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Can you wear pyjamas to work?

From the catwalks to the high street, fashion is championing sleepwear as daywear. But can it actually work in real life?

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By Hannah Banks-Walker on

The idea of wearing your pyjamas out and about is certainly appealing, but it is not a new idea. Designers have been showing silky PJ sets on the catwalk for a while now – Prada, for example, created a feather-trimmed two-piece for spring 2017, made up of loose trousers and a matching kimono-style top, also worn by Sienna Miller on the red carpet. Many supermodels (Gigi Hadid and her sister Bella) have been photographed in several iterations of nightwear and Rihanna’s worn everything, from lace slip dresses to silk robes and full PJ sets.

At the moment, one quick look on the high street proves that the trend is still going strong, with PJ-inspired silhouettes (wide-leg trousers and belted jackets) featuring heavily in most of the shops. There are even brands, like Yolke and Asceno, whose silk nightwear has been adopted by fashion influencers and repurposed into everyday blouses and pieces for work. But, back in the real world, can you actually wear the pyjama trend to the office? We asked four women, with different jobs in different industries, to try it out...



Job: Teacher at a special-needs school for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities.


I work with young children and, although the environment is quite relaxed, I do need to make sure that anything I wear is appropriate for what I do every day. My job is quite physical and – at times – messy, so my clothes need to be comfy. I can’t wear anything restrictive or revealing, and I always look for materials that are low-maintenance and don’t need dry-cleaning or a lot of ironing.

 Luckily, all of this applies to the Topshop pyjama trousers I tried, which I wore for a full day at work and were great.

Verdict: I would probably be a bit worried about ruining them, as they’re so silky and feel quite delicate, but for days when I’m in meetings or don’t have anything too full-on planned with the children, I would definitely choose to wear them.


Job: The Pool’s deputy editor 


I love clothes and fashion, and because of this there are times I have to fight the more exuberant side of my personality. If I didn’t, I would definitely veer into the Edina Ab Fab territory, which would be absolutely fine most of the time, except when I have important meetings. So, if I am worried I'm buying something a bit mad, the one thing I always ask myself is: “Will I feel silly wearing it on the 08:12 to St Pancras?” Against the many sober city suits that I stand next to every morning on my platform at St Albans, will it look commuter-slash-work-appropriate?

Verdict: I took back a lovely kimono dress from Zara, as it was a step too far into dressing-gown territory. This Topshop number, however, is the opposite. It has that lovely, easy, slinky feeling of PJ-dressing and is in a dark floral print that didn't look out of place. The trick is to dress it down and it will work on top of chunky knits when it gets colder.


Job: Runs her own candle company, Evermore London, which makes and sells organic coconut wax candles, as well as providing bespoke services for events


I’m very relaxed and low-key at work, especially if I’m in the studio, where I’ll wear an apron when I’m making candles to avoid any accidents. If I have meetings, I’ll dress slightly smarter, which basically means swapping trainers for loafers. I’m a big fan of dressing comfortably, so think the idea of pyjamas to work is well-suited to me. I’m not a huge fan of overly bright colours and patterns, though, so I’d probably only wear the trend in dark colours or mix something printed with plain bottoms, which I did with this Zara top in a chinoiserie-inspired print

It has matching trousers, but I don’t think I’d ever wear them together – instead, I liked it with the sleeves rolled up, worn with plain trousers or jeans and trainers. 

Verdict: I really love the detail of the traditional Chinese knot frog buttons, and it was so comfortable I want to wear it every day. Also, several people asked me where I’d bought it from and my husband complimented me on my outfit that morning, which is always nice!


Job: Works as a lawyer in the insurance industry


My office has a dress code they call “smart business”, which doesn’t have to be a full suit, as long as it’s smart. In the summer months, we’re allowed to be slightly more relaxed (“business casual”, as they call it), but I would always mostly wear muted colours of black, navy, white and grey, either a smart dress or trousers and a jacket, plus heels for any evening events I might have.

I definitely wouldn’t have tried the PJ trend of my own accord, but I do think there’s a lot to be said for wearing something incredibly comfortable and still looking stylish. I went for a patterned shirt from H&M, which I thought looked smart enough for the office, paired with my black suit trousers and a pair of court shoes.

Verdict: I had a number of comments from co-workers and a friend I had dinner with that evening – possibly because it’s not something I’d usually wear, but was very flattering. It was also a bonus that I could go straight from the office to meet friends for dinner without having to worry about getting changed. I’m a convert.


Click here for the pyjama edit – and how to wear them for work


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