Pajama days don’t have to mean frumpy or sloppy outfits. Here’s how to look put together on those days getting dressed isn’t happening.
Today we’re going to have some fun talking about pajamas, which seems like the opposite of getting dressed, but I’m going to talk about how, when, and why you would want to have loungewear that you love instead of just staying in your basic ratty PJs all day.
Maybe that seems silly when you think about being a style and image and fashion podcast to talk about pajamas, but we wear our pajamas for six to eight hours at least every single day, and sometimes we wear them for longer. So I think it’s something that we should talk about, especially for certain people in certain seasons of their life. This is something that needs more focus in my opinion.
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Pajama Days: For Those Who Get Dressed
First of all, I know there are people who get dressed every day. I have had the pleasure to have clients like this. I’ve had clients who get dressed immediately after their c-section in jeans. I have had clients who continue to get dressed after the loss of a loved one immediately. Some people have this built-in mindset where you don’t stay in your pajamas if you’re sick or if you’re in emotional pain.
It is not acceptable. You put on real clothes every single day. So if you were one of those people, this episode might not be for you unless you just like to listen to people ramble about pajamas and loungewear and what makes it so great. If you are that person that gets dressed every day no matter what, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
If you aren’t that person and you are somebody who needs pajama days and cling to them like a lifeline, there’s nothing wrong with that either. There’s space for each of those perspectives, and there’s a way to make the second part of that perspective be something that makes you feel good about being in those kinds of clothes versus feeling schlumpy and dumpy and terrible.
That’s really what I want to focus on here – how to be intentional if you are somebody who really needs those pajama days.
Pajama Days: Spoon Theory For The Rest of Us
Let’s talk about pajama days and why some people need them. I want to go back to Spoon Theory, which I think has been talked about once on this podcast before by one of my guests. Spoon Theory is something I had never heard of until last year when I looked up what it meant a little bit. I realized that I have been using this construct or this concept for about 15-plus years.
It’s something that I latched onto when I was going through some really intensive therapy when I was 29 years old. One of the things that my therapist told me at that time was not to try to do everything on my to-do list all day long. Instead, I was to pick the three most important things and do those things. It’s something that I’ve carried with me all these years.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t do everything on the to-do list that’s too long, and just don’t have the energy or mental space for it just pick the three most important things. At the end of the day, you’ve still accomplished the three most important things on your list. In essence, this is a different perspective on spoon theory because spoon theory essentially says that every day you wake up and you have a certain number of spoons.
For some people, it could be three like my list, and for other people, it could be 20 or 25. Essentially every task that you do costs you one spoon. If you start the day out and you only have five spoons, you have to be really intentional about what you do with your time, with your day, and how you’re spending that energy.
For me, especially as someone with an autoimmune disease, a bunch of kids back to back, homeschooling, and running a business, there are days when I do not have a lot of spoons or my spoons are already claimed. This is what happens a lot of times for me, I just don’t have anything left over. My budget is spent already. And so I find myself in certain seasons where I don’t have the spoons to get dressed.
This seems crazy, if you think about it because I talk about getting dressed and ways to make it easy, like laying out your clothes the night before. But sometimes I don’t have the spoons to lay my clothes out the night before. You know, that’s just what it is. Sometimes it’s just really messy. For example, I am currently in the second trimester of my seventh pregnancy and I’m feeling pretty good right now.
My energy is back other than a horrific stomach virus. I am not yet too pregnant to be comfortable other than the Texas heat. Things are good right now, but the first trimester is always a little bit hard for me. I don’t get sick really. I do have a lot of nausea. I have a lot of food aversions, which tends to lead to me being weak because I’m not eating enough and I struggle really badly with fatigue.
Severe fatigue is probably my number one first-trimester problem. And with that fatigue, I have less capacity, less physical capacity, less mental capacity, less decision-making capacity, and less desire often to get dressed. No capacity to actually go through the process of putting on real clothes each day. That’s what really created this desire to talk about this today.
Pajama Days: Having Loungewear You Love
For the past year or more, I have been someone who gets dressed every day in contrast to many of the years before when I did not have the capacity to do that. I would often spend two, sometimes three days a week still in my pajamas. I called them my introvert days because it sort of represented the fact that I did not have the energy and I did not want to do it. It almost gave me a pass on showing up fully.
So during that time, one of the things I did was really focus on having pajamas or loungewear that I really love. When this first trimester rolled around, I already had pajamas or loungewear that I love, and I probably spent one to two days a week wearing them. What I needed at this time was rest, slowing down, and just relaxing and feeling good in the pajamas that I do have, which is pretty important.
The point that I really want to make is this: while pajamas aren’t real clothes and I do not wear mine out in public, you can make the choice to wear loungewear that makes you feel good in your own home. It can be beautiful, it can be high quality, and it can be perfect for you. It can suit your lifestyle.
