Sartorial Night/Day wear
April 3, 2010 4:02 PM   Subscribe

"In preparation for the 2010 World Expo opening in May in Shanghai, city officials have been busy making sure the metropolis and its inhabitants are presentable. The World Expo is a ‘Big Deal’; ... The government is determined to whip the city into shape, even if it stretches the very fabric of society, which in Shanghai happens to be … cotton and silk pajamas!"
posted by stratastar (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
damn, this makes me homesick for singapore suddenly.
posted by infini at 4:07 PM on April 3, 2010

The feet shots are excellent.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:15 PM on April 3, 2010

Shanghai officials have been rallying local community volunteers to chase down anyone wearing pajamas in the streets and give them a stern talking to. They argue that this sartorial habit make China look backwards.

I'm glad my high school principal is enjoying her new career with the Shanghai government.
posted by sallybrown at 4:27 PM on April 3, 2010 [5 favorites]

When in Shanghai for the first time, the initial impression of people in pajamas is "that's odd. After a day or two it grows on you and your reaction changes to "that's really cool, I'd like to do that."
posted by Xurando at 4:30 PM on April 3, 2010

Notice the nylon wearing by anyone who has anything resembling fancy sandals.
posted by stratastar at 4:41 PM on April 3, 2010

Britain has had its own spate of pyjama banning recently.
posted by knapah at 4:52 PM on April 3, 2010

I want to do that. Sounds so comfy.
posted by dilettante at 5:01 PM on April 3, 2010

I totally wore pajamas in high school (clean sets, not like I rolled out of bed and couldn't be bothered) and I would definitely do it again. They're comfy and you can find some really fun patterns.
posted by zorrine at 5:07 PM on April 3, 2010

Be proud of who you are, China.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:57 PM on April 3, 2010

It seems like they've been trying to ban strolling in pajamas in Shanghai for several years now. I always wonder how much of it is pressure from Beijing, given the historical rivalry between the two cities. It looks fun, and it's just what people in the city do (and it's not just a small group, it's the whole city) to relax. I guess it's a part of becoming a global city, cutting out anything that the population enjoys, and pruning any aspect of the city that makes it stand out.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:17 PM on April 3, 2010

which is odd, in a way, Ghidorah, as I've seen this habit and more often "sleeping attire" i.e. shorts and tshirts etc not just formal and obvious pajamas as regularly in singapore and kuala lumpur, both capital cities, albeit not as large as shanghai
posted by infini at 6:20 PM on April 3, 2010

I've heard about this. But to be honest, I've not seen any change in the PJ-wearing crowds around my place. I love the quilted ones you see on colder days.
posted by michswiss at 8:05 PM on April 3, 2010

wow, that's funny. although, "old school" Puerto Rico is kind of the same: the old ladies went to maket in "batas de casa" which were not nightgowns as much as "homekeeping gowns" and the old fogeys would hang around in their front porches or backyards in their boxers and "camisillas".
posted by liza at 8:09 PM on April 3, 2010

years & years ago at a thrift shop specializing in 'antique' clothes, i bought a dark blue shirt with white piping, and 3 big white buttons on the front. it wasn't actually silk--some kind of soft, shiny rayon blend, i believe--but it was cute as hell & felt like a million bucks. i took it up to the clerk & she looked at me a little quizzically. 'you know this is a pajama top, right?' she says. i didn't, but i pretended i did. i was secretly crushed. how could i wear pajamas out without looking like a complete idiot? so it hung in my closet for a few weeks until i screwed up the courage to wear it out to a bar one night with friends. paired that sucker with some jeans and a 1940s 6-way hat. it was smokin', and i was liberated! pajamas as evening wear! a breakthrough in my small-town, uptight upbringing.

looking at these pictures, though, all i see is pajamas. nothing spiffy, snappy ... couture. i guess as long as they're comfortable, that's what's important. politically, though, you'd think people would resist since the entire country was pretty much wearing pajamas under mao.
posted by msconduct at 6:38 AM on April 4, 2010

look at the cool vintage pajamas... always makes me think of ella fitzgerald singing 'cigarette holder' in a smoky bar with a feather boa and a satin bias cut gown...
posted by infini at 7:22 AM on April 4, 2010

msconduct, I'll make an effort to get some shots of spiffy PJs on the streets. I've seen some lovely sets.
posted by michswiss at 9:42 AM on April 4, 2010

Great photos. I like the guy in PJs carrying the LV bag.

The government attitude makes me sad, though. In their effort to modernize, they want to scrub the city clean of the things that give it character. I was in Beijing about a year before the 2008 Olympics and saw entire chunks of the city being turned into rubble. I stayed in a hutong and loved the noises, the smells, and the activity that started as soon as the sun rose. Construction and demolition was starting to eat away the edges of it, though. I know the city is preserving some of the hutongs, but I fear that they will eventually become Disney-ized versions, suitable for tourist dollars.
posted by Rora at 12:52 PM on April 4, 2010

These Chinese in their pajamas look much neater and more 'put together' than a lot of the people in American Wal-Marts.
posted by TooFewShoes at 1:51 PM on April 4, 2010

« Older Pathological Geomorphology   |   "My job was to make it look like Atari!" Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments