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I disagree with what you wear, but will defend your right to do so

There’s a new social trend in Belfast whereby women are dropping their children off to school still in their pajamas. This has got the local worthies of Belfast worried, and a little peeved.

In a bulletin to parents, Mr McGuinness wrote: “Over recent months the number of adults leaving children at school and collecting children from school dressed in pyjamas has risen considerably.

“While it is not my position to insist on what people wear, or don’t, I feel that arriving at the school in pyjamas is disrespectful to the school and a bad example is set to children.”

Women walking round Belfast estates in all-day pyjama gear is a phenomenon that has been well documented by Robin Livingstone, a columnist in the Andersonstown News, but until now it has been confined to the west of the city.

Mr Livingstone said that he first identified All Day Pyjama Syndrome (ADPS) in 2003. He knows a student at the Belfast Institute for Further and Higher Education who is writing a dissertation on the subject.

The women are colloquially known as “pyjama mamas” or “Millies”. Their pyjama ensembles are often complemented by large, gold hoop earrings known as “budgies” – because such cage birds could swing from them. They also sport “scrunchies” to create the “Turf Lodge facelift”, in which the hair is scraped so tightly to the back of the head that it pulls the facial skin taut.

There is even a dress hierarchy among those suffering from APDS: the wearing of silk-effect, baggy pyjamas with fluffy, mule-type slippers contrasts, for example, with the traditional dressing gown and hair rollers.

Bloggers, who of course are famous for working in their pajamas, should rally around the millies, and defend their right to drop off their offspring at school, no matter how unsightly it may appear.

First they came for the millies….

29 comments to I disagree with what you wear, but will defend your right to do so

  • Elijah


    What do these “pijamas” look like?

  • It’s not a pretty sight from all reports.

  • Bruce Hoult

    People in Belfast wear pyjamas??

    Ones young enough to have primary school-age kids?

  • guy herbert


    It is generally regarded as a socially conservative place compared with Britain. Maybe this is evidence.

    But we have a man on the spot… if he’s not at a space conference… Mr Amon, sir?

  • “disrespectful to the school”

    It’s long been a absurdity that people can anthropomorphise institutions like schools. How is one’s attire disrespectful to a school? I mean, will the classrooms start crying or the sports hall wander off in a bit of a huff.

    If we’re talking ‘meta-context’, the idea of anthropomorphised social institutions is in the same class as how ‘the State needs does X’ (which really means ‘somebody who’s salary is being paid for by holding the public to ransom is doing X’). They’re just schools and hospitals and train networks – they aren’t people or – gosh – ‘communities’.

  • michael farris

    First I was confused, are the children wearing pajamas or just their frowsy mothers?

    At first I thought the former, but I guess it’s the latter as I suppose a school could draft a no-pajama dress code easily enough.

    But really now. Who wants to go to bed in what they’ve been wearing all day? Or do they change every night just before going to bed?

    No accounting for taste and of course they have a right to do this, just as I have the right to assume that they are slovenly and unclean for doing so.

  • Tom, it can be just as easily understood that “the school” in this case means the people within it. I am with Mr McGuinness on this.

  • Nick M

    So wandering the streets in night-attire is “socially conservative”?

    Is it considered bad-form to wear orange ones in certain parts of town and vice-versa for green?

    Doley-chic. It’ll be on the catwalks of Milan next season…

  • RAB

    Heavens ! The sexual mores of other people’s societies eh?
    If the women are wearing the pajamas what on earth are their menfolk wearing??
    I havent seen a pair since I was 10.
    I had a very fetching electric blue pair. Indeed electric is many ways.
    The miracle product of the 60s was nylon, of which my jimjams were made. Unfortunately, so were my sheets.
    Every time I turned over in my sleep, I lit up half the street.

  • Well, are we talking flannel longjohns, shorty sleeping T’s, Victoria’s Secret?

    To steal a Farkism: This thread is worthless without pics

  • MFG

    This is not news. Women have been doing that here since the 70’s. My next door neighbour took her kids to school in this get up back then. Must be slow news day/week.

