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Pajamas at Work: Should Comfort Really Be King?

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Love, Frank has returned as a weekly style advice column. He tackles all the hard-hitting issues and addresses a different fashion glitch each week. Submit your own query here.


This is not okay, via Tumblr.

Dear Frank,

Sometimes, I have to leave my house at 6:30am to commute into the office early, and on those days I usually put on whatever feels the closest to pajamas. In the fall, that usually translates to some form of black leggings and an oversize sweater. In the morning I'm nice and cozy, but by lunchtime I feel like a sloppy version of the Kardashians. Can you recommend a look that would satisfy my morning craving to be swaddled by blankets, but keep it (somewhat) professional?

Sincerely,
Casual Friday

Dear Casual Friday,

Uh, maybe it's just me—but shouldn't you not expect to feel like you're wearing pajamas in public? Shouldn't general propriety keep you from leaving your house to go to your place of business in stretchy, swaddled nothing?

Yeah, it's early. And I like my bed as much as the next guy. But pull it together: If you feel sloppy because you know it is in fact absolutely sloppy—dress less sloppy.

I don't have much sympathy here. I don't wear sweatpants out of the house. I don't even really wear sweatpants in my house. Yes, the world has become a very casual place; and in a lot of ways that's great. Wearing gloves and ties and stockings to go to the post office sounds like a nightmare. But no-one should be commuting in giant knit everything. That is also a nightmare, at least for me. Because the public sphere is not always about comfort. It's about presentation and pride and, well, propriety (there's that word again).

This is why seeing shower shoes or yoga pants or girls in giant jersey knit sweater bags on the streets or in airports or at the grocery store just rubs me the wrong way. You don't need to be wearing Oscar de la Renta—but slippers are for home use. Let's not take Casual Everyday too far. Your street clothes can be machine washable; but they should not be something you would sleep in.


A classic blanket coat via Etsy.

I suppose if you're really unclear on how to actually not wear pajamas in public because you love being cozy too much I can suggest a blanket-style coat—the classics are by Hudson's Bay Company and are traditionally a winter white with four banded stripes nearer the hem in primary red, blue, and yellow and secondary green. They're warm and woolly and basically sewn from the brand's iconic banded blankets. Pendleton and Woolrich have their own versions; and last winter every fashion brand got into the game—Steven Alan had some great ones. While I don't expect to see quite so many on racks this year, there will be options.

If those are too much look, get a shearling.

And, seriously, give wovens a try. Dressing like someone who cares can be really satisfying.

Got a style question for Frank? Leave it in the comments or email one in here. Then buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, because it's going to be ? Something.
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