Know what folks? Hugh Hefner of Playboy fame was right. No, not about that, but about pajamas. If one can believe what one reads, he apparently wears pajamas 24/7. Smart man. Why don’t we all do that? I’ll be first in line. Oh, the cool comfort, the simplicity. He is one smart, and, as we all know, very busy man. His PJs usually run to red and black silk. Sexy. Macho. Yowza!

I know you’ll be surprised to learn I am not a slave to fashion and to many of my acquaintances it may appear from my wardrobe choices that I do in fact wear PJs all the time. I’m a bit south of high style, or even medium. For me, it’s comfort first. If people don’t use the adjective “appalling” regarding my clothing selections, then I figure I’m OK out in public.

The name comes from that old Hindustani word “piejamah,” which were loose-fitting pants, usually cotton. And because elastic hadn’t been invented yet, they were tied by a drawstring at the waist. Men wore them all day and even slept in them. None of those skin tight, waist-cutting pants for those dudes—comfort was the thing.

Today those garments would be called “sweat pants,” but back in the day they were pajamas. Your peasants wore the simple cotton PJs, and your rich folks wore silken or velour jammies. And then matching tops were invented and voila! A fashion statement, here to stay!

In the 14th century, Muslim Indians caught onto the style and then in the 16th, females finally realized how comfy and nice pajamas were so they began wearing them day and night. Too bad we don’t strut about nowadays in those loose, soft, comfy garments. Imagine a world with no pantyhose! Utopian bliss, if you ask me.

Back in the flapper era it became very chic for ladies of means to wear expensive silk pajamas, especially to the better parties. They worked at being skinny so they could slouch and smoke from extra-long cigarette holders and wear the new bobbed hairdos, sometimes set with lots of finger curls. They’d often have dogs du jour on silken leashes, Russian wolf hounds and the like who also slouched a lot. Oh, how cool they all looked. And those jimjams—elegant, often embroidered, always so loose and comfortable. And just so very sexy.

Hollywood, always a bell weather for fashion, high and low, actually suggested that matinee idols and male heart throbs like Clark Gable, etc., lounge around their California digs or pool-sides in daytime pajamas, sucking on cigarettes and martinis, maybe also wearing a matching silk robe and custom-made slippers. Ah, those people back then really knew how to live.

Why on earth did we ever stop that fashion? I understand that PJs are maybe not the wisest garment to wear in a blizzard, but humans are inventive, and I think freezing cold weather pajamas could be created.

Well, they were—Dr. Denton’s. Remember? Invented by the Chinese, they were (and still are) warm, snuggly with footies and trap doors for those quick trips to the loo in the night. No blankets needed when one wore Dr. D’s creations. What’s the problem with wearing them all day long in the cold months, and changing to the silky, lounge-about ones in the warmer months, I ask you? What?

I’m not so sure what sleeping garments people in America wore before PJs, but it’s believed that by the 20th century, jimjams were commonplace in the U.S. and were worn all the time for sleeping. They were made in all colors and all materials, and for kids, superheroes of the day were splashed all over them. A happy boy kid would happily drift off to sleep with Hopalong Cassidy galloping and shooting all over his PJs; happy girl kids would drift off with Cinderella dancing at the ball with her potential and princely spouse, all shimmering on her jammies.

But then, of course, there are always the Victorian do-gooders who constantly surface and decide what’s right and wrong for people, who love to come along and wreck all the harmless sweet things in life. Please, why do they do that? Why do those holier-than-thou’s always decide how life should be according to their exalted standards? Well, that’s another column.

So yes, those pompous whatevers came along and made it a law (a law!) in some municipalities banning the wearing of pajamas in public. Yes. A loose-fitting garment that covers a person from chin to ankles is doomed to be removed from the horrified eyes of the public. Perfect.
Women can strut around on beaches wearing three Band-aids, people of any age can turn on their TVs or go to the movies and watch people in all sorts of sexual high jinks, and ditto they can see any manner of creative violence, but PJs in public? Oh no. Shocking.

These guys who make these stupid laws actually say moronic things like, “Well then, if people wear pajamas today in public, what’s coming next? Underwear?”

Well, think about it—some of the outfits folks wear today are in fact underwear. It’s just plain boggling. My vote is for pajamas being allowed to be worn any time any place by anyone.

Thanks, Hef.