  • Alisa-McGuiness?Is that the same guy that used to be an IRA terrorist?That would be like supporting Arafat(blessings of the prophet be upon him) in a drive to make women wear the veil.
    As for me I’m on my fourth beer and wearing my underpants.
    The real tragedy is that if I want another beer, I have to put some clothes on. And buy it using precious money.
    Of course, I’m a Gold Star man rather than a Macabee.
    Awfully interesting programme on TV at the moment about the 1967 war; apparently if the Israelis hadn’t stopped by 6pm on the sixth day, the Soviets would have airlifted 2 airborne divisions to Syria.

  • Pietr, from the article Scott linked to: Joe McGuinness, principal of St Matthew’s primary in Short Strand, a Roman Catholic working-class enclave of East Belfast, was moved to action after seeing as many as 50 mothers arriving at the school gates in their nightwear. Is he the same guy you are referring to?

    It is interesting about 67. Who said that?

  • Sudha Shenoy

    ??? But ‘pajamas’ are all-day wear in India & the Middle East, where they started out. So what’s all the fuss about?

  • Vanya

    The children are wearing pajamas to school? And I had to wear a uniform.

    The writer needs to return to school, no matter what he wears.

  • Swede

    Hugh Hefner wears pajamas 24/7.

    I fail to see a downside.

  • RAB

    You should have gone to Specsavers!!!
    The sight of Hugh in his natural environment is a horrible enough thought,
    but coming down the street on his way to pick up his copy of The Daily Sport and half an ounce of Shag in his his slippers and Jimjams supported by a couple of zimmer Bunnies is more than mere mortal mind can bear!!!

  • Alisa, my bad, another McGuinness entirely.
    The guy on the TV was the actual commander of the assault on the Southern Golan.
    Apparently they did it with helicopters.
    They would have had to; I was at Givat Yo’Av for 6 months and saw what they were up against.

  • guy herbert

    Nick M,

    So wandering the streets in night-attire is “socially conservative”?

    No; the seriously-intended suppression thereof.

  • guy herbert

    … and of course wearing anything as old-fashioned as pyjamas.

  • Tanuki

    What are these “pyjamas” of which they speak? Some sort of bizarre last-millennium sleeping attire?

    Surely these days everyone-who-is-anybody sleeps nude?

  • fjfjfj

    I thought it was the children as well.

  • MFG

    Update- a mole on the Falls road says that the wearing of pajamas is a social statement along the lines of ” I can wear pajamas all day as I don’t have to work”. Ie on state benefits.

  • MarkE

    There are care homes locally where the residents spend pretty much all day in their pyjamas. If I saw someone in the street in PJs, I might wonder if they were a wanderer, escaped from their carers.

    I thought about taking the kids to school in my nightwear, but I sleep naked, so I’d be arrested for indecent exposure and put on the sex offenders’ register (If Mrs MarkE did the same she would be arrested for behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace, which would not result in her being registered – why is that?)

  • Jason

    One-sided reporting. They go to sleep in pinstripe suits.

  • James

    This reminds me of the currently accepted behavior of men and women (more of the latter) wearing those garish “flip flops” – aka shower shoes – in virtually all social situations. I daresay slob chic is everywhere these days.

    I recall a flap from one or two years ago when a collegiate womens’ athletic team visited the White House. Said team was taken to task over a group photo with Pres. Bush, where virtually all members of the team were noted to be wearing the aforementioned flops. Whilst somewhat surprised at and resigned to the fact that such behavior will occur, I was actually quite taken aback at the venom in the team’s response when they were rightly called to account for their slovenly appearance. How dare they make fun of our choice of footwear, they said!


    And have you noticed that a person’s behavior tends to mirror the degree of formality (or lack thereof) in their personal appearance? These days, I’ll just treat such people in the manner in which they have indicated (through their appearance and manners) that they deserve to be treated.

    James out.

  • Speaking of footwear: has the Crocs epidemic hit the UK yet?

  • Jason

    Having googled what ‘crocs’ are, the answer is yes, Alisa. One of my colleagues is wearing a pair as I type this. Beachwear in the office.

  • Damn. They are so addictive, they should be outlawed:-)

    Actually, originally it was intended as a boatwear.