People always say that what you wear says a lot about who you are as a person, and it’s true: we choose our own clothes based off of personal preference and wear what we want to wear because it intrigues us and is interesting. Going on those terms, it is easy to see how someone’s personality can shine through in the outfit they have picked out. I know for myself that my mood can often come out in my clothing. If I’m feeling glamorous one day, I’ll bedeck myself in sparkles and an elegant dress, but if I’m grouchy and under the weather, you can expect an OOTD more along the lines of a soft, loose cotton shirt with free-moving yoga pants or a pair of dress down jeans.
Each morning we wake up in a mood, which likely influences our daily choice of what to wear. But what about at night? I mean, pajamas are an outfit too! What if there were a way to set ourselves up for a positive, productive, enjoyable next day by building a nighttime outfit that creates a mood as well?
Of course, as with any quirky thought such as that (which you close followers will soon learn I have many of), there’s a story behind it. The other night, I was wearing my pajamas, and a lady I know remarked on how hospitable I was looking. I was taken aback for a second, not really having expected that comment based on the clothes I was wearing to bed, but she added in that it was because of the pineapple print on my pants. Pineapples, she said, signify hospitality.
That intrigued me, and I actually went and looked it up on my computer. True to her word, pineapples are a traditional symbol of hospitality, dating back to the colonial era. In a quick history lesson, I’ll tell you that in Columbus’ era, pineapples were few and far between—a rarity because they came from the tropics and were difficult to trade for. Thus, to have a pineapple was an extreme privilege, and the utmost sign of hospitality was to bring one over to a host’s house when one was invited, so that it could be shared amongst all the individuals gathered. The delicacy also served a protective purpose, likely because of their rarity and prestige, and sailors would place a pineapple on their doormats outside in hopes of a safe return from sea. The fruit symbolized hospitality and warmheartedness, a treat reserved to bring smiles to the most deserving.
The fact that the pineapples on my pants were noticed is so unique and different, but it got me thinking about the idea that we do in a sense portray emotions visibly in what we wear, and how neat it would be to try and pinpoint certain moods to use to convey to others. In thinking about the pineapples on my current outfit, too, I began to feel more hospitable myself, and for the rest of the night I kept in the back of my mind that I was going to make it my goal to be kind and hospitable every time I put those pants on. Waking up the next morning, I would be able to be in a mindset where I know I had worked on conveying positive energy to others and myself…just with the pajamas that I was wearing!
So I’m pitching a challenge to any and all to be more conscious of how what we wear can create an energy for ourselves and others, especially at night when we’re about to unwind and are getting prepared to start fresh and new the next morning. I’m going to not only think about the famously-coined “OOTD” (Outfit Of The Day), but also my OOTN (Outfit Of The Night).
When I plan out my pajama sets for the next few weeks, they will be OOTN’s: just one more thing I can focus on in developing a positive energy around me and the environment I’m in. Thinking about my PJ’s (I have a lot), I wonder what else I can convey. My most recent ideas:
Star pants: Being a symbol of honor, achievement, and hope, I’ll throw these on when I have a big test and want to exude courage and accomplishment from my nighttime garb. They don’t say, “You’re a superstar!” when you succeed for nothing, and each time stars show up in my OOTN, I can tell myself that I will achieve something positive and productive. The pants tell me so.
Hibiscus pants: Immortality. Courage. Gentleness. Beauty. The hibiscus flower, too, runs deep in terms of its significance, especially culturally in the Pacific. I would wear my hibiscus pants when I want to bring myself into a calm, laid back mindset that truly builds up my strength with its calming and reassuring significance. I would make my nighttime a few small hours on the beach in the pacific, where worries can be discarded momentarily and I could focus on just the beauty of the present.
Cat pants: Because why not? Furry, loveable, and compassionate, the cat above all has historically been a sign of cleverness, intuition, and watchfulness. To feel secure and protected, or just to feel loved, I would put on these pants, hoping as well that they would make the other people around me think of security and protection as well. PLUS: Fun fact- Today, August 8th, is International Cat Day!!
Polka-dots: When I see polka dots, my immediate visceral reaction is that of happiness, bubbliness, and joy. To wear polka dots is to convey to yourself and others that you are confident, smiling, and spunky. They are a very inviting pattern, and I hope that wearing pajama pants with them printed on the fabric will make me smile as well, which could carry through to a sense of joy and child-like giddy contentment in the morning.
This list could go on forever (did I ever mention that I have a small obsession with printed pajamas?), but I’ll control myself for the moment and bring us back to the main point of this quirky, fun, and odd challenge.
When it comes down to it, as human beings we are biologically receptive and responsive. We have emotional responses and can very viscerally sense moods coming from all of the things around us, including, yes, our pajama pants. Taking this challenge is a means of tapping into that—into realizing that we can work to change our mood or convey a mood to others just by the awareness of an emotion, which we are constantly reminded of by an object such as the clothes we wear. An OOTN can hold us accountable to be the person we want to be, whether it is a hospitable, pineapple person, an achieving superstar, a blooming hibiscus, or an alive polka-dotted person. Plus, it’s fun!! Who doesn’t want to wear pajamas to bed that will change your attitude?? They’re cute, comfy, and inspirational! What else could one ask for?
Rebecca Stead says, “Pajamas are good for the soul.” Well, my pineapple pants and I couldn’t agree more.