The abrupt shift of the internet to full-time coronavirus content has prompted a wealth of guides on how to work from home, what to wear when working from home, and, curiously, a service hit on a filter in the telecommuting app Zoom that replicates an Instagram filter, so that your coworkers might see you as you see yourself: smooth, poreless, fresh. These guides exist to quell the anxious mind, but also to hawk sweatshirts and $98 indoor pants. Every morning when I “commute” to the chair in my bedroom, I open my computer and silently close twenty tabs, full of such pants and sweatshirts, and begin my day. I will not fall prey to consumerism’s siren call; I already have indoor pants.
But because athleisure is boring to look at and its purpose is utility over fashion, I imagine that eventually, we will all be forced to turn back to a different sort of indoor attire. Now that real clothing is a thing of the past—for those of us lucky enough to work from home right now, as opposed to the alternatives—and we are all confined to our couches, desks, home offices, or kitchen counters, wearing earplugs and pretending, in vain, that any of this is normal, it is imperative to look to history for guidance on the way forward. The four walls in which you live are your only entertainment now, so you might as well settle down, get comfortable, and embrace a life of functional sloth. It is easier to do this if you have pajamas.
Big Pajama perpetuates the myth that these chic sets are suitable for sleeping, which is wrong; sleep in a grody free t-shirt and some gym shorts that don’t fit and leave the pajamas for their highest, best purpose: lounging about like a kept woman with a lot of free time and nothing to do.
Here’s a woman named Dolly Tree, posing in a pair of pajamas, marabou-trimmed house shoes, and a kimono. That matted animal is named Corky the Cat. As an indoor outfit this is impractical; satin is hard to clean and soon we will be washing our clothing in the kitchen sink, so let’s think this through. As an at-home outfit, this rules. But remember! Your home is now the club, the office, the bar, and the gym. This is practical for only one of those events, and not all. Choose wisely.
This woman and her poodle are making a choice that feels correct: those pajamas are cotton! No special cleaning instructions here, ma’am, just drag that mess to the tub once you’ve spilled guacamole on it for the tenth time and scrub-a-dub-dub. That shit will come right out, and once your outfit has dried, you can wear it on your tenth Zoom meeting of the week, and everyone will just think you’re just revisiting your thrift-store wardrobe from the early 2000s. God love a Peter Pan collar on a top that is meant for sleeping!
Everything about these pajamas are correct and good, equally suitable for sleeping, eating, running to get the mail, and taking a walk around your living room with a box fan blowing to simulate a stiff breeze. Sure, these are definitely polyester and would catch fire if the wearer in question stood too close to an open flame, but that’s part of the fun. When the world outside is uncontrollable and the only thing you can control is what is directly in front of you, inviting a sense of casual danger into your life via sheer nighties and tap pants feels like a good way to go.