“These ain’t even real clothes/Homey, I’m pajama rich.”
Kanye West on ‘Start It Up’ Lloyd Banks ft. Fabolous, Kanye West, Ryan Leslie & Swizz Beatz)
Kanye done did it again. The master of the outlandish boast declared himself “Pajama Rich” recently, declaring his expensive attire to be nothing more than bedwear. That’s hip-hop in full effect right there. After some tactically executing bad behaviour that afforded him PR for months, he seems to, as Jack Donaghy put it in a recent ’30 Rock’, be “Reaganing” —the phenomenon of succeeding in all his tasks and error-free living. You don’t need to read a single more sentence regarding the man’s new album—nor do you need to read any more about his Rosewood approach to dressing. That’s because the album is instant classic and not dressing as if you’re fourteen when you’re thirty plus is a given. But to taking pajama rich concept a little more literally, to be able to saunter around in bedwear without risk of sectioning is truly living the dream. I want to see bedwear become the next hip-hop style movement.
I’m thinking of something a little more structured than T-Boz, Chilli and Left Eye’s vast swathes of unflattering fabric back in the 1990s. If you’ve felt a curious sense of liberation wandering to the local shop in pajama trousers, trainers and a tee for dairy products, media and tobacco products, that’s because it’s a feel good style. Band of Outsiders and Opening Ceremony’s cooler-than-thou collision resulted in some excellent sleepwear and Ralph Lauren’s Polo empire puts out some pieces at a pricepoint that veers towards luxury without breaking the bank. They’re my perennial loungewear of choice, offering the perfect mix of comfort and the faintly excessive. Do you really need the horse and rider on your PJs? Yes. yes you do. There’s a certain joy in it, even if it’s only impressing you, the wearer. Polo’s plaid creations are phenomenal and the very notion of a button-up pajama is gloriously old-fashioned and strangely decadent—a patterned suit specifically for sleep? It’s the kind of thing that fast-living should’ve—but thankfully hasn’t—phased out.
I’ma let you finish, but Turnbull & Assar’s Sea Island pajamas are the ultimate. Sea Island cotton, cotton piping and mother of pearl buttons in a selection of beautiful Bengal stripes is aspirational nightwear. It’s some regal gear for lazy behaviour and dandyish lounging. Despite their 24-hour openings, Cardiff’s Tesco store recently outlawed pajama shopping. It’s interesting that pajamas were never developed as attire especially for sleeping. They can be pretty effortless and elegant. I’d triple-dare them to eject me, red-eyed, from the instant noodle section in that kind of slumberland finery. Homer Simpson knew the score during Springfield’s first (and only) ‘Do What You Feel Festival’ sauntering down the street in dressing gown and novelty slippers—“This is great. I can finally look like I want and not get hassled by the man.” Damn right.