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Pajamas as Outdoor Wear in Shanghai

Photographer Justin Guariglia has just published a book called Planet Shanghai, which captures the day-to-day life of the people of Shanghai, one of the largest cities in China.

An intriguing set of Justin's photos reveal a strange trend over there: wearing pajamas as outdoor wear. Here's more info from James Danziger's blog:

The prevalence of pyjamas, Guariglia explained to me, was due to both the extreme summer heat and the lack of plumbing. Most Shanghaians share outdoor communal toilets and thus the boundaries of what was considered one’s home have expanded past people’s houses to the public bathrooms. Once that relaxation of the dress code became acceptable (starting around the 1980s) the perimeter for p.j.-wear just kept expanding until many people were wearing them day in day out.

Link | Justin's book Planet Shanghai - via kottke


It's typical for Asian people to have "House Clothes". I never wear my street clothes at home when I am not expecting company. If there is a lay over where I will be home for more than an hour I always change into house clothes.
Having said that I would never go out further than my mailbox wearing them! I remember when I was little kid I would spot my Grandfather walking down the street in Orange County Ca. wearing boxers and a hanes shirt.. LOL. I told my mom to tell him those weren't shorts!
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I live in Hong Kong (as do a fair number of Neatorama readers) and some old folk go out in pyjamas and flip flops here too. The humidity is crazy so it makes sense practically, even if it is not a la mode. it is not uncommon for people to take their children out in pyjamas to eat dinner.
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This 'trend' has been popular in the more socially deprived areas of Glasgow (Scotland) for a while now. I think it's more down to the fact they cannot be bothered getting dressed though.
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Having lived all my life in Europe (in different countries), the idea of having "house-clothes" is totally common to me (at least in Germany, Spain and Finland - so really from north to south).
When US-American series and "casual type"-movies where shown first on TV in the 80s(showing the "normal" "average" life in the US), I was astounded to see that people seemingly wear their "outdoor"-clothes indoors and also their shoes! Even when getting comfortable on a sofa!
I guess people in Europe think, it is more tidy, if the "dirt" from the street stays outside - well, and most of the times we tend to dress more formally being on the street, so it is just uncomfortable to wear those clothes at home.
About wearing a pajama on the street: I remember that in the early 90s there was a trend among youngsters wearing old (satin)pajama-trousers outside...in Europe...
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I'm in Pakistan and my neighbor wears his pajamas as outdoor wear. He visits in these, goes out to eat with his family in his PJs too!

So comfort really is key!
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I don't know. When it's really humid, I prefer to wear smaller clothes (shorts, tank tops) and not cover up my body with full-length pajamas!

I'm still trying to get over the communal bathroom thing. I don't think I could live in Shanghai.
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I see it, maybe to a lesser extent in Denver. Sweats are fairly common for use as sleeping and outdoor clothes. Pajamas maybe not so much exactly though.
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