Your Pajama Pants at School Make Me Sick


For kicks, here I am in my blue crab pajama pants.

30.43 seconds. That is the figure my amused younger sister revealed on her phone stopwatch as I emerged from my bedroom’s closet. Only seconds before, I had simulated getting out of bed, schlepping to my closet on the opposite side of the room, and changing from my blue-crab pajama pants into an everyday pair of jeans. But despite the simplicity of putting on an actual pair of pants, the use of pajama pants beyond the confines of one’s home is a growing trend. Indeed, at Lakeside, more than 15% of Tatler poll respondents report that they wear pajama pants to school at least once a week.

Some assert they do it for comfort, enjoying the feeling of gracing Bliss’ staircases or traversing Pigott’s lawn in a pair of flannel pajama pants. Others make it a question of convenience: as Lakeside students wake up later in the morning to account for busy schedules and lost sleep, it’s easier to leave their pajama pants on as they speed off to school. And, alas, there are those who maintain the sartorial finesse of pajama pants.

I believe that wearing pajama pants to school is entirely inappropriate. 

If a teacher came to school dressed in pajama pants, students would talk. I’ve been among a throng of sophomores babbling about far less consequential things teachers have done for over a half hour. The point is: students would invariably comment on pajama-clad teachers (if only privately) because something about it doesn’t feel right. Yet why should this tacit expectation for dress exclusively apply to our instructors? Is there not a sense of entitlement implicit in students choosing to wear pajama pants when they expect more from teachers? 

If a teacher came to school dressed in pajama pants, students would talk.

Absolutely. If you show up to a teacher’s class in pajama pants, you communicate an unwillingness to hold yourself to the same standards of professionalism to which you’d hold your teacher or adults in your life. You come off as someone who thinks you’re somehow above your teachers in what standards apply. You devalue the class and the teacher.

The argument that it’s simply more convenient and comfortable to wear your nightgowns, onesies, and jammies to school returns us to my experiment. If teachers — as a result of the culture of professionalism you, parents, and the school perpetuate — can find the half minute to dress accordingly, then there’s no reason why students can’t as well. In fact, in not doing so, you subordinate the importance of a half minute of your teacher’s time to a half minute of your own, which is completely unjust. And to the argument on comfort — you have to make sacrifices in the name of professionalism. I may not enjoy wearing Western Business Attire to Model UN conferences, but I do because it is expected of me. Plus, pajama pants aren’t the end-all-be-all for coziness; plenty of school-appropriate substitutes — sweats, plaid, linen — exist. Neither do I believe pajama pants hold a monopoly in style. For example, a nice pair of plaid pants would function just as well as flannel pajamas while still exuding esteem for your teachers and the expectations to which you hold them. 

I want to clarify that I don’t believe pajama pants should be banned from school. There are exigent circumstances wherein they’re a suitable choice, like for spirit days or if you haven’t done your laundry in a week, in which case I would still tell you to go do your laundry and wear jeans. As a result of the disrespect their everyday wear carries as well as the lack of an unassailable reason, comfort- or convenience-wise, for their use at school, I would passionately encourage Lakesiders not to wear pajama pants to school. Instead, reserve them for less professional affairs — like weekend outings to U Village or furiously typing out a Tatler opinion piece on your bed.