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Beauty & Fashion

Wearing Pajama Bottoms in Public Sends Unintended Messages

I often wonder how some trends are fashioned. Does one person think up a fun twist to wearing a garment and then it slowly spreads? Or is it introduced in the media, on a music video, or on the catwalk, and the fans pick it up?

Maybe it’s a little of both, but whatever the process, I would like to know who the first person was to wear pajama bottoms in public.

When I was in college, I questioned this trend when kids came to the dining hall in pajama bottoms. Now, I’m seeing it everywhere.

Just the other day, my family and I went to Pizza Hut for lunch and three girls (all at different tables) were wearing pajama bottoms. Two of the bottoms were pink with bunnies or puppies or some childish pattern. One of the ladies also was wearing slippers and looked like she had just rolled out of bed.

I cannot think of anything that justifies wearing pajama bottoms in public.

When I think of pajama bottoms, I think comfy, tired and lazy. But here are the messages that a person sends when he or she wears pajama bottoms in public, and how they can be interpreted by others:

I can’t be bothered to get dressed.

(Interpretation: You’re lazy. I’d never hire you if I were an employer.)

I don’t care what I look like.

(Interpretation: You have no self-worth. If you don’t care about you, why should I?)

I don’t care what anyone thinks.

(Interpretation: You’re selfish, rebellious, and immature.)

The above interpretations may not represent reality, but your appearance gives those impressions.

The way you dress is a reflection of your attitude, but it’s also a reflection of how others see you. You could be the smartest, most hard-working person in the world, but if you venture out in public in a pair of pink bunny pajama bottoms, people are going to think the opposite.

Not only is your appearance a reflection of how others perceive you, but it’s also a reflection of how you see yourself. The message? “You are not worth the effort it takes to put on a pair of pants, and neither am I.”

Personal appearance reflects an attitude, and your message should be a positive one, especially if you bump into someone important to you. We meet people every day, and some of them are potential friends, bosses, influential figures, and even soul mates. If you’re wearing pajamas, I doubt that any of them will give you a second glance, except to figure out what cartoon character’s on your pajamas.

Ladies, your appearance in public should be important to you. Being clean and well-groomed should be second nature, and putting on a fresh and presentable outfit should go without saying.

I understand that you may not want to dress up or just need to run out to the store, but it only takes a minute to look presentable. And that small effort could make a huge difference.

Be honest! Have you worn pajama bottoms in public? Have you seen others wear them and what impression did it give you ?

Image: istockphoto | Thinkstock

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123 Comments

  1. Leftie

    Posted by Leftie on March 25, 2017 at 18:28

    I only wore pajama pants in public once, at the ER, so I think that was permissible. People at my school wear them all the time. I don’t care. You’ll get over it.

  2. delaneymariemiller

    Posted by delaneymariemiller on August 11, 2015 at 18:13

    I find wearing them to be just fine, but I wouldn’t EVER wear something that screams, “look at me!”

  3. kimberlydawn

    Posted by kimberlydawn on February 12, 2015 at 15:23

    I think it depends on the pajama pants. If they’re hot pink with little bunnies on them, then no – I wouldn’t wear them out. However, some pajama pants are actually kind of cool and classy – sort of preppy looking with plaids and stripes not in screaming colors. Now those – yea, I have worn them with cute flip-flops and a nice top in the summer….they’re comfy! I wouldn’t wear them, say, out to dinner. But to the supermarket or McDonalds? Um, yea….Why on earth would that be more “gross” than shorty shorts with your butt sticking out or yoga pants that are so tight you can see every lump and bump?

  4. Grace Pierpont

    Posted by Grace Pierpont on August 7, 2013 at 09:47

    I will not step foot outside oh my house without getting dressed.

  5. kungfugirl

    Posted by kungfugirl on May 27, 2013 at 19:00

    okay i dont know what to say to this

  6. applebypie123

    Posted by applebypie123 on April 3, 2013 at 11:46

    Only time I would wear them in public is on stuff like retreats, or pajama day at IHOP or Brusters;)

  7. soccersk8r14

    Posted by soccersk8r14 on April 3, 2013 at 11:25

    i havent but i have seen people wear them. So is it ok to wear sweat pants or adidis pants out in public? or does that give off a look that were lazy? I usaully just wear them because there comfy? Is that worng?

