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Back-to-school fashion that also works at bedtime


This season, back-to-school fashion will also work at bedtime.

The pajama shirt has been declared a teen must-have for fall, replacing the boyfriend shirt with what can only be described as a sartorial snoozer.

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Like their flannel counterparts, the tops boast a slightly oversize style, which may come as a welcome change to parents and teachers who battled last year’s unfortunate leggings-as-pants craze.

Still, it’s cringeworthy to think how kids will take advantage of the trend. Isn’t the pajama shirt just a gateway to flannel PJ pants and slippers in the classroom?
(Who are we kidding? Uggs are slippers and they rule school corridors from coast to coast.)

Mary Kate Steinmiller, senior fashion market editor at Teen Vogue, said the pajama blouse is about comfort, but stopped short of calling it disheveled.

“This doesn’t feel sloppy even though it’s a pajama because it has the more elevated fabric. The silk or sateen finish keeps it polished or fresh,” she said.

Born on the European runways (Celine, Louis Vuitton) last year, the pajama blouse moved to the contemporary market just in time for the school bell to ring. Brands from Quiksilver and Madewell to Equipment and Piamita sell a range of colors and patterns, from classic stripes to red lip prints.

“At first, girls are hesitant,” said Steinmiller. She advised adventurous young shoppers to pair the pajama top with jeans and flats. “That’s something girls are comfortable with.”

Slouchy shorts also make for good sleepwear synergy, but Steinmiller was adamant that boxier is better when it comes to the shirt itself.

“If it’s more tailored, it feels more like a blouse and that feels more grown up to girls,” she said.

Jill Radsken can be reached at
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