published Monday, February 27th, 2012

Pajamas are not just for the bedroom anymore

Janet Hartman models pajama-inspired clothing at K Boutique on North Market Street.
Janet Hartman models pajama-inspired clothing at K Boutique on North Market Street.
Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse.

LAWMAKER MOVES TO BAN PJS IN PUBLIC


Pajama-inspired fashions aren't for everyone.

Michael Williams, Caddo Parish District 3 commissioner in Louisiana, is pushing for an ordinance that would prohibit residents from appearing in public places in garments sold in the sleepwear section of department stores, reported usnews.msnbc.msn.com.

Williams told the Shreveport Times that pajamas are designed to be worn in the bedroom at night.

"If you can't [wear pajamas] at the [Louisiana Boardwalk] or courthouse, why are you going to do it in a restaurant or in public," he told the newspaper. "Today it's pajamas; tomorrow it's underwear. Where does it stop?"

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana responded, saying clothing is a form of expression protected by the Constitution.

Executive Director Marjorie Esman sent Williams a letter saying banning the wearing of pajamas would violate a liberty interest guaranteed under the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"The government must demonstrate a rational basis for its ban," Eastman wrote. "... Caddo Parish's has no legitimate rational basis for regulating the attire of its residents."

Poll
Would you wear pajamas in public?

Pajamas may not be ready for the boardroom, but they're not just for the bedroom anymore.

Style watchers say clothes that ooze relaxation have morphed from nighttime wear into round-the-clock styles. But don't get too comfortable, they say. Your flannel footsie PJs are still not appropriate outside the house.

"You want it to look like an actual wearable outfit that all works together and looks on trend, not a sloppy pajama outfit," said Suzanne Bishop, owner of Frankie & Julian's clothing boutique on Frazier Avenue. "Most of these designers such as The Row and Gucci are doing these pajama looks in silk, so buy a size up from your normal size so that it does not cling and flows nicely on the body."

According to a Wall Street Journal report, teenagers have jumped on the fashion craze full force.

"Apparel companies like Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle are cashing in on the trend, stocking their stores with leggings and sweatpants and other comfortable, flowy, elastic waistbanded apparel," the publication reported.

The look is not only comfortable, it's fun, said Katherine Roberts Burger, owner of K Boutique on North Market Street.

"It's a relaxed, fun response to the tunics and oversized pieces," she said. "A man's blazer, pajama top and jeans, or rolled pajama bottoms, tee and cotton sweater are really fun."

Bishop said the pajama-inspired clothing is available in solid colors and prints.

"The most important part of wearing this look is the shoe that you pair with it. It needs a

dressy shoe of some kind, whether it be heels or a wedge ankle boot, it needs a dressy shoe so that you don't get that actual pajama look," she said.

Bishop said she prefers a cropped pant so that the shoe is equally showcased.

"If it's a full-length pant, it starts to look too much like actual pajamas," she said.

Both Bishop and Burger attended Fashion Week in New York City last week, and the pajama-inspired fashions were big on the spring 2012 runways. Tops were especially prevalent, according to Bishop.

"The new trends going forward are tops and jackets that are cropped to hit at the waist instead of traditional pajama button-front tops we have been seeing that hits around the hip area," she said.

Burger said fabrics make the difference in stay-at-home pajamas to the styles worn in public.

"Heavy cottons and heavy silks are the best weights to take the look from at home lounging to out on the town," she said.

If you want to spark an interesting touch to the look, add a fitted blazer or a leather jacket, Burger said.

"It's a look for a really casual, confident gal," Burger said. "She's absolutely having fun with fashion."

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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