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10 Interesting Facts about Pyjamas

10 Interesting Facts about Pyjamas

We love pyjamas. Obviously. So we did a bit of research into our most favourite sleep outfits and came across ten interesting tidbits to share with you today.

1.) Pyjamas were originally only for the very rich and royal

If you were poor in the Middle Ages, you wore a shapeless smock. If you were, however, of noble birth during this time, you'd be heading to bed in pyjamas, with elaborate designs and made of exotic materials. The original pyjamas were loose, lightweight trousers fitted with drawstring waistbands and worn by many Indian Muslims, as well as Sikhs and Hindus, and later adopted by Europeans during the British East India Company's rule in India.


2.) Is it spelled Pajamas or Pyjamas? 

The word “pajamas” is used in America, which comes from the word “pae-jama” in Hindi which means leg clothing or leg garment and dates as far back as the 13th century Ottoman Empire. The British and Australians spell it pyjama. 


3.) Menswear and womenswear pyjamas were the same at the beginning

From the early 1600s to the mid-1800s, nightshirts or bed shirts were similar for men and women, with a folding collar and a deep neck opening in the front. In very cold climates, men also wore long johns.  


4.) Button-down styles are a classic

When Claudette Colbert wore Clark Gable's tailored men's pyjamas with button up shirt and matching bottoms in the movie It happened One Night, the style revolutionised the sleepwear market and blended comfort and style perfectly. 

Another loungewear pioneer? Coco Chanel, who introduced lounging pyjamas in the 20’s to be worn whenever.  After that, they became a totally acceptable and fashionable alternative to the traditional long nightshirt.


5.) Sleepwear is not just for sleeping in

Wearing sleep clothes from day to night has been relatively in fashion since the early 1900s - this trend was especially made popular by fashion designer Paul Poiret, who created silk pyjamas to be worn out during the day and for sleeping.


6.) Footed Pajamas Aren't Only For Kids 

The style actually started out as something designed for adults. The first versions were made when people began sewing socks to the bottom of their pyjama bottoms. This wasn’t done just to keep their feet warm; it was to prevent bugs like termites from nibbling on their toes.


7.) Nightcaps Were A Hot Commodity at one stage

Nightcaps (the actual clothing, not the alcohol) might be something you think of only when old school holiday movies come up, but they were actually really popular throughout the 19th century. These were worn to keep a person's head warm during the winter while they slept, plus the pointed end design was long enough to wrap around your neck like a scarf, but not so long that it could choke you in the middle of the night.

8.) Pyjamas went through a proper reincarnation over the years

In the roaring 20’s high society men and women would wear their PJs to the beach. Before 1950, it was common for pyjamas to have a drop seat to make it easy to use the the bathroom.


9.) In Japan, PJs are not just for sleeping

The Japanese took the concept a step further than many of us might consider doing. Some folks in Japan go out wearing something that they call a Kigurumi, which is a word used to describe what are basically pyjamas made to look like some form of giant stuffed animal.


10.) Pyjamas were seen as perfect for an active lifestyle

The advertising copy in the 1902 Sears, Roebuck Catalogue suggested that they were: "Just the thing for traveling, as their appearance admits a greater freedom than the usual kind of nightshirts"