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Pajamas have been a popular choice of clothing for centuries, and the trend has only continued to grow. In this blog post, we will be discussing the history and trend in pajamas. Within nearly about 150 years, this outfit has gone from unknown to ubiquitous, formal to casual, gender-specific to unisex styling, a night fashion to a daily fashion.

women in pajamas

Pyjamas vs pajamas

Do you know the difference between pyjamas and pajamas? The word pajama is used in English-speaking countries, while the word pyjama is more commonly used in India and surrounding regions like Pakistan.

Nowadays, it seems that even Indian-speaking countries prefer calling it pajamas instead of pyjamas. Even when you type the word pyjamas, there will be an error reminder.

And this type of outfit has led to several other terms. For example, nightdress, dressing gown, pajama dressing, nightgown, exotic loungewear, sleepwear. Which one are you most familiar with?

What did people wear to sleep before Pajamas?

Before pajamas were introduced, in some cultures, people wore nothing at night. But many people in the western world would sleep in whatever clothes they were wearing during the day. This was usually a dress or some type of loose clothing that could be easily removed.

During the 1600s, nightgowns were common in Britain. They became longer and more functional as time went on. Men wore shirts to bed and they call them “nightshirts”. While women wore ankle-length shifts with long sleeves.

Brief history of pajamas

It is unknown exactly where the word came from, but it is believed that it may have originated in India and was a loose garment worn to house parties. This term was first used by British colonists in India who had adopted this style as part of the culture in British colonials. Its literal translation means “leg clothing” and is derived from the Persian word for “legwear”, “leg garment”, “pyjamas.”

When did people start to wear pajamas?

People started wearing it in the early 1800s. In 1837, Victoria of England would often get dressed up for bed and show her audience how she could sleep on a settee or recline while being still fully dressed. She had already been wearing some type of pajamas.

But they were more like formal nightwear in the victorian era. In the early 1900s, cotton evening pajamas started being mass-produced as children’s wear. People began wearing knee-length gowns as their fashionable nighttime attire.

And they were brought to the U.S. by British naval officers in the 1920s. People could see pajama dressing from Hollywood films such as Jean Harlow’s Red Dust (1932). This trend carried on into the 1930s where they could be seen in stores with matching robes available for purchase.

When did pajamas become popular?

It was mostly only worn at home until after World War II when men started wearing it to hotels.

They became more popular with time and by 2003, the sales hit $500 million globally. Today they are also typically seen as modern fashion daywear too for relaxing around many parts of the world.

What did famous designers do for pajamas?

French pajamas were created by Coco Chanel in the 1970s. It is a type of pajama-like trousers with a buttoned shirt with long sleeves. Coco Chanel had fashion statements for these pajamas was to “create a robe that one could pass from daywear to going-to-bedwear.”

At the end of the 20th century, Ralph Lauren noticed that people were wearing pajamas as their daywear attire. That same year, Ralph opened a “sleepwear” shop in Miami which sold what would become known as “pajamas” by many other designers. In 1994, Polo’s first ad campaign ever was to promote this new line.

What’s the pajama trend?

Today, pajamas are considered fashion apparel and common daywear that can be worn by both men and women. They come in a variety of different styles, colors, and materials. Some popular types of pajamas include sleepshirts, nightgowns, pajama sets, loungewear, onesies, and lingerie. The most popular trends in the world right now are luxury pajamas, seersucker pajamas, satin pajamas and flannel pajamas.

And there has been a huge trend in wearing pajamas outside of our homes. This is not just any normal pajama, but ones that are comfortable and fashionable at the same time. There was even an article written by The New York Times about this topic called “PJs on the Prowl”.

a boy in flannel pajamas

What are common styles of women’s pajamas?

Today pajamas are available in a variety of styles, colors, and fabrics. They can be worn as loungewear or for sleeping purposes. And the common materials are cotton, silk, satin, linen, or similar lightweight fabrics. Also, there are heavyweight ones like flannel to keep warm. There are 6 common styles for women below.

Sleepshirts: or you can call nightshirts. They are loose-fitting long oversize short sleeve shirts worn to sleep in. They are very convenient and comfortable to put on.

Nightgown: a nightgown or nightie is a loose-fitting hanging garment with sleeves and typically longer than a dressing gown or housecoat. And it can be divided into different styles like mesh, lace, halter necklines, spaghetti straps, etc.

Pajama sets: a pair of pjs is typically composed of two pieces. One is the top which covers the torso while another one is the bottom that protects the lower part of the body. It can be seen as t-shirts and shorts or long sleeves shirts and pajama pants.

Loungewear: it is a type of outfit that is specifically designed for a person to wear when they’re relaxing. Loungewear can be worn both at home or somewhere else where the person is just lounging. It makes people cool and comfortable. It is presentable enough to go back outside and meet up with friends.

Onesies: onesies means one piece. You can call it baby doll pajamas. It is originally a type of garment, often worn by babies and small children, which covers the body from head to toe. Now it is very popular for women.

Lingerie: it is now considered undergarments make them feel sexy and feminine. Lingerie is usually composed of types like bras, panties, lacy shorts, and corsets. It also comes in different designs such as lace upfront or strapless bra.

What are common styles of men’s pajamas?

The versatility of women’s pajamas has made menswear-inspired.

A man in pajama set

Beach pajamas: they are the perfect outfit to wear for lounging around on the beach, poolside, or while doing other activities in the water. The loose-fitting bottoms and top allow you to feel comfortable while you are moving around freely. The most popular type of beach pajamas is solid colored with a button front top and drawstring cord closure at the waist. The bottoms can come in various lengths such as Bermuda, Capri, or full-length pants.

Pajama sets: one set is typically composed of two pieces. One is the top which covers the torso while another one is the bottom that protects the lower part of the body. It can be seen as t-shirts and shorts or long sleeves shirts and pants.


All in all, Sleepwear is not anymore for indoor or bedroom use only. It can be beautiful outerwear that can be worn with or without accompaniments. Women will really feel sexy, cute, and comfortable. For men, sleepwear also becomes a kind of fashion that brings them more confidence. The question is, when more and more styles appear, more and more demand for sleepwear, if you have a clothing brand, how will you design your brand, and which style do you think can be the best preference for women, men, kids, or family wear?

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