September 17, 2020

How Pajamas Came To Be – A Fashion History

Pajamas are a favorite sleepwear. They can come in one-piece or two-piece garments with the constant factor of having loose pants. But how did this fashion trend begin and where does it come from?

Indian beginnings

The word “pajama” was derived from the Hindi word “pae jama” which refers to leg clothing during the Ottoman Empire in India. The pajamas during this time were loose trousers or drawers which are tied at the waist with a cord or drawstring.

Although the word has its Hindi origins, the comfortable pants were commonly found in India, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, and other parts of the Middle and Far East.

The British noticed how comfortable they were, they brought it back with them to Europe where it started a trend for exotic loungewear – it was considered a significant sign that the wearer has worldly knowledge in the seventeenth century. By the twentieth century, pajamas were known worldwide. offers some in-depth insights on silk clothing.

Pajamas for better sleep

The British colonials started adopting the pajamas to keep up with the heat of the tropics instead of wearing their traditional nightshirts. They loved the comfort so much that they continued the practice even after they returned to Europe.

By the end of the nineteenth century, fashion has evolved the silk pajamas set into the two-piece garment that we know now wherein the loose pants are paired with a comfortable top.

Pajamas were first worn by men in general and it was not till the 1920s that women started wearing them too due to the rise of androgynous fashion. Men’s pajamas during this time were commonly made out of silk, cotton, and flannel.

For women, they were made out of brightly printed silk pajamas for women or rayon and other fabrics that are trimmed with lace and ribbons.

Today, we now have the pajama trend where people are starting to wear their pajamas outdoors. They first began as a great outerwear for the beach. With prints and cuts looking more modern and stylish, even pajamas can pass as outerwear these days.

Why limit this level of comfort in the bedroom only when you can wear it the whole day?