Men’s Pajama Pants Are Making A Comeback

A strange phenomenon is slowly taking over the land in the form of men’s pajama pants. After years of being thought of as a stigma, men are not only seeking out and purchasing more pajama pants than they did in the past, but they are even wearing them out in public. Sure, we’ve all seen grown men in the grocery store wearing Sponge Bob pajama pants while picking up a half gallon of milk from time to time, but that is not what we are talking about here. Men’s pajama pants, often seen in many of Hollywood’s earlier movies as a sign of class and dignity, are making a comeback and as is often the case in fashion, in a slightly different form.

Boys usually “grow out” of their pajama wear by the time they hit their teens opting to wear boxers and t-shirts to bed instead. For some men, this trend tends to stick with men until they get married.

“You feel more put together than [when you’re] hopping out of bed in gym shorts and a tank top,” marketing specialist Elijah Clark Ginsberg told The Wall Street Journal earlier this year. Bruce Pask, the men’s fashion director for Bergdork Goodman in New York agrees.

“[Pajamas] heighten that demarcation between work and personal time. I think that’s a good way of easing into that transition.” Some men, like Glenn O’Brien, wouldn’t wear anything else.

“I always felt more comfortable in pajamas. It seems silly to me to wear underwear to bed. I just don’t get it.” This is sort of a hoity-toity way of saying that men should wear pajama pants in the privacy of their own home. But that rigid view of sleepwear is starting to change. People are spending more time in their homes than they did generations before with many of them working from home as well. While the goal in most cases is to just be comfortable, there is an interest in wanting to look reasonably presentable as well and traditional sweatsuits are just not going to cut it.

“Sales prove that the demand for high-quality, stylish loungewear has grown,” Sacha Rose, the CEO of Derek Rose, told The Financial Times. “The younger generation want to be comfy to enjoy downtime and are drawn to a more relaxed look.”

The fashion industry even has coined a new term for the trend calling the relaxed clothing the “third wardrobe.” D Magazine recently interviewed Zach Redington and Andy Archer of Lounge County and asked the men about this history of this trend. They answered with their own experiences while visiting each other in Europe.

“We were all lounging around one Saturday morning after a night out. We came to the realization that there are a lot of lounging options for women but there aren’t great lounging options for men. [Men’s] Pajama pants and sweats are both comfortable but look ridiculous. Robes look kind of cool but are not at all appropriate for socializing. So we started brainstorming about what the ultimate lounging option for men would look like.”

What their solution looks like is what they call “The Robie.” The Robie are pajama pants made with a waffle weave fabric and fashioned so that it has a relaxed fit, but isn’t baggy.

“Robies are great because it is like having a portable couch that you can wear anywhere. But as far as favorite place, Robies go great with water so I would say anywhere involving a pool, lake, river or ocean.”

Derek Rose has seen the trend merge out of the bedroom as well with his company’s new “Modern Fit” pajama shirt.

“We’ve had people trying it, say, ‘Hey I’d love to wear this with a pair of jeans. It makes sense—you’ve got a beautifully designed product. It’s like ‘Why am I only wearing this at home?'”

Some celebrities have been known to sport their jammies under a sports coat as well, but the jury is still out on whether or not this trend is here to stay or not, at least when it comes to red carpet events.

[Photo by tatlin/]