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PJs, please – mumbai guide

Come as you are, but make an effort.” This message delivered to the nominees of the 72nd Emmy Awards was actually about their dress code. And they did live up to it with pyjamas. While Rachel Brosnahan slipped into a custom-made purple and navy night suit with husband Jason Ralph, Jameela Jamil oozed comfort sporting a sequinned dressing gown paired with white PJs.

With its etymological origins in Persian, the word “pyjama” was adopted into the English language and was introduced to Britain in the 17th century. However, it became a fashion statement much later, in the late 1920s. “While the nightdress tended to preserve its traditional qualities, the pyjamas, still somewhat of a novelty, encouraged many experimental forms,” notes Cecil Willett Cunnington in The History of Underclothes.

Rachel Brosnahan with husband Jason Ralph
Rachel Brosnahan with husband Jason Ralph

While the night suit isn’t the most popular in the Subcontinent, in the recent past, city-based stylist Kayal Parakh says, the garment has started gaining prominence as acceptable to wear in public since early 2019. And taking a leaf out of the Emmys, she states that PJs are versatile to work with. “There are no big ‘don’ts’ here,” she adds. So, if you wish to convert your jammies into formal wear, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Play with fabrics: “If you are new to wearing pyjamas, a silk set is a classic variant to invest in,” Parakh says. For a WFH look, you can pair your button-down with a well-fitted pair of jeans, and layer it with a blazer. For parties, match the blouse with a leather pant. If you want to wear the pyjama pants instead, swap the shirt with a cotton graphic tee or a cropped T-shirt for a fun mix.

Samira Wiley tune into the Emmys in their PJs. Pics/Instagram
Samira Wiley tune into the Emmys in their PJs. Pics/Instagram

Pick the right prints: Don’t wear a mix of two loud prints — if your top has a loud one, the print on your pant needs to be subtler. Short-statured people can choose vertical stripes to make them look taller. “In case you’re confused, small polkas are always the safest,” Parakh suggests.

Take care of the trim: The key to pulling off pyjamas as formal wear is to ensure the hem falls nicely. It needs to hit a little below the ankle so you look taller.

If you have a printed set, use the shirt as a blazer and roll up the ends of your pants for a more fitted look, like Parakh has styled Rhea Rawa
If you have a printed set, use the shirt as a blazer and roll up the ends of your pants for a more fitted look, like Parakh has styled Rhea Rawa

Keep the heels high: While you can keep jewellery minimal — think stackable rings — and your hair blow-dried, your formal look will be elevated (pun intended) only with heels. Keep them open-toe, though. The strappier, the better.

Kayal Parakh
Kayal Parakh

Where to shop

Dandelion offers a wide range of pyjamas including the classic notched collar option and shorts sets. They also have twinning sets for couples, mums and babies, and dads and babies.
Log on to dandeliondreams.co

With florals and flamingos, Label Kuhoo’s got you covered with cute prints.
Log on to labelkuhoo.com

Perch Sleepwear offers silhouettes to suit every taste — layered sleeves, wide-legged pants and a wraparound version, too.
Log on to perchlife.com

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