Without a doubt, the most underrated piece of clothing in any wardrobe is pyjamas. Think about it – everyone notices a great pair of shoes, a good set of underwear can change the way you carry yourself, a fantastic pair of jeans can gift you with a bum you never knew you had. But pyjamas? No one ever really sees them. You can get away with having the same few pairs for years, for them having seen better days, for them having a hole in at the crotch. They’re the most under valued, under appreciated yet fundamental pieces of clothing that we own. No other item of clothing makes as much of a statement as your pyjamas do.
When I was teaching, I would come home and change out of my work clothes and straight into my pyjamas. It was like my way of telling myself ‘work is done, now this is time for you’. Mentally, the act of dressing in my pyjamas drew a line under my day and told me to start my evening.
Pyjamas are magical like that. You can lounge in them, relax, nap, heal. They can be cosy or cooling but always comfortable. They remind you of sleep and a time you felt well rested. Their elasticated waistbands bring the upmost level of comfort and support through breakup pizza binges, movie marathons and indulgent girly sleepover midnight snack times. Plus they are the hardest item of clothing to get out of – Spanx have got nothing on getting out of your pyjamas to go socialise after a busy day at work.
There’s something about the mindset of wearing your pyjamas when it isn’t time to sleep in them that I really think is good for us. It’s like your brain sees them and recognises their use as a reset button. You aren’t in corporate wear, you aren’t wearing a party dress and forced to be glamorous – you are in your nightwear, ready to relax. They are like antidote to caffeine – switch off, my friend, switch off.
I read more when I’m in my pyjamas. I use my phone less. I treat myself to snacks I’d normally be too busy to remember. I sit more. I have time with my thoughts. I rest.
Life nowadays moves at such a fast pace. We feel pressured to meet societal made deadlines and feel guilted when we aren’t married and living in a mansion on our fourth holiday of the year by the age of twenty-five. We have lunch on the go, if we even remember it. We zoom home from work and head straight out again to socialise, desperate to not let one area of our life slip. We punish ourselves for missing that gym class, for not ringing home enough and for agreeing to go out at the weekend because our friend nagged us to when in reality we can’t afford it. We rush, we move, we flit about. We exist in a blur.
And at the end of it all we come home to our pyjamas. We put them on. We sink into them and we let go.
Never allow yourself to underestimate how important it is to let yourself to turn off that phone, to be with your own thoughts for a while, to just sit. The blur and the bustle will be there the next day, it always is, but the taking the time to unwind and take care of yourself goes quickly if you don’t grab it at every available opportunity.
So the next time you put on your threadbare pyjama pants with the fraying hem and well worn in elastic waistband, allow yourself that time to give into their function. Their purpose is to let you forget your day, exhale the stress away and let in relaxation. Go with it. Feel empowered by it. Sit back, relax and let go.