Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sartorial

I still favour my trademark purple shellsuit trousers but have to say that pyjamas are coming a close second, and it is only a pity that one can’t go out in them. I was given a splendid pair of polka dot pyjamas for Christmas, but the ones I really feel connected to (it does take time, I find, to build a proper relationship with clothes) are my red and white flannel ones with tinsel threaded into the weave. I bought them at Peacocks in a post-Christmas sale, so they were reduced from £8 to £4, in other words cheap and fun, and I didn’t think (though I should perhaps have guessed) that one day they would occuply a significant place in the Signs sartorial repertoire.

I bought them in order to go on a cinema outing organised by a friend who was conducting an Artist’s Way group. We were to go dressed in pyjamas, preferably bringing a teddy bear with us. This was to give us connection with the inner child. Are you still here? So there I was in the car park at the back of the cinema somewhere in darkest east Sussex. I spotted one other person from the group looking miserable. He said he felt ridiculous and embarrassed, even though all he wore was loose jogging bottoms, and he had no teddy bear. I linked arms with him, which made it worse. He didn’t want to be seen with me in that get-up. We joined the others in a burger bar. They were dressed in their PJs and ordering chips and cola, but I sensed that nobody was feeling as comfortable in their clothes as I was. Years of practice I suppose, pyjama days having been a way of life for some years since getting M.E. It seemed a small step to go outside in them. The small teddy bear (a gift from my daughter) in my top pocket added a slightly delinquent touch and made me think of Courtney Love gone off the rails after the death of Kurt Cobain.

The film we saw was called Confetti. We ate popcorn, we laughed in the right places, it was good to have something other than ourselves to focus on. At the end we bustled out of the cinema looking like a group of people who had come dressed in pyjamas. The embarrassed one needn’t have been, no-one paid us any attention. I am not sure that anything changed in terms of the relationship with my inner child (it is actually my inner adult who is elusive), but the pyjamas became my preferred leisurewear. When I grow old I will not necessarily always be wearing purple.

16 comments:

Kahless said...

lol!

I wonder what the other people around watching you were thinking...

ermmmm...!

I always buy Mrs K a pair of 'fun' PJs every christmas. A kind of tradition.

I just googled the meaning of purple...

"Purple is royalty. A mysterious color, purple is associated with both nobility and spirituality. The opposites of hot red and cool blue combine to create this intriguing color. "

Digitalesse said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. I remember coming home from a punk gig - in my youth during the first wave of *real* punk - and walking behind a guy who was wearing his dad's old stripey pyjamas with a welly boot on one foot and a sandshoe on the other. If I remember correctly, possibly a school blazer as a jacket. Kurt was also fond of his pyjamas, and there was also Johnny Fingers of the Boomtown Rats, so there is quite an interesting lineage of pyjama-wearing, punk-inspired sartorial inelegance.

Zhoen said...

Sounds wonderful. I too am very happy in PJs. But then, I work all day in scrubs, which are just uniform pyjamas.

Reading the Signs said...

The thing is Kahless, that I don't think anyone particularly noticed. Or were profoundly uninterested, for which I couldn't blame them. I mean other peoples' "zaniness" can be a right pain in the arse.

Well purple is obviously right for me. On second thoughts, I should wear more of it.

Digi, I didn't know that about Kurt, or Johnny Fingers. This does please me no end, because the last thing one wants people to think is, oh there goes a sad old git who couldn't be bothered to get dressed. As if.

Zhoen, I haven't heard the word "scrubs" before. I could do with another word for PJs, just saying.

north said...

not neccessarily always but methinks on a regular basis. Shine on dear on

Anna MR said...

As we both know, PJ-ing the Signs - or should it maybe be Reading the Scrubs? Whatever. As we both know, I have as my final tasty morsel of reconnoissance material a p**ture of your spl*ndid p*lka d*ts. Have a mind to post it up as a sister post to this, but felt it better just to check with you first. This comment thread felt a suitably private place to have the final yea or nay.

I think a red hat which doesn't go would go beautifully with the jim-jams, too. Just saying.

x

Reading the Signs said...

Will do, Sister North.

Igloo Girl, if it's what I think it is (is it?), then yes, please be my guest. Well you were my guest and I would be your guest, or a bit of me would. You weren't thinking of a full frontal expose, were you? I thought not.

Digitalesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Digitalesse said...

Here are a couple of links to pics those pj loving celebs

http://tinyurl.com/ak2rhc

http://tinyurl.com/b65tne

Reading the Signs said...

Digi, thank you - I particularly like the Johnny Fingers one. My kind of style, that. Well we were born around the same kind of time.

Miss Natz said...

I would have loved to have seen that! I live in East Sussex and live in my pyjamas when not at work (Long Tall Sally polka dot ones to be precise) and would love to go out in them just to see what people think/say.

Reading the Signs said...

Hi Miss Natz - well you can always give it a try but the chances are (as happened with us) that no-one will actually notice. Or if they do, they will be too polite to show it.

Good to find another member of the PJ tribe.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Ha, a group of us writers, who linger in our jammies all day in bed with the notebook or at the pc are thinking of starting a nightwear as daywear club. A sloth in pjs will be our mascot! I'm all for jammies at any time of day - or night!

Reading the Signs said...

Can I be a kind of ex-officio member, Vanilla? And just this once I'll forgo my Groucho Marx position of not wanting to belong to a club that accepts me as a member.

(and psst - if you want to get a glimpse of my smartest pair, take a look at Anna Mr's recent blog post)

nmj said...

This made me think of some kind of Dogme film...

Reading the Signs said...

I can quite see that, NMJ. There is the possibility a dark sub text, isn't there?