Sleepwear in Public: ‘Backward’ & ‘Uncivilized’

17 May

NY Times Illustration by Erik T. Johnson

What’s a little infringement on freedom of speech if it cleans up the “riff-raff” look so widely adopted as acceptable? Shanghai seems to think this is a good idea as it moves to ban the public wearing of pajamas.

A New York Times’ Op-Ed columnist wrote about Shanghai’s ban, which is a effort to clean up the look of those attending the 2010 World Expo.

Gao Yubing, NY Times’ columnist:
Catchy red signs reading “Pajamas don’t go out of the door; be a civilized resident for the Expo” are posted throughout the city. Volunteer “pajama policemen” patrol the neighborhoods, telling pajama wearers to go home and change. Celebrities and socialites appear on TV to promote the idea that sleepwear in public is “backward” and “uncivilized.”

Since it’s costing the Chinese government $58 billion, maybe they can demand a little public decorum which would make Emily Post proud. (Click to read The New York Times: The Pajama Game Closes in Shanghai)

Well, here in America this sort of thing won’t fly, but, by golly, I kinda wish it could. What do you think? Would the “pajama policemen” catch you? When do you get tempted to wear the flannel PJs out the door?


4 Responses to “Sleepwear in Public: ‘Backward’ & ‘Uncivilized’”

    • robinesque May 18, 2010 at 7:09 PM #

      Bern, I think the only thing worse than baggy jeans and boxers hanging out, or those who sport skinny, skinny jeans and have their boxer briefs out. It really is a double fashion crime: First, they are missing the point of the “low riding, pant-boxers out” pop-culture (cringe) fashion (cringe, again) statement — that it was emulating the gangster, thug look. And, skinny jeans were meant for being a polished, hipster look … so the boxer briefs out is way out of line.


  1. scuffedshoes May 27, 2010 at 8:19 PM #

    Except for ducking out to get the mail, or the newspaper off the steps, or to put out the trash, I can see no circumstance that would find me outside in pajamas.
    Then again, if it’s warm enough to go out in pajamas I’ll not be sleeping in them.


  2. Erin June 23, 2010 at 6:44 AM #


    There is a validity in banning obscene fashion, but nothing justifies laws against style. How absurd that a government would waste so much money on such a cause!


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