Guide to Etiquette: Pyjamas

Allison Tait blog
Posted on April 26, 2012

How early is too early to get into your pyjamas?

With the nights drawing in and temperature cooling down, I thought it was time to address the etiquette of pyjamas. Specifically, what time to get into them, and what time to get out of them.

In many ways, I am not the best person to broach this particular subject. My views on pyjamas as perfectly suitable daywear are widely known and strongly held. But not many seem to adhere to my notion of pyjamas as the perfect Leisure Wear, superior in so many ways to any garment involving the use of velour or Lycra… Not that I’m ready to give up that war just yet. I shall live to fight another day.

In the meantime, however, I’m looking for suggestions. I found myself sliding into my pyjamas at 5pm today. Having worked hard all day, even slipping in a visit to the RTA for a licence renewal (it’s terrible, thank you), and then ferrying children to activities and outings, I found the lure of the flannel too strong to resist. As I did up the pink buttons on my brown-and-pink spotted two-piece, working it back with a lovely pair of dazzling white sports socks, I found myself wondering, briefly, ‘is it too early?’.

But no, I reasoned. My day was done. Visitors were unlikely. It was getting dark(ish) outside. There was just me, the boys, a casserole for dinner. Who would know? (Except you guys, of course…)

A small part of me considered the fact that I would die of embarrassment if a friend were to drop in unexpectedly. Much as I’d died of embarrassment when a lovely bloke I know managed to surprise me still in my pyjamas at 1pm one day. In my defense, it was the school holidays and I was trying to work and entertain children at the same time. It would have been okay… had I managed to clean my teeth at some stage. (Are you dying with me?)

Looking at that record, I am getting very close to wearing my pyjamas 24/7, am I not? It’s a good thing I have school drop-offs to consider.

What’s the rule at your place? Is it ever too early for pyjamas? Or too late, for that matter?


  1. Kerry

    I love this post! If I am home the pjs are on as long as possible. Visitors are not shocked any more and there is a fashion parade at the school bus stop if one of us has a new dressing gown. My new neighbour is now used to the sight of me in my nightie and gum boots (we live in the country) while I hang out the washing. I am often in the nightie again when I bring in the washing! Notice it is nightie not pjs. I am at the time in my life when I can’t cope with the flannel and am in the cotton nightie!
    I want to see Diana’s documentary.

  2. Christine Powless

    I have 8 pairs of flannelette PJ’s at any one time rotating 3 in and 3 out each year. I spend most of my winter in PJ’s. I rarely get out of them before noon ( on average ). I like to work at home in them . However , I do change into ‘real’ clothes when I go out – further than the mailbox .

  3. Charis

    It’s 1.15pm & I’m still in my pj’s. In my defence it’s my day off and over the next two days I’ll be working 26 hours. Surely I deserve a pajama day before that?!

  4. karencharlton

    My neighbour keeps a spotless house, has two gorgeous, clean, quiet boys and a knack for making everything look perfect. The thing that I LOVE about her though is her inclination for slipping into her PJs at 4.30pm. She always apologises when we catch her in them, but I think it makes her pretty awesome.
    I try not to put mine on until after dinner, because I always manage to make a mess or have mess thrust upon me.

  5. loulouloves.me

    There has been a PJ war going on in our house for years. My husband is Swedish and therefore very style conscience, he just cannot understand my need for dag wear. Honestly if I could go to work in my flannies I would!

  6. Cassandra Louise

    I’m very pro-pyjamas. I’m all for them as day wear. If I think someone might drop in, I wear my nicest pyjamas. 😉

  7. Lisa

    I’m a PJ all day girl. I’m always at home, don’t get out much so I stay in my pjs all day.

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  9. Mel B (Honey You Baked)

    Totally love PJ’s and if I didn’t work 5-9pm I’d be in them as early as possible. But I live to come home and shed work clothes for warm comfy PJ’s and ugg boots. Especially as its so cold here in Tassie tonight… When I had baby #2 I spent many, many days in PJ’s… Though our local shopping centre is filled with people wearing PJ’s and bare feet – maybe you should move here 😉

  10. MultipleMum

    I wish I could go 24/7 in my PJs. PJ pants are the comfiest things on the planet. It is never too early x

  11. MsMandie

    I got home from work, showered and was in my PJs this evening even before my two year old was. Embrace it. Embrace you inner-wearing PJ self. If it were socially acceptable, I’d wear mine to work.