  8. XcanaceX

    Posted by XcanaceX on March 19, 2013 at 09:43

    For once I actually agree with T.M. Don’t get me wrong; everybody has lazy days and sometimes it’s relaxing and comfortable to wear pajamas all day. But doing it on a regular basis doesn’t set a good predecent. It gives off the impression that you’ve completely let yourself go. And starting off the day by washing your face, brushing your teeth, putting on decent clothes and basically making yourself look presentable also really helps you feel crisp, fresh and ready to go. You’ll get a lot more accomplished and feel a lot better about yourself 🙂

  9. AChild0fGod

    Posted by AChild0fGod on December 11, 2012 at 15:01

    I don’t agree that “I don’t care what anyone thinks.” translates into “I’m selfish, rebellious, and immature.” I don’t think people should care so much about what others think of them, and I think that if you don’t care about what others think, it shows confidence.

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by 333loves on July 29, 2012 at 01:10

    I think going out in your pjs is fine

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by lillySUN on June 26, 2012 at 13:25

    I don’t think wearing pajama pants is unhealthy. People actually pick out what they wear the next day and they think its cool. Sweatpants can be seen as “Pajama Pants”. Whats wrong. . . lmaoo saying its “You’re selfish, rebellious, and immature” doesn’t make people want to come back and check this site everyday. It’s kinda insulting. wow

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by prolife4life on May 18, 2012 at 23:25

    i wear pjs to the store and coffe and such because its comfy and why cares!!! im lazy! :p

  13. Project Inspired

    Posted by Bmac on May 11, 2012 at 11:55

    i wore pj’s in walmart before. the message it sends me is bold, (in a good way) fun, i don’t care what you think of me ( again, in a good way) outgoing and not afraid to wear what you want! but i don’t think you should wear them in public all the time!

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by vd726 on May 7, 2012 at 14:39

    I don’t usually wear actual pj’s outside. sometimes i do, but only when i’m sick and going to the doctor or something! I do wear soft and comfy sweats and stuff outside. I recently went through a period of deep depression and I really didn’t care bout my appearance,so I started wearing only yoga pants or big baggy sweats. Unattractive! Now I realize the message I was sending and I try to look nicer when I go out. But I still do wear my favorite sweats alot! (what, they’re comfy!)

  15. Project Inspired

    Posted by HorsieActress on March 14, 2012 at 11:02

    I’ve worn PJ bottoms out to late movies and other places. I personally dont think its a huge problem worth writing an article about. I mean,is being comfy bad? Sweats are basically the same thing, so should we not wear those either? sorry, but i disagree with this.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Bmac on May 11, 2012 at 11:57

      Exactly! i mean the person could just wanting to be comfy!

  16. Project Inspired

    Posted by ciaradl98 on March 7, 2012 at 10:05

    Why should women have to dress to be “presentable” when men don’t? and also it really depends on how comfortable u feel in that town. here where i live i sometimes walk to my friends house wearing pajamas knowing full well that we might go on a walk. i really dont think it’s bad as long as it’s not all of the time!

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by ayramos on February 25, 2012 at 13:09

    1st of all WWJD!! or WWJT(what would Jesus think) if He saw us in our sponge bob PJs at Pizza Hut? He wouldnt care duhh

    I love my Pjs! i dont like trends though. i’ve worn pjs in public before and have gotten compliments lol (i had grinch pjs) I do care of how i look though, not to please pple but just because i like dressing up. i agree with the other girls, as long as u dont look trashy, (as in brush ur hair, wear a decent shirt and shoes) and if ure only going to the store or to a fast food restaurant and not planning on spending the whole day there then by all means go for it. I mean even if you do dress in normal clothes who’s gonna remember. I dont spend my time checking out how people are dressed. I dont remember peoples faces much less what they are wearing (unless they are wearing something really really cute) but if they are in their every day clothes then they are just another person to me. Besides most of the girls here, are well… girls. If you’re married and with kids then yeah i’d agree with you but most of us here are in our teen years. so it’s all good 😉 but anyways just be u. Jesus teaches us not to judge people by their appearance. I respect ur opinion but dont judge us because we like wearing our Pjs. God bless 😉

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by ciaradl98 on March 7, 2012 at 10:08

      i completely agree! i mean who really cares if someone is wearing PJ’s? just as long as its not all of the time.

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by janie-19-96 on February 8, 2012 at 13:05

    I think that if you are clean and modest it doesn’t matter what you wear. Admonishing people for wearing pajama pants in public is like saying that being unmatching is wrong. I disagree with this article.

  19. Saphira13

    Posted by Saphira13 on February 4, 2012 at 12:59

    Is it that bad to be comfy??

