I ve been trying to find out why people wear night-clothes. Pajamas. Nightgowns. Nightshirts.
I did some research and found that the “pajama” was copied from the clothing of Indian Maharajas and Rajas. They didn’t wear them to bed. Instead their pajamas were “recorded as the “uniform” of both the Indian gentry and peasants, also transcended sex, being worn by both men and women.” (According to an article on Dolce & Gabana.)
Pajamas were brought over to Europe by the English, who seemed to think it looked neat. The word pajama comes from the Hindi “pae jama” or “pai jama,” meaning leg clothing, and its usage dates back to the Ottoman Empire. (Source.)
Before the pajama, there were ‘nightshirts’ or nightgowns. According to Wikipedia, these were in fashion since around 1530. Before that time, it was apparently commonplace to sleep naked.
Now, with the lack of heating and a handful of cold winters I can imagine that people do their best to stay warm, but then fashion hits (even back then) and these things get turned into wannahaves and even fashion statements.
In our time, with most people not suffering from cold in winter (unless they want to), there is no reason for those floppy bits of fabric around your body. As we all know, sleeping in the nude is much healthier.
Whoever started using pajamas (which were day clothes!) in bed is still a puzzle to me, and I think to anyone who’s investigating that. It probably had its use back then, but today… it’s so unnecessary.
Stay naked, everyone. Also in bed.
4 thoughts on “Pajamas. Why?”
Yeah, the whole concept of pajamas is a bit weird. Having clicked the link, I see that just 30% of the people surveyed sleep in the buff, at least sometimes. I wonder what the gender split is. Anecdotally, I can tell you that every male I know (save one) sleeps in the nude unless there’s some reason not to.
In any event, I’m proud to say I haven’t even owned a pair of pajamas in decades….
Pajamas and swimwear are the most ridiculous inventions of clothing.
Sleeping nude and swimming nude is the only sensible way. Keep at it, Anton.
I keep 1 set of pajamas, they’re permanently in my emergency bag for if I ever need to go to hospital for an overnight stay (together with a toothbrush and paste, a hairbrush, and a change of clothes).
And that’s pretty much only because hospital staff don’t like naked patients walking around and for some reason nurses don’t want to work on patients who are naked without a doctor ordering it…
In other words, to please the prudishness of people who should be quite used to nudity because they see naked bodies all the time (those same nurses have no trouble undressing patients in order to clean them and tend their wounds, but then do have a problem if that patient is naked afterwards…).
Other than that, I’ve not worn pajamas (and ever more rarely underwear) in decades.
Loose, flowing, clothes is what I prefer when clothes are needed, preventing anything touching the skin as much as possible.
And it’s not just because I’m a nudist at heart, stuff touching my skin is quite stressful to me as it can trigger anxiety attacks from overstimulation of my nervous system (wool, but anything not very smooth can do it) as well as causing excessive sweating (the latter mostly from artificial fabrics).
Hmm, I’ve never thought of such an emergency bag. That’s actually a sane idea.
Good luck avoiding clothes on your skin, my friend. Sounds like a horror story for you!