Wearing pyjamas in public

Should pyjamas be worn outside the house?

The rolled-out-of-bed look: who knew it was controversial?

While UGGs, sweatpants and pyjamas have long been the preferred choice of high-school kids no longer dressing to impress after a few years of studying together, some school officials and politicians seem hell bent on eradicating the look.

The Wall Street Journal's Elizabeth Holmes dissected the highly calculated "lounge-around style" earlier this month, describing teens like Juliana Dokas, who spends 45 minutes straightening her hair and doing her makeup before sliding into exactingly-layered outfits that ultimately resemble pyjamas.

Ms. Holmes pointed to several officials displeased with the style, including a Louisiana commissioner who wants to outlaw the wearing of pyjamas in public.

"The moral fiber in America is dwindling away," Michael Williams said. "It's pyjamas today; what is it going to be tomorrow? Walking around in your underwear?"

David Beriau, associate principal at a Vermont high school that’s prohibited pyjama bottoms and slippers, explained it this way to Ms. Holmes: "If you come to school like you're going to go to bed, it says a lot about your lack of motivation."

The war against sleepwear as outerwear is ongoing in the UK. In Dublin, a welfare office recently put up a notice for interviewees, announcing "pyjamas are not regarded as appropriate attire."

In 2010, a Belfast elementary school principal slammed the "slovenly and rude" parents who had taken to picking up their children from school dressed in pjs. Also that year, a Wales Tesco asked customers to refrain from shopping barefoot or in their pyjamas.

And ahead of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, authorities launched a campaign to put one of the city's most notable customs to bed: wearing loose-fitting, cotton and polyester pjs in public.

Ms. Holmes wrote that the lounge look has been around for some time, from Juicy Couture velour in the 90s to the yoga pants adult women seem to wear everywhere on the weekends. Today, the trend spans both the high and low ends of the fashion spectrum.

(Published by The Globe and Mail - January 30, 2012)

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