When it comes to teenagers, nothing should shock us any more, especially when it comes to fashion fads. This is why I was surprised to learn that teenage girls wearing pajamas to school in the suburbs is a shocking fashion trend. It’s hard to believe that educators, worried about moral values, are getting bent out of shape over this silly infraction of “The Rules” and are cracking the dress code whip.
It seems the same trend swept the entire country. Like most fads, it came and went in some areas before it was even discovered in others. “That trend is so last semester,” one parent told me. In conservative Tennessee, we apparently are eons behind the rest of the fashion world. The fad most likely started when someone was too lazy to get dressed in the morning.
Pajama pants are usually cotton or flannel with elastic waistbands for comfort, and are mostly worn with t-shirts or sweatshirts. They come in a variety of colorful prints and plaids and are being sold as lounge wear in trendy shops that cater to teen tastes, as well as being mass marketed in discount stores.
Exactly how this all contributes to the moral decay of youth, I’m not exactly sure. It seems to me that a soft pair of comfortable pants would look better than the sea of faded denim that is usually seen at high schools. I suppose it’s simply the idea of nightwear being treated as daytime attire.
After nose rings, tongue jewelry, spiked hair and tattoos, there isn’t much shock value left for mere pajamas as far as I’m concerned. They seem almost like a return to an age of innocence.
Most parents don’t seem too concerned about attire until the kids get into trouble at school. One mother from another part of the country told me, “I had to leave work Monday to pick up my kid because he had shorts on. It was almost eighty degrees! So, the pajama bottom business is strictly verboten here.”
Dress codes have traditionally not addressed the issue of sleepwear in public, so it is pretty much an area wide open for interpretation. While some educators continue to demand that kids dress appropriately, according to their definition, others educators have given up the fight saying they are tired of spending more time worrying about how the kids dress than how they learn.
Some educators believe they need to prepare kids for the “real world” where they will be expected to dress in a businesslike manner. Of course, in the real world the high tech computer types rule these days. They can pretty much dress any way they want, and it is allowed because we need their expertise to run our information systems.
The times they are a-changing. One mother said, “For the record, I’m 37 years old and I have two pairs of pajamas I wear as pants.” Pajamas are not just for sleeping anymore. Who knows, in a few years the teachers may be wearing pajama bottoms to school if things keep going the way they are.
And here I am without even one single pair of pajama pants. I feel so “last semester.”