Friday, 30 September 2011

All about pyjamas

Okay, you're all so totally sickened by politicians, you couldn't be arsed to even comment on them. Fair enough. In which case why don't I give you all a break and turn to a much lighter subject.

Pyjamas.

It's often assumed that pyjamas are an English invention, dreamed up by some shivering aristocrat in a draughty, iced-up castle somewhere near Chipping Norton.

Not so. The original paijama were actually loose-fitting pants with a drawstring waist, commonly worn by Asian men and women. The word pyjama comes from a Persian word that found its way into English.

You might think pyjamas are thoroughly mundane garments. Not at all. Heated controversy surrounds them. Opting for pyjamas as daywear is seen by many as the height of vulgarity and indecency. Some schools and supermarkets have banned them from the premises. But for some Chinese, wearing pyjamas in public shows they're well-off enough not to sleep in long-johns and string vests.

Are pyjamas sexy or are they passion-killers? Depends on the person - and the pyjamas. Jennifer Lopez was once spotted in some very exciting white satin pyjamas. But the truth is lesser mortals tend to look dowdy and slovenly rather than hot to trot.

Opinion is equally divided over whether they're the most comfortable garments ever or a cumbersome nuisance. Personally I would say the latter. I only wear pyjamas when I'm away from home, so as not to frighten the horses. Normally I wear a nightshirt to let my boy bits breathe.

I could go on. The strange idea of pyjama parties. That curious term, "the cat's pyjamas." The pros and cons of ironing pyjamas. Celebrities caught in their pyjamas. But life's too short.

Next week: face flannels.
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Note to Jenny Woolf and Cinnamon: I keep trying to post comments on your blogs but they just disappear without trace and I get Google error messages. I don't know your email addresses so I can't contact you directly.

30 comments:

secret agent woman said...

The matching set of pajama tops and bottoms are deadly dull on men and women, if you ask me. But pajama pants with tank top for women and with nothing or a t-shirt for men can be sexy on the right person. Me, I wear that combo (or long-sleeved t-shirt with the pants in winter) when I'm just hanging around the house. But I virtually always opt for just my skin in bed. I don't allow horses in my bed, so no worries about frightening them. And those I do let in my bed seem anything but scared.

John Gray said...

in winter.. here in the cottage in ice cold wales.....

its longjohns,socks and fleece top!!1

oh and three living dog hot water bottles

Grannymar said...

Pyjamas don't have to be passion killers, a little bit of mix and match to suit the occasion is all that is needed. ;)

Nick said...

Secret Agent - Just your skin in bed? Your house must be very warm in the winter. I think pyjamas are seldom as sexy as the non-pyjama combo you describe, J-Lo notwithstanding. And I'm sure I'd be a lot more excited than scared if I was in your (That's enough of that - Ed)

Nick said...

John - That all sounds very necessary in the depths of Wales. I once lived in a flat so cold I actually wore thick tights every night. They were lovely and warm!

Grannymar - I think mix and match is the way to go. I'm wondering how many women still wear nighties? Young women must see them as quaint old-lady garments they wouldn't be seen dead in.

Jenny Woolf said...

I think of "bananas in pyjamas" - a song they used to teach one of my kids at school. When, I suppose, they should have been teaching numeracy and literacy or whatever they call it these days.

kylie said...

i wear a nightie at times but then again, i'm more middle aged than young :)

cant wait for face flannels, nick xox

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Hey! I commented on your politician post because I can usually be arsed. Don't I count?

Most of my life I've worn nothing to bed but lately have become fond of pajama bottoms with tank top on chilly nights. It should be noted that I am also sleeping alone now, except for a male cat whose fashion sense is easily pleased.

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh I love me my jam-jams. Always have, always will. Effortless leaving of bed and even answering a door for the horses :)
Never been a fan of nekkid bedgoers, I learned early in life that sensuality is always in what's concealed and not revealed.
XO
WWW

Nick said...

Jenny - I just looked up Bananas in Pyjamas. Very interesting. The original song (1967) led to the Australian children's TV programme Bananas in Pyjamas, which has been running for 19 years. The Main characters are two humanoid bananas (in striped pyjamas) called B1 and B2. So now you know.

Nick said...

Kylie - I think you'd look sensational in white satin pyjamas....

Heart - Of course you count. I apologise for my sloppy wording....

Your cat may not comment on your fashion sense (or lack of it) but then again you won't get any gushing compliments over that beautiful new top.

www - Hmmm, I think sometimes nakedness is exciting, sometimes what's imagined. It all depends on the circumstances.

kylie said...

"are you thinking what i;'m thinking B1?"
"i think i am B2"

kylie said...

i'm too pale for white satin , much too pale....now black silk, i could do

Nick said...

Kylie - They're probably sick of being identical bananas by now. B1 secretly wants to be a pineapple, while B2 pines to be a melon. Of course your kids must have watched the series a lot....

Nick said...

Jenny - Sorry, still can't post comments on your blog. They just vanish into thin air.

kylie said...

nick i've had quite a bit of problem posting comments to the blogs wherethe comment box is not a pop up box.
you can fix it if you clear all cookies. make sure you log out before you clear them and log in again when you are done and uncheck the remember me box

Nick said...

Kylie - Thanks for that. Not being cookie-literate, I'm a bit confused about what to do. I've sent you an email.

Baino said...

PJ's what are they? I'm a t shirt and leggings girl in winter and can't beat a sarong in summer. Not sure about wearing pj's out . . .although my daughter in law, fashionista that she is has been caught in her Peter Alexanders at the shops on occasion.

Nick said...

Baino - Just looked up Peter Alexander sleepwear. I guess the gorgeous Peter Alexander himself is a major influence on the brand's popularity....

nursemyra said...

I'm wearing my jammies right now - with a long sleeved tee. Jammies rule!

Liz said...

I like jimjams for 'lounging' and my nightie for bed. Husband prefers neither. On him or me.

Nick said...

Myra - But I bet you're too well brought-up to even dream of wearing them outside the house.

Liz - I doubt if a nightie would look very flattering on Husband, gorgeous as he may be.

Cinnamon said...

Never wear them unless in hospital!

I don't know why you can't comment- sorry honey. I'll put my email link on my profile for a few days :)

speccy said...

Love pyjamas. Could not, would not survive without them. I sometimes threaten to leave the house in them, just to see the horror on children's faces.

Nick said...

Cinnamon - I guess one has to be a bit more respectable in hospital. Not that I've ever had to stay in a hospital as yet.

I'll email you later.

Speccy - I imagine children would either find the idea shocking or hilarious. Or just another example of a batty old person....

secret agent woman said...

I love in the South. And in the winter, I have a down comforter. And I am one of those people who generate heat when I'm sleeping.

secret agent woman said...

*live in the South. Freudian typo!

Nick said...

Secret Agent - A down comforter, that sounds just the job. I also generate amazing heat when I'm sleeping. I lose about two pounds overnight!

I'm sure you love as well as live in the South!

blackwatertown said...

John had me laughing.
Me? Depends who's about.

Nick said...

Blackwater - Indeed, it depends who's about. It's definitely pyjamas when I'm staying with other people, I don't want any embarrassing nocturnal displays!