Nieka Style: Pajamas best worn in private

A co-worker had to run an errand at a local gas station the other day and witnessed three people wearing pajamas.

The first travesty involved a woman wearing Pepto-Bismol pink pajama pants and she thought to herself, “Is this really happening?” Seconds later, she was visually impaired when she saw not one, but two 20-something gentlemen in plaid pajama pants.

D'Nieka Hartsfield

D’Nieka Hartsfield

All three of these encounters happened at a time of day when most wouldn’t be caught dead sporting a pair of PJs.

This conversation sparked a question in the newsroom: “When is it acceptable to wear pajamas and/or house slippers out in public?”

Here’s what I’ve decided:

You may wear house slippers/pajama pants/full pajamas out of the house only when …

  • emptying the trash;
  • going to the convenience store/gas station during the early morning or late night;
  • going to change your clothing at a friend or family member’s house;
  • late-night run to grab ice cream for your pregnant spouse;
  • you are a student or teacher and it’s pajama day at school;
  • pulling up to a drive-thru window;
  • leaving a drive-thru window;
  • people cannot tell you’re wearing PJ’s.
  • you are under the age of 8.

Basically, anytime between the hours of 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. is OK when running a quick errand.

In reference to house slippers or shoes, rubber soles are always preferable.

You may not wear pajama attire when…

  • going to the gas station at lunchtime to get a burrito and my co-worker sees you and it makes her yawn and want to take a nap.

The best way to avoid any lapses in judgment on where to wear your PJ’s is simple: Wear them to bed.


D’Nieka Hartsfield writes for CMI Inc. Contact her at or find her on Facebook.