During the lockdown, there is one less problem for many women. What to wear is not so important when you are at home. Therefore, the most popular clothing garment today is pyjamas.
The word pyjamas comes from Hindi and means leg garment. Pyjamas (harem pants) have been worn for centuries in India, Iran, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In European countries, a set of shirt and trousers of a simple straight cut was called pyjamas. In Europe, pyjamas became popular only in the second half of the 19th century, when they were launched into mass production. At that time, the traditions of Eastern culture became fashionable, from cooking to clothing. Pyjamas were worn only by men, for women it was considered frivolous.
Nevertheless, Paul Poiret began to produce pyjamas in his collections. The ladies found it difficult to resist the colourful silk pyjamas with embroidery, lace and sequins. Women wore comfortable pyjamas as nightwear during travelling.
Coco Chanel made a real pyjamas revolution when she began to walk in pyjamas along the promenades of Biarritz and Deauville. She completed her pyjamas with jackets, jumpers and a pearl necklace. This initially shocked the audience. Coco created stylish but at the same time practical pyjamas from fine Indian cotton, satin and silk.
After that pyjamas became to be not only for sleep. Women wore pyjamas during eating breakfast, hosting early guests and relaxing in resorts. The beach pantsuits were flamboyant. Ladies completed them with elegant short jackets and wide-brimmed hats.
The actress Audrey Tautou who played the great fashion designer Coco Chanel in Coco Before Chanel (Coco Avant Chanel, 2009) appeared in pyjamas in this film. The image of her in pyjamas is the official poster for the film.
In the 30s, actors began to popularize pyjamas.
In the film Shanghai Express (1932), Marlene Dietrich wears men's silk pyjamas with contrasting white trim. Fashion magazines at that time recommended wearing the same for elegant ladies during long trips.
After Claudette Colbert's appearance in men's pyjamas in It Happened One Night (1936), pyjamas became a must-have item in women's wardrobe. Claudette Colbert also wore pyjamas in The Palm Beach Story (1942).
In 1953, Audrey Hepburn also wore men's pyjamas in the film Roman holiday (1953).
In the 50s, an actress Lucille Ball often wore pyjamas in the popular American TV series I love Lucy (1951-1957).
In the 60s, pyjamas in cinema were worn by Brigitte Bardot in Private Life (Vie privée, 1962) and Sophia Loren in A Countess from Hong Kong (1967).
In the 60s, Irene Galitzine created the revolutionary palazzo pyjamas for women - an elegant ensemble of a blouse and narrow trousers from the same fabric and trim that became fashionable.
In the 70s, Yves Saint Laurent and Roy Halston added pyjama suits in their collections.
In recent years, pyjamas have a rebirth like a daytime outfit: designers include them in their collections, celebrities wear for informal evening events.