I’m going to go over my own choice here and analyze it for you so you can see how I arrived at mine and why I wear it specifically. I just want to encourage you that if you are in this mindset of pajama days/introvert days/lazy days please know that it’s okay to create a loungewear uniform for your life that makes you feel great is worth the time, worth the money and definitely worth the effort.
Nothing feels worse than having a random person show up at your door and you’re wearing the ugly scroungy pajama, versus having someone show up at your door and wearing pajamas that at least look nice and make you feel good. Even if you’re not feeling good, at least you have that “I’m sort of put together” nice loungewear look.
Loungewear can really be anything: a pair of joggers, leggings and a sweatshirt (which is kind of my personal choice), actual pajamas that you bought that are high quality and look really nice. It could be any of these things because it’s personal to you. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s your pajamas and loungewear because that way you don’t have to change your clothes.
You can sleep in these clothes and then get up and you’re wearing nice loungewear essentially. Once you’ve dialed in what it is you want to wear, buy five to seven of them. You don’t want to have to wash your pajamas more than once a week. This is my philosophy. So just go ahead buy seven or eight and make it work for you. Make it go all the way with your pajamas or loungewear.
Having said all of this, I’m going to share with you my own pajama loungewear uniform and break it down for you and analyze it so you can see how to think through the process and choose what works for you. For me, what I wear as loungewear is LuLaRoe leggings and I wear a nursing sweatshirt from Latched Mama.
There are a few reasons I wear LuLaRoe leggings, these are all really specific to me being picky and the fact that I sleep in my clothes. Number one, I’m really cold-natured so I definitely want pants. I also co-sleep with my babies and I can’t stand for baby feet to touch my bare skin when I’m sleeping. It just stresses me out. So I want my legs fully covered.
However, I don’t want them covered with loose fabric because I can’t stand it when they bunch up around my knees. So it has to be a fitted legging, full coverage fitted so it doesn’t bunch up. Number two, because I am 42 years old, and even though I’m currently pregnant, I have lots of hormone shifts.
Often my legs get sweaty and I have found that having pants on my legs prevents me from getting that stuck together legs feeling. All of these things, all of these choices about the leggings have to do with being comfortable when I sleep and being comfortable when I get up. So it works for sleeping and for lounging around the house.
Now, I will say that I’m still using LuLaRoe leggings I bought several years ago because I spent $25 a pair for them. And to uplevel this uniform, I know that I need to buy some solids, just some solid black because that would make everything look much more refined, much cleaner, and much simpler.
So that is on my to-do list, to switch those over to solid-colored leggings and a sweatshirt. I chose a sweatshirt again because I am very cold-natured and I do co-sleep with my babies. And so there’s a lot of safety things that have to go into that, like not using covers above your waist and just a lot of different things. But I still want to be warm.
I also need access to breastfeeding. So I have breastfeeding sweatshirts and they’re very cozy. They feel like a College sweatshirt in a way and have that nostalgic feel to them. I wear those and I have six or seven of those. This is my pajama loungewear uniform. If I have to answer the door, the sweatshirt has the benefit of somewhat concealing the fact that maybe I’m not wearing a bra.
If I needed to run to the store, I could put on a bra, switch to a pair of nice leggings and head out the door. It’s quick, works for my sleeping habits, works for my during-the-day lounging habits when I’m not feeling well, and it works if I have to very quickly get out the door.
Final Thoughts on Pajama Days
For those of you who get dressed, who think that I’m being crazy right now, I know you don’t get it. I know that for you, getting dressed is a requirement. It’s a necessity. It’s unacceptable to spend the day in your pajamas. But for those of us who have an autoimmune disease, who are pregnant or nursing, and who don’t have the energy, the time, and the mental space to get dressed every single day, the best thing you can do is accept that this is a limitation in your life.
Accept that you’re going to have those days. Instead of feeling bad about yourself or down about yourself because you are somebody who needs pajama days, go ahead and adapt your wardrobe to fit those pajama days. Make it work for you. Own the fact that you need the space and you need the time and invest in a loungewear uniform that makes you feel amazing.
Choose clothes that suit your lifestyle and your needs. Hot legs, cold legs. What is it that you need? Choose fabrics that feel amazing, and that are high quality. Choose colors that make you look stunning and beautiful, and feel confident. Use the same principles of wardrobe curation in other areas of your life to curate a loungewear wardrobe that you love.
And remember, it’s okay to get dressed every day, and it’s okay not to get dressed every day. Each one of us is showing up the best that we know how given our abilities and our limitations and what’s going on in our lives right now. I would rather you be empowered to show up halfway in your best loungewear than feel terrible and like there’s something wrong with you because you feel frumpy in your ratty t-shirt and sweatpants.
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Be blessed in every season, even the pajama day seasons, and embrace the life that you have and that you’re living today.
Stacey is the owner and creator behind Radiantly Dressed. She is a certified image consultant and AICI member focusing on creating simplicity in wardrobes via color and style.