  12. Cath

    I last bought PJs (for me) in 1990 for a pyjama party. And there really is a limit to how long you can swan about in your dressing gown. But yoga pants and polar fleece jumper – oh yeah! I’ll happily miss the morning shower for that!

  13. MummyateMe

    The other day a woman I barely know from my son’s preschool dropped in at 9.05. I was wearing my hideous old fluffy, formerly white dressing gown and NOTHING ELSE. Dying on the inside, I brazzened it out and I honestly think we will be better friends for it.
    But clearly we should all be dressed by 9am!

  14. River

    I’ve often put my jammies on as soon as I get in the door after work. I know I’m not going out again and if people drop in, who cares? I’m perfectly respectable in my flannelette. If you worry about it being too early, just tell yourself it’s 9pm somewhere.

  15. Diana Pamela Julia Zieba

    I think it’s never too early for pyjamas if I could I would spend my entire day in them!

    I am currently in my final year at university and I’m doing a short documentary about pyjamas for my final project. I would have loved to have interviewed you for the documentary!

    Love this post!
    Lots of love x

  16. Jess@Diary of a SAHM

    Ha ha! I’m in Darwin, so I have no need to wear pyjamas all day, and I have to shower in the morning cause I feel gross, so I do not feel qualified to answer. Instead I’m just leaving a random pointless comment!

  17. Happylan

    I usually don’t get into them until I am about to get into bed. Except if I’ve had Sunday arvo shower. Or the treat of a Sunday arvo bath. Straight into PJs then – could be about 4pm – knowing that there will be no visitors. As for getting out of them, I used to be a late-dresser, until I moved and discovered our parcel man comes early here. I hate answering the door in PJs.

  18. B

    I am an ‘up and shower’ kind of gal. Honestly, I don’t go without a bra very often, so to think of taking jammies off to put bra on…nah… I would rather have a shower and put on clothes. Every so often we have pj days and it is lovely, but it does feel odd to swap on pair of jammies for another!

    Getting IN to pjs … well… as soon as I can in the evenings! Although, I don’t like to cook in them, so … let’s say. 7pm.

    Now, is there anything else you need feedback on?

  19. Jackie K

    I think 5pm for PJs especially after a hard day, is perfectly acceptable. In the depths of winter 4pm is the new 5pm.
    Love getting in my PJs when my day is done!

  20. toushka lee

    I have items of clothing that are interchangeable as leisure wear or pjs – like leggings or trackies. in early motherhood with number 2 child I would be getting out of one pair of pjs and into another at 6pm when hubs got home.
    if wearing leggings I would change into a long top or dress and throw on boots and brush my teeth for the kinder run. I hate not showering first thing in the morning, but sometimes it just wasn’t possible.

  21. Emily

    Haha! While I do love my pyjamas, they are not to be worn after breakfast or before dinner at our place. Sometimes I bend that rule just for the pyjama bottoms. But I have to at least be cooking dinner already. Usually.

  22. Rachel (The Kids Are All Right)

    Ha, this post made me laugh. It’s a slippery slope Alison. You start to accept 5pm as PJ-O’Clock, then who’s going to notice if it’s an hour earlier, then you get the urge to PJ-up with lunch… before you know it your day is a blur of PJs and there’s no start or end to it. Maybe limit it to Fridays and weekends only, and force yourself to get out and active on the other days to keep your mind off it. Hang on, are we talking about pyjamas or wine?

  23. Leanne

    Hahahaha. Yes, pyjamas are awesome! We are a PJ family. The more flannel the better. Come winter, visitors have learned that I may open the front door in my PJs as early as 5.00pm. I will definitely be wearing my Uggs AND I may even have a hot water bottle tucked into my pants. Love it!

  24. Megan Blandford

    I’ll be out of my PJs as soon as I possibly can in the morning – I can’t wake up until I’ve showered and dressed. But come late afternoon… yep, I’m known to be in pyjamas by 4 or 5 in winter!

  25. Cassie

    I love, love, love getting into pyjamas early at night. BUT – I hate cooking dinner in them. I have a fear of them getting engulfed in food smells that might not be so wonderful in bed.

