Pyjama Tribes: What Does What You Wear To Bed Say About You?
The average person spends a third of their life in bed. Lucky them. Of course, not all of that is sleeping. There’s also, y’know, that (blushes). And, more likely, ignoring the growing stack of bedside books in favour of staring at your phone. But the bed is a great unifier – not that we’re all in the same bed, you understand. The point being, if you’re about to spend some 26 years doing something, you’ll probably want to dress for it. Which, once you tot it up, makes pyjamas some of the best value pieces of clothing that you can own, cost per wear.
Maybe you’ve thought long and hard about what you’ve put on ahead of your nightly trip to Bedfordshire. Maybe you’ve thought so long and hard that you’ve started to doze off. Or maybe you haven’t even entertained the idea and you’re winging it in underpants. Which might suit you, but what about anyone you share the bed with? Or that you plan to…
With this in mind, we’ve highlighted some of the key bedtime clothing clans – pyjama parties, you could call them – and how their choice of loungewear reflects their lifestyles. Maybe it’s time to invest in a new set yourself. If not for you and whomever you live with, then in the interest of the MR PORTER delivery team. (If you have to sign for your package, then we really don’t want to see your, er, package.)
The piping dreamer
This guy does not sleep on pyjamas. We mean, he sleeps in them, obviously. But he does everything else in them, too. He’s the one who made the pyjama shirt worn to distinctly non-pyjama events “a thing”, or so he claims. He boasts big WFH energy, even when he’s in the office. And why not when your loungewear includes some of the finest silks, satins and cashmeres, and plush jersey numbers with contrast piping. His inventory of robes puts the Playboy Mansion’s to shame.
In fact, his wardrobe is so well stocked with nightshirts that there’s barely room for their daytime counterpart. But then, who has time for jeans and a T-shirt when they could be snug – and smug – in a matching set of jimjams in a soft, laundry-fresh cotton, complete with a fetching tiger print? He’ll take comfort in that.
The father pushed too far
What, this old thing? Well, yes. This isn’t from the recent reunion tour, we’ll have you know. This vintage band tee is the genuine article, from the first time around, with the original lineup, coincidentally when this guy last went out. Sure, it was a bit roomier back then. But then so was the bed, before 3.00am this morning, when a child appeared in it and the old man got left with half a pillow and the edge of the mattress.
From pick-up to drop-off, these days, this dad’s time is spent in the service of his offspring, with a small window each evening allotted to TV documentaries and revenge scrolling, between when they finally go to their bunk and when they arrive in his. Given that, in the morning, he has to get them up, feed them, shower them, dress them and get them to school, an old T-shirt and a pair of undies is the best he can do. It’s just a shame that he didn’t have time to put something else on before the school run. For anyone else, being seen out, like this, would be a cannon event. For him, it’s just a Tuesday.
The man who fell to bed
We all have our vices. In the mid-1970s, it was red peppers, milk and “astronomical” quantities of drugs that kept Mr David Bowie up all night. Had he come of age as an artist in the 2020s, it could’ve just as easily have been TikTok, Netflix box sets and too many oat milk lattes disrupting his sleeping patterns. Passed out on the sofa, our modern-day man would probably take that comparison. If he was awake, that is.
He nodded off five episodes into his binge, the blue light from his second screen cast across his features. Still wearing the clothes from the day before, more or less – minus a sock, plus a cat perched on his head – he is jolted out of his slumber by his own snore. He idles, scratches himself, opens his parched mouth and yawns. Then, sluggishly, he stumbles through his home towards his bed, peeling off layers of clothing. With his trousers still clinging on to one ankle, he tumbles onto the mattress. As his face hits his pillow, his eyes ping open. And, at 4.34am, he is now more awake than he has ever been.
The regimen machine
Mr Mark Wahlberg? Pah, what a drip. By 2.30am, this guy has already warmed up, hit the gym, then glugged two litres of mountain spring water in a cryogenic freezer before the water has frozen. Then it’s a sauna, learning Tswana and feeding the iguana (not some weird euphemism). He spends the latter portion of the morning meditating, seeking communion with what Mr Aldous Huxley called the “Mind at Large” through the dissolution of his ego – which is no mean feat when you consider the size of his ego – until he reaches a state of pure light and divinity beyond the limitations of language. Then he plays golf.
Always on the go, it makes loungewear a bit of a redundant term for him, when his idea of a breather is breathwork. Hence you’ll find him going to bed in a running vest and shorts, ready for the day ahead, with an eye mask to keep his circadian rhythm in check. (The teddy he snuggles up to isn’t a soft toy, it’s a totemic manifestation of his spirit animal, OK?)
The stars are not the first thing that Aboriginal Australians, custodians of the oldest continuous culture on Earth, see first when they observe the night sky. Rather, they focus on the spaces in between. Nasa reports that roughly 68 per cent of the known universe is what is classified as “dark energy”, while a further 27 per cent is “dark matter”. And while it might look nothing, whatever it is is increasingly thought to be what binds galaxies together. Which is a way of saying that sometimes what appears to be a lack of anything is actually a something.
So, fine, you might “run hot”, and, like Mr Iggy Pop, feel “lost” in clothing, but a birthday suit is very much a style choice. What’s more, it is the most divisive one that you can make. There should be no shame in sleeping naked, especially if it makes you feel comfortable, just make sure that those around you are comfortable with it, too. Sometimes, just a winning smile doesn’t cover it.