Pajamas or Nightgowns? Dressing for Our Trips to Dreamland

Photo shows you woman, bearded man, and little girl about three years old, all in white pajamas, the adults holding up toothbrushes in their right hands. The background is gray wooden boards.

Can we talk about pajamas?

I hadn’t worn them except for pajama parties for decades, but the other day I put some on, and I slept better than usual. Is there a connection?

Like most kids, I grew up in PJs. My memory is fuzzy, but I think graduating to nightgowns was presented as a rite of passage to womanhood. Big girls wear nightgowns. My dirty mind is yelling “that’s so it’s easier to have sex.” I suspect that’s part of it, even though my parents were of the DO NOT HAVE SEX IF YOU’RE NOT MARRIED crowd.

Anyway, I grew up in PJs, moved on to nightgowns, and then, when I married my first husband, who was a big fan of nudity, I didn’t wear anything to bed. It was San Jose, rarely cold, and we kept each other warm.

After the marriage ended, I went back to my nightgowns.

Years passed. I married Fred. A shy guy, he slept in pajama bottoms and T-shirts. I wore my nightgowns and nightshirts, even after we moved to Oregon, where it was cold. Pajamas were hot and confining, especially before, during, and after menopause. But I kept getting pajamas for Christmas. Nice ones. Cute, soft, warm. I gave some away and stashed the rest in the bottom drawer of my dresser, the drawer that’s hard to open.

A couple weeks ago, the weather got crazy cold. The fireplace was working hard, but it was still chilly in the house. I dug out the wooliest PJs to watch TV. They were so comfortable I thought why not wear them to bed?

This insomniac slept like a rock. Over the week, as our temperatures outside hovered in the 20s and 30s, I tried the other pjs. Same thing. What is this? A return to childhood? Or am I just getting old?

The weather has warmed up. We’re back to rain and wind on the Oregon coast, and I’m back to my nightshirts. The one I’m wearing is pink with pictures of books all over it and lettering that says, “My weekend is all booked.” I love it. But I’m keeping the pajamas for those cold nights when I need a little flannel love.

How about you? What do you wear to bed? Why? Gents can weigh in, too. Pajamas, underwear, a striped nightshirt with a little hat, or skin?

We could do a whole chat about people who wear pajamas in public, but let’s stick to bedtime. Pajamas, nightgowns, or . . . ?

BTW, there’s a band called Pajamas. Here they are on YouTube. Not too bad.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on


If you’re not on my mailing list, you can read all the latest news here. To get on the mailing list, click on the Mailchimp link below.

%d bloggers like this: