comfier. Also, the materials used, whether with a pajama set or a chemise, are often silk or satin. The sheen and texture of these materials naturally look more luxurious - think old Hollywood Mae West in her silk and fur robe.
So why this style of dressing and why now? The upsurgence of pajama-like styles may be a greater response to the state of trends in the fashion industry. Consumers want more comfortable styles and they still want to look fashionable. For now, activewear may not be cutting it. Wearing your new leather mules and red lip can work with that silk pajama top and matching bottoms. But with your yoga wear? Not so much.
Overall, this shift in trend emphasis seems to signal that the customer wants her cake and eat it too (or donut, bagel - something more breakfast-y? I don’t know). Looking at the past two weeks, 4% of tops assortment introduced in the US was a “pajama” style top (that you could actually wear to work). Likewise, of all of the tops that have sold out in the past two weeks, these “pajama” tops accounted for 9% of that total assortment. Within true sleepwear, 7% of the assortment was new in the past two weeks and 10% of the total assortment sold out during this same time period. It seems like the trend is catching up in the market, and retailers are starting to take note.
So now that we know pajamas are actually a thing, how does one go about wearing them without crossing the line into snoozeville (see what I did there)? Let’s take a look at how a few influencers have rocked the trend so you can get inspiration as well.
Based off of my fine fashion research skills, here are my tips to pajama dressing: make the steamer your friend, find a good mule, and rock a red lip. Now taking a cue from my coworker Elizabeth, I think this pj thing might work. While I can’t guarantee that I’m going to look as cool as her or Selena Gomez, one thing is for sure - I’m going to be comfortable all day and all night.