Tag Archives: pajamas

Why I Wear Plaid Flannel to Work

If you guessed that I’m a lumberjack, you’re wrong.

Photo by Kelly

I am a writer, editor, and proofreader, and I work at home. In my pajamas.

It’s great. My commute to work is from upstairs in the bed to downstairs at my desk. I have a coffee maker in my study and a box of cold cereal under my desk. That takes care of everything from breakfast to my mid-morning break. Lunch is only a kitchen away and the sofa is in the next room for TV watching. Then voilà, I’m all ready for bed again.

Of course, there are other choices than plaid flannel, but I like to stick with the basics. (And, hey, lumberjacks can be beefy and hunky and… stop that, Janet, get back to work! Try to think of Sheldon Cooper instead.)

Personally, I buy men’s flannel pajamas, as women’s have the curse of all women’s clothing – no pockets. At least men’s pajamas have a pocket or two where I can stash my cell phone or a snack for later. And I like my pajamas loose and comfortable. If you can’t be comfortable, there’s no sense in working in your pajamas.

In the summer, I prefer nighties that are basically long t-shirts for comfort and clever sayings and graphics (I ❤ My Bed, It’s Meow or Never, a kitten in an astronaut helmet). Or plain men’s big-n-tall t-shirts, again because of the comfort and the pocket.

It’s true that my study is on the first floor, and has a window that faces the street. Fortunately, there is a strategic shrub in front of it and a set of blinds so that I can keep my pajama-clad work habits to myself. But I live on a little-traveled cul-de-sac and my neighbors already think I’m weird, so it’s really not that much of a problem.

Another problem I don’t have is business meetings. Most are handled by telephone conference calls, so there’s no problem there. But even if I must Skype, all I have to do is keep a respectable top in my study (and not allow the cats to sit on it). No one will ever notice – or even see – my pajama-clad legs. (Or bare legs in the summer.) It gives me a nice rebel feeling too, like I’m getting away with something, which of course I am.

On-site business meetings are something I can well do without. Suit or dress, pantyhose (if anyone still wears those), shoes (instead of fuzzy slippers, part of my usual ensemble), coiffed ‘do (did I mention I can have bedhead or at most a simple ponytail at work?).

To tell the truth, I’ve even worked in my underwear on really hot summer days. You can conduct a phone interview in your delicates (especially if you have plaid panties) with no one the wiser (except maybe the neighbors, see above). Just imagine you have a suit on; people can hear it in your voice. They really can.

Of course, there is one drawback to working at home in your pajamas – cats. Besides sitting on your one respectable blouse, they may try to sit on your lap, keyboard, or papers; or nuzzle your screen; or try to capture your mouse. You can shut the door if you have one, but that will only lead to a lot of meowing, hissing, squabbles, and thumps. (What happens if you have kids, I don’t know. Probably more meowing, hissing, squabbles, and thumps. Plus the kids are likely to want to go to school in their pajamas, citing parental precedent.)

By the way, men can join the work-from-home-in-your-pajamas club too, but since I wear men’s pjs, I think it only fair that they wear women’s.


This post was inspired by a comment thread in the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop (EBWW) attendees Facebook page.


The Pajama Game (Without Doris Day)

I’ve never been one for frilly lingerie. Lace itches. Rayon makes me break out. Satin spots if you drool. Cat claws make pulls in silk. And I don’t really see the point in nightwear that you put on with the intention of ripping off moments later.

Let me tell you about flannel.(1) Flannel is my friend. When I was in my late teens, my mother found a pattern for a nightgown that I just adored. Very simple. It covered everything, right down to the ground. It was perfect.

I asked her to make me one in every color of flannel she could find. Pale solid yellow. Blue and red paisley. Camouflage. My father wanted to know if I would like to buy some more fashionable pajamas before I went off to the college dorms. To his everlasting amusement, I replied, “I’ve got my flannel nightgowns.”(2)

I’ve gone through phases in nightwear – au naturel to undies and a t-shirt and now to real, authentic things one is supposed to sleep in.

In the winter this means I’m back to my old favorite flannel – not floor-length nightgowns this time, but “Sheldon pajamas.”(3) Two-piece pajama sets of plaid flannel. Although Sheldon would freak out. I don’t have the matching robe and slippers for each set and I sometimes mismatch tops and bottoms. Shopping tip: Men’s pjs usually cost less than women’s, so I guess technically you could say I cross-dress between the sheets. Not that anyone ever has.

But spring is here (though you wouldn’t know it to look out the windows), so away with the Sheldon flannels and back to the stores for nightshirts. I don’t want ones with risqué sayings(4) or Pokemon characters or ones that look like hospital johnnies, only with a backside(5). This limits my choices.

Once again I head to the men’s department to find XXXL Big & Tall men’s t-shirts. Now I have Captain America and Batman(6) nightshirts, and this new favorite:


I also have a CPAP mask, a neat accessory for this nightshirt at least, because it makes my breathing sound like Darth Vader. I am a veritable bedtime fashionista.

Except I sleep with my mouth open, which makes me drool. And one of my medications also makes me drool. A lot.

Good thing I’m not sleeping with anyone I’m trying to impress.

(1) Super bonus points if you get this reference.
(2) Whenever he told this story – and it was often – he delivered the final line in a drawn-out Beverly Hillbillies-style drawl. It peeved me, but I never said so. Until now.
(3) A TBBT reference, as my initial-happy friends would put it.
(4) I was permanently scarred as a young teen when my mother bought me Garfield underpants that said “I feel frisky.” I was mortally afraid I’d get hit by a bus and the ER personnel would have a field day.
(5) Unless it’s made of that soft, brushed cotton that feels like the spring version of flannel. Okay, I bought one. It even has a pocket, if very inconveniently placed.
(6) Why are comic book characters acceptable, but not Pokemon or, say, Care Bears? I actually like Batman and Captain America and am not embarrassed to be seen in them. By my husband, I mean. And anyone who looks in my study window, I guess. Yes, I spend 90 percent of my life in pajamas. That’s the joy of working at home. The pajamas, not the peepers.