  20. Project Inspired

    Posted by Maddie on February 3, 2012 at 20:05

    Hold on a minute here. I agree with the majority of Project Inspired articles, but this is a little harsh. I disagree. There’s really nothing wrong with dressing comfortably. If wearing immodest clothing is your idea of comfy, yes, there’s a problem, but the comment that you made about “I don’t care what I look like” is kind of crossing the judgement border. In most cases, it’s good to not care what you look like. I know I don’t care about makeup and name brand clothing. Yet, I’m still a good person. You can’t look at someone’s looks and say, “they must be rebellious”. Only God knows their heart and their relationship with him. I think if you wore pajama bottoms to your graduation, funeral, or another formal event, that would be disrespectful, but honestly I see no problem with them otherwise. God doesn’t care what you wear, whether it’s ripped jeans, pajama pants, shorts or jeans. He cares about the heart, not the outward appearance. It’s good to not care about makeup or fancy clothes. It’s good to a degree to not care what you look like. You’re only young once, and lots of little girls are pressured to grow up too fast. I chose comfort over fashion and people don’t judge me.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by prolife4life on May 18, 2012 at 23:27

      i completly agree i love this site but some of the articles are totaly rediculous the bikini waxing on was way up there in crazy girl land just because im a christan means i cant get a bikin wax well i disagree and i also disagree with this theirs nothing wrong with wearing pjs heck i wore them to school for finals and hqes~

  21. Moira Linn

    Posted by Moira Linn on February 1, 2012 at 14:50

    I notice that you did not say one thing about Christianity or modesty in this article. All I see is someone who has a problem with a current fashion trend and is venting. Listen, I don’t think people even WOULD wear comfy clothes to a job interview or a fancy dinner. You saw a few people at a fast food restaurant. No offense, but your pretty judgmental. Maybe you should think about the phrase ‘Be kinder than necessary, because you never know what someone is going through’.

  22. Project Inspired

    Posted by Paperclip on January 31, 2012 at 13:21

    Personally, I don’t feel that it’s that much of an issue. I mean, they’re confident in who they are and what they look like. I don’t think it’s that they really don’t care. The people i know that wear pajamas in public are outgoing, fun loving, and positive. They don’t appear “sloppy” because they DO put effort into their hair, makeup, etc. and their PJ’s arent dirty or whatever. It’s kind of like wearing sweats. We shouldn’t have to try too hard to make ourselves look “presentable” in this world.

  23. Project Inspired

    Posted by Gods Little Ewe on January 30, 2012 at 17:32

    I did it once, to go to a movie theater. If I am at a youth group retreat, or camp, and it will be time to go to bed soon I don’t mind wearing them, even if I am not going to bed quite yet. When I see PJ bottoms I think of them as the same thing as sweat pants. Someone who wants to be cozy that day, and who doesn’t care about what others think of her outward apperance. I do agree that people should brush their hair first, put on some shoes, and put on a nice clean shirt. I don’t care what people think I look like – Just what God thinks. Sure, I want to make a good impression, but my whole world doesn’t revolve around what others think.

  24. Project Inspired

    Posted by redderrose on January 29, 2012 at 19:12

    I think its perfectly fine. There are more important problems in the world than worrying about people wearing pajama bottoms to walmart.

  25. Project Inspired

    Posted by poloplayinbirdy on January 28, 2012 at 21:47

    i like to wear pjs to school. dont you think its pushing it a little to say that doing so makes people think “You’re selfish, rebellious, and immature”? sorry but this article just rubs me the wrong way

  26. Project Inspired

    Posted by on January 28, 2012 at 14:26

    I personally enjoy dressing up to go to school, or out in public at all. But I don’t see why it’s such a big deal that others don’t share my enthusiasm for dresses and frilly shirts. What people wear is a way to express themselves and their personality. If someone wears pajamas everyday, then maybe they’re just a laid-back person! If they wear pajamas on the rare occasion, then they might just want to be comfortable for a day. I agree with Muireann that if someone is judging based solely on appearances, then they are the one committing a wrong. As long as pajamas aren’t worn in professional or more formal settings (a job interview or church, for example) then I have no problem with this “trend”.

  27. Project Inspired

    Posted by iLoVeMuSiC1260 on January 28, 2012 at 12:37

    I wear pajama bottoms all the time. It’s not that I don’t care what I look like, it’s that I know I can pull off looking good in anything. If you’re going to judge me harshly because I don’t get dressed up to go out in public, no, you’re NOT worth putting on nicer pants for.
    I don’t have to dress to please anyone but myself, and if I’m confident with how I look in PJ pants, what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what this website is all about?