  26. Donna

    You are not alone in your 5pm PJ quest – its been done here many times, especially in Winter! I could happily stay in my PJ’s all day as well and have been caught out a few times by delivery men and unexpected guests…

  27. Lipgloss Mumma

    I don’t actually own pyjamas, but my warm old trackies and sloppy jo are my equivalent. I can’t wait to slip them on at night. They make me feel warm and cozy and so relaxed. They are like ‘me time’. I usually wait though until the little kidlets are in bed to fully enjoy this sensation though 🙂

  28. Janelle McCulloch

    I wore PJs for several years while writing my books. (It was so easy to get out of bed at 8.55am and start work at 9! Although sometimes, just to be neat, I’d shower and then change into a fresh pair!) However, I was constantly embarrassed when visitors dropped by unannounced – friends, neighbours, even tradesmen. No matter how much you try, you can’t have a professional conversation wearing hot pink, polka-dot PJs. So now I have a rule: No more PJs during the day! It’s now yoga pants all the way.
    Janelle McCulloch

  29. Amanda

    I agree with Claire about the lack of photos! Definitely required.
    If I’m having one of those weeks then I tend to cheat and wear not-quite-pyjamas to bed (eg a tracksuit) and then not get out of them – but I have a neighbour who regularly visits and although we have both encountered each other in pyjamas (usually at 6am on Monday mornings when both our little boys want to see the rubbish truck) I wouldn’t like her to think that I stayed in my pyjamas all day sometimes. Even though technically I sometimes do.

  30. Jules

    I used to be, strictly, out of bed…dressed, into pjs…into bed!!
    Now it’s out of bed and lucky if I’m showered by 11 into dressing gown by 7.30 at latest!!!!
    I just no longer wear pyjamas I wear an old comfy pair trakky daks (tight ankle) and a T shirt!
    Result if anyone turns up I just drop the DG and I look as though I am in work clothes!!!!
    I say go for comfort every time!!!!!

  31. Sally

    In China, it’s totally acceptable to wear pajamas all day — even when you’re out in public. I’ve read articles saying that people do this because it is a way to show off your “wealth” — meaning you have enough money to fritter away on stuff like leisure clothes. But, honestly, I think it’s just a comfort thing. Especially in the winter months when it’s cold both outside & inside, almost everyone goes out & about in their fleecy, two-piece pajamas. I’ve seen a few people even wearing their fluffy slippers to match.
    I don’t usually wear my pajamas in public, but I will wear my pajamas pretty much all day if I have the day off & I don’t have to go anywhere. I used to feel bad about this (well, not THAT bad), but since moving to China, I feel a lot less guilty. Hey, I’m just being culturally sensitive!

  32. Toni

    This is all the fault of clothing … people. (all of them).

    If they would just make and sell flanny pants as daywear, we’d be fine.

    My husband has banned me from driving the car in my jammies, he says it’s not seemly. *rolls eyes*
    Only the fact that I still have to walk my daughter into class prevents me from defying him.

  33. ClaireyHewitt

    I remember my Mum used to love being in her pjs all day, and I was so embarrassed if people ever dropped over and she was in her dressing gown. She didn’t care at all. I am still the same, into shower and dressed, even if the dressed is old trackie pants and uggs. Dressed it must be.

    PS I think this post is sadly lacking in a photo of you and the jarmies!

  34. Alison P

    Pyjamas are totally in this season. I read it in Vogue.

  35. E.

    I’m a PJ all day kind of girl. Thankfully for the world I have the school run to deal with otherwise I’d probably shower after lunch and get into different PJs.
    I think maybe I just over shared. Oops.

  36. Maxabella

    You know I don’t share your enthusiasm. I have to get out of mine first thin or I feel like its night time. x

  37. Accidental Lentil...

    it’s fine as long as they are good pjs, rather than, say, a see through nighty. yours sound good.

    i feel fine about wearing the pj pants with another top until bed time but i wouldn’t get into the actual pj top too early. but that’s just me.

    of course if you are sick, or on deadline, 24/7 is perfectly acceptable.

  38. Kelly Exeter

    My rule is … shower first thing in the morning. Then you are FORCED to get out of your pajamas!! It’s a rule I made when Mr 2 was born because a shower makes me feel like a human being and the thought of getting to 3pm not feeling like a human being is … intolerable 😉


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