Monday, April 30, 2012

The pyjama trend and how to wear it to work


The other week, I braved the head-to-toe pyjama look with my Marni for H&M silk PJ shirt and shorts. And no, I didn't get laughed out of the office.

The Stickman, who's usually very vocal about my sartorial choices, said, 'Oh, you're wearing them both together', but with no further comments I boldly continued to work.

On the plus side, the pyjama trend makes for comfortable workwear. And these shorts look less bedtime than PJ trousers for a top-to-toe outfit.

The downside is the loose pyjama shirt is a bit baggy and shapeless. Even with the sleeves rolled up, I felt more slobby than smart. But I think this PJ shirt will come into its own as a summer jacket.

To make the pyjama trend work for you, here's some tips:

Do take inspiration from Stella McCartney (this season's pioneer of the PJ trend) and choose a tonal paisley print. Smaller patterns work best, although bigger, bolder prints can look good, too – the Whistles wisteria print for one.

Don't dress like you're going to bed. Which means no slipper shoes please! My Grenson brogues and Pierre Hardy wedges both work with the PJ shorts, but for PJ trousers add a heel with platform sandals or wedges.

Do choose luxe materials. Fluid fabrics like silk make the look chic and elegant and less 'bedtime'.

Don't try wearing normal pyjamas. Cute cottons don't cut it.

Do experiment with vintage PJs or men's silk PJs, though. Wear with confidence and you'll be able to carry it off with panache (take Susie Bubble as your reference point - see here and here).

Remember, the reaction you want is 'Wow, she makes PJs look cool' rather than 'OMG, she forgot to get changed this morning!'

Of course, the easy route to the PJ trend is to wear the top or the bottoms rather than the full outfit. Zara has a pair of blue tie-print trousers that are very Stella McCartney.

For more tips, read The Guardian's deputy fashion editor Imogen Fox's feature on 'How the pyjama look became an unlikely hit trend'. She's linked to my Whistles Carrie skirt blog post, too!

Here's the details of my outfit:
Sonia Rykiel for H&M jacket
Grenson brogues

For more workwear ideas, check out the What ELLE Wears blog at


  1. Gorgeous! I wish I'd got something from the Marni/H&M collection!

    1. Ahh, thanks girlinthelens!

      There's always the next H&M collaboration: accessories by Vogue Japan's Anna Dello Russo. Launches in October.

      Bargainista Fashionista x x x

  2. I love this ides, I'm just not sure I would be brave enough to carry it off - I may try the PJ pants in summer.

    Gems x

    Fashion, Well Done

    1. Gems,

      Definitely give the PJ trousers a go. I've been wearing them since last summer and they're sooo easy to wear.

      Bargainista Fashionista x x x

  3. Oh i love this outfit, and altho i am not matchy match usually, i like this, plus the opaques and shoes toughen it up and stop it looking to soft and like nightwear. Jealous!!! :) xxx

  4. This is really lovely. I have not jumped on-board the panama wagon largely because I have to wear an enforced pair of PJs to work (medical scrubs) every day. But you may have just turned me...

    1. Thanks Highland Fashionista!

      Hopefully, something patterned will help to distinguish the PJ outfit from your work one :)

      Go on, give it a go!

      Bargainista Fashionista x x x



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