This is a question prompted by my four-year-old son. He was getting into his pyjamas this evening and he moaned to me about having to get changed. I asked him: Why do you think you need to get changed to go to bed? He giggled. He thought for a minute. He giggled again. Then he was stumped. He couldn’t think of a reason.
So this had me thinking further later on while in the usual place: why do we bother to change before we go to bed? Why not just go to bed in today’s clothes and put clean ones on tomorrow? Or even better, why not go to bed in tomorrow’s clothes rendering the transition to day time easier?
Perhaps there is a conspiracy going on, fueled by the pyjama industry. I bet nobody has bothered to question this before. We just blindly change into our jammies before bed, like lemmings. Someone, somewhere, is laughing, sitting on a huge pot of profit from the sale of Tomas the Tank Engine pyjamas, satin nighties and tartan onesies.
This pyjama-wearing habit runs very deep. I challenged my eldest son to go to bed in today’s clothes and he just couldn’t do it. He refused to do it. He said it felt like being naughty.
The actual garment ‘pyjama’ has an interesting history (see that fountain of all knowledge, wikipedia). I don’t need to repeat it here and it’s of little relevance anyway.
Of course not everyone wears what we know as ‘pyjamas’ to bed (I wear pyjama bottoms and a vest top). Some people wear nothing. Others wear just pants. Some wear nighties. And others that throw-back to the 1980s, the night shirt (an oversized t-shirt). There are also people who might chose the very sexy ‘onesie’ that I’m sure will disappear completely in less than 12 months from now (I’d rather eat worms than wear one of those).
But back to my original question: why do we bother to change for bed? Seems a bit of a waste of time and money to me. Sadly I have far too many pairs of pyjama bottoms and dressing gowns to throw this old habit away and wear my clothes to bed.
Actually, secretly, or not so secretly, I love my jammies.