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Comfort or Style? PJs and Sweats

Back in January, a Wall Street Journal article brought to light what is apparently considered a pressing national issue: students wearing pajamas to school.

The piece mentioned aLouisianacommissioner’s proposed ordinance outlawing the wearing of pajamas in public and quoted him as saying, “The moral fiber inAmericais dwindling away. It’s pajamas today; what is it going to be tomorrow? Walking around in your underwear?”

Really, commissioner? The country’s going to hell in a laundry basket?

