Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Try Wandering the Streets in $400 Pajamas For a New Look

Sleepy Jones
A model wearing Sleepy Jones pajamas. Pajama tops start at $96. Photographer: Sperduti-Spade/Bradbury Lewis via Bloomberg

There’s a wonderful line from Michael Chabon’s novel, “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.”

“The pajamas were patterned with red pinstripes and tiny blue escutcheons. Sammy was wearing a pair that had red escutcheons with blue pinstripes. That was Rosa’s idea of fostering a sense of connection between father and son. As any two people who have ever dressed in matching pajamas will attest, it was surprisingly effective.”

It’s a lovely quote, in part because it so effortlessly conjures a period long-past.

At this point, pajamas are seldom worn, and when they are, almost never as a full top/bottom set, and definitely not to sleep in.

That doesn’t mean that people don’t own PJs -- it just seems they’ve shifted in use: Now they’re basically a distinguished version of a track suit.

Look no further than the classical music world --conductors such as Louis Langree and Kurt Masur perform in long, flowing pajama-like tops on a regular basis. The violinist Itzhak Perlman favors a silk kimono-style top.

Grown Men

These are grown men wearing lounge wear in front of audiences in suits and ties -- if Perlman can wear one to Carnegie Hall, who says you can’t wear something similar to pick up milk at the bodega?

Apparel makers seem to agree. Andy Spade recently introduced a line of men and women’s sleepwear called Sleepy Jones. Their $96 pajama top is designed, its marketing language says, “to be worn in or outside of the bedroom, and won’t put up a fuss if you throw it on under a blazer.”

Similarly, the Comme des Garcons Spring 2013 menswear line was comprised almost exclusively of shirts and pants in pajama material) -- you can still find some of their tops online.

There’s also less trendy options -- Hanro makes a cotton set for around $200, and Barney’s makes a pair of striped cotton pajamas for a hefty $400.

Really, it seems like the shift in use is a matter of utility -- people don’t wear top hats or stoles or spats anymore because they’re too specific and expensive and unnecessary.

Layered Underwear

Similarly, taking off your underwear to put on more expensive underwear in order to fall asleep feels like an affectation of a different era.

It’s worth noting, though, that Chabon does have a point: pajamas have a magic to them -- there’s something exciting about dressing up, even if it is in order to pass out. Just, maybe not every day.

(James Tarmy writes for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News and for Loot, a blog on The opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include Jason Harper on cars and Zinta Lundborg’s interview.

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.