What do 'pajama jeans' say about Americans?

From sweatpants to the Snuggie to footed pajamas, does America really need another piece of clothing to keep it warm while lazing around the house?

Yes, according to the makers of PajamaJeans, which almost seems like a hoax Saturday Night Live commercial on its Web site. A pajama seller calls them "Pajamas to live in. Jeans to sleep in."

The recession must make people willing to spend $40 on a blanket or pair of sweats with pockets to lounge around in, and now these soft blue jeans make going outside in public a comfortable alternative.

I guess if you're unemployed and heading out for a quick stop at the grocery store for some milk for your dinner of cereal, then I can see how going to the trouble of putting on some pants can be asking too much.

But do we really need sweatpants that look like jeans but are really pajamas? Is America that lazy? Or stupid enough to spend $40 on them?

The company throws in a T-shirt for the $40, so maybe that makes it a deal. The Web site describes them as having "high contrast stitching, brass rivets and an unbeatable fit" and that they're made of "dormisoft fabric (95% cotton, 5% spandex) that doesn't tug or bind" but "is as soft as cotton."

I understand that velour sweatpants can be an expensive, yet comfortable, fashion statement. But $40 pajamas to wear outside is crazy.

If America is used to the slept-in look in public, the British aren't accepting it. A supermarket in Wales has banned customers from wearing pajamas and nightwear in the store. Jeans and sweatpants were so far still allowed, but not nightwear.

As a Videogum blogger put it in a bit more sassy language, nothing says "I'm an idiot who can't deal with even the most mundane of day-to-day adult responsibility like a pair of jeans that are secretly pajamas."

Exactly. If you can't get out of your pajamas to go out of the house, and have to buy pajamas that look like jeans, then don't leave the house.

Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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