The great PJ pants debate: class vs. comfort

I know this statement will age me, but pajamas and pajama bottoms were not made to wear in public.
I enjoy the comfort of them in my own home, but would never think of subjecting anyone to seeing me in them in a store shopping.
The day after Thanksgiving, I was in a local discount store, looked up and there were two women (I don’t think ladies would be the right word here) shopping, and both had on their flannel pajama bottoms.
I couldn’t tell if they had on the tops or not since they were wearing a heavy jacket. A few days later, I was in another discount store and saw a little girl around 10 years old with the full set – top and bottoms – of flannel pajamas on at the checkout counter.
I’m not saying outlaw wearing flannel pajamas, as one legislator in Louisiana wants to do, but somewhere we have missed instilling taking pride in people in their personal appearance. There is too much government in our lives now, so having that legislated should not even be an issue. This is a personal issue of how to dress and not dress.
Believe me, nobody looks good in pajamas in public. Wear them in the privacy of your own home, or have a party with friends who like to wear their pajamas outside of home, and everybody have a good time.
Birds of a feather flock together!
Adults if you are wearing them, your children are not going to think anything about going out in their pajamas. I can just see 10 years down the road going to a local store and everyone is dressed in pajamas. I hope that is just a nightmare I’m having and not the real thing.
This is sure to insult someone, but wearing flannel pajamas out in public is white trash and rednecky.

We’re creatures of comfort
I want to say it was on Jay Leno’s headlines skit where I heard the newspaper quote mentioned about how the shopper liked the new dollar store in town because she didn’t have to get all dressed up like she did when she went to Wal-Mart.
Look at three pages of photos on the website and PJ pants in public will seem like a minor fashion infraction.
During the cold dreary winter months, the thought of Friday nights hibernating at home in PJ pants is something that makes me smile all week long.
There’s been a time or two when I’ve caught myself in public with them still on, but I have no shame in it. If my generation made it out of the grungy 90s when shorts, flannel shirts and Doc Martins were considered an outfit, I don’t think leaving the house in flannel PJs and a t-shirt is going to kill us, or anybody else for that matter.
Like I told Alice when we decided to take this debate to the Opinion page, my father is probably shaking his head in shame in Heaven because I’m rallying for pajamas pants in public.
The way I see those animal toboggans the kids wear as tacky, the older generations are gunning for our fascination with PJ pants and that’s okay.
I don’t see PJ pants in public as white trashy or redneck like those harsh, harsh words mentioned above.
I believe in personal pride and keeping up appearances, too, but I don’t think PJ pants should be in the crosshairs. As the stodgy may turn up a nose to anybody beneath them like on “Downton Abbey,” the traditionalists may shun somebody spotted in the aisle just keeping it more comfortable than them.
That’s okay, too. Bell bottoms and leisure suits were stylish at one time, but you cleaned them out of your closet years ago out of shame.
The PJ pants are in my chest of drawers and won’t be donated to the Salvation Army for a while. They may seem tacky in public to you now, but until the day I conform to that train of thought, I say wear them in public.

Alice Ortiz is a staff writer for the Monroe Journal. She can be reached at

Ray Van Dusen is the news editor for the Monroe Journal. He can be contacted at

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at
  • Carolyn Carter

    Oh my gosh, PJ’s in public are right up there with the mindset of those who are walking around with legs bowed out and holding thier pants up while they are “sagging”. I always in my minds eye see these folks at home and what could thier home could look like considering thier public appearance. If you can’t take pride in personal apperance, what do you take pride in.

  • Cubguy


    I so agree with you. Its often I go through the stores and just shake my heads at the options our young people have to purchase these days. Having worked in a local factory once in my life that made blue jeans, we used to discard the ones that had holes in them. To go to a place like JcPenney and see pairs on the rack that have been intentionally shredded and price tagged about 50.00 totally blows my mind. We would have hidden a pair like that in my did so we didn’t have to wear them.

    Come of folks, its not that hard, have a little pride in yourself when you go to town. You ride there in a car, air conditioned/heated and back. Our previous generations went on horseback, on foot, or in a cart and buggy and even they got dressed to go to town. It takes 5 minutes, put on a clean shirt and pants that I can’t see into, over, or through and show a little pride in yourself.