  28. Project Inspired

    Posted by emilybrub74 on January 28, 2012 at 12:31

    I am not saying that wearing PJs in public is all, but it makes the person look lazy and like they just rolled out of bed. That is the impression for me.

  29. I am a Princess

    Posted by I am a Princess on January 28, 2012 at 01:23

    I agree. Pajamas are like underclothes. They’re not for everyone, especially not for stangers.

  30. Project Inspired

    Posted by Didi on January 27, 2012 at 18:05

    personally, i’ve never done it. I would onloy do it if I needed to get some milk really fast at a 7-11 or something

  31. Project Inspired

    Posted by georgia13 on January 27, 2012 at 16:25

    Jesus had a “Come as you are policy.” Jesus loves us no matter if we dress in rags/PJs/nice clothes. He doesn’t care what we wear (as long as it’s modest!) ! Why are you wasting your energy on writing about why it’s a sin to wear PJs in public…? On your bio it says you aren’t superficial. Judging people for wearing PJs is incredibly superficial. In my opinion, God would much rather you be writing about something important, rather than if we are wearing modest PJs to go to Pizza Hut (fast food, mind you. if it were like a fancy restaurant, I would be upset too. But no, it’s pizza hut…) or something else. God gave Adam & Eve clothes instead of leaves so they would be comfortable… You are taking the whole idea of religion way out of proportion. You are also making assumptions about God, and what He approves of, since you have no solid evidence.

    Please know that I respect you as a person/fellow sister in Christ, I just respectfully disagree. God bless! I know God will do something great in your life!

  32. Project Inspired

    Posted by HisGirl55 on January 27, 2012 at 15:25

    Okay she may have been a little harsh but think about it. Your going around in your PJ’s… look at that from a guys point of view. Pjs=bed… i think you get my point. The bible says not to cause your brothers to stumble. And if jesus said to commit adultry was to merely LOOK at a woman in lust… why should we cause our brothers to stumble and hurt thier walk with our Daddy?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by nomieatedurface on April 6, 2012 at 21:35

      I get what you’re saying, but what makes boys think about that stuff is more like tight clothes, showing cleavage, etc. And sweatpants can look kind of frumpy and “unsexy” (unless they have something written on the butt of course). So it can cause almost an opposite effect lol.

  33. Project Inspired

    Posted by ApologizeLove on January 27, 2012 at 15:25

    Yes, I have. I was exhausted and mostly I wore them because I was sick or all my other clothes were dirty. If I see someone else wearing them I think that they’re probably tired or they wanted to be comfortable today. I also wear them when PMSing and the cramps are so bad that the thought of wearing a pair of jeans or anything else more constricting is not pleasant. I really don’t see a problem with it, it’s comfortable and as long as they’re wearing decent shoes/shirts, it’s mostly a trend. But wearing slippers in public is just…no. Don’t do that.

  34. Project Inspired

    Posted by bobatea09 on January 27, 2012 at 14:55

    I’m sorry but I sort of disagree with this. It wouldn’t be a great idea to apply for a job in pajamas, but coming from a place where it gets to -11 F, I put my pajama pants over my skinny jeans sometimes! To a degree, it’s good not to care what people think. Jesus loves you just the way you are, whether you’re wearing a fancy dress, ripped jeans, or pajama pants!

  35. Project Inspired

    Posted by amazinchiik on January 27, 2012 at 14:01

    Ha yeah my mom never let us go outside in jammies she said we looked like bums/orphans. So yeah it’s true that what you wear not only reflects you but others also. Because people always say “You’re mama let you go out lookin like that?” I’ve even said it myself. It’s sloppy girls. I know it’s comfy in the house and you really don’t want to get out of your cotton spongebob pjs but yeah be presentable. God’s children are not bums. They are examples of Him.

  36. Project Inspired

    Posted by kimberlyyy10 on January 27, 2012 at 12:18

    I don’t see a problem with it.

  37. Project Inspired

    Posted by Muireann on January 27, 2012 at 11:45

    A few years ago my friends had this idea of dressing up in their PJs to go see a movie at the theater. And so we did. We did it by choice not laziness. As for people who dress up like that all the time.. yeah that’s not good. But anyone who would really judge someone that harshly should be the one getting reprimanded, make those decisions when you know well enough to, not just by some glimpse. Although, my question is why does the girls in public school bother to keep wearing their pajama pants but do their hair and makeup?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by aprilmarie on January 28, 2012 at 10:16

      i compleatly agree. just dressing to be comfy isn’t “I don’t care what anyone thinks.
      (Interpretation: You’re selfish, rebellious, and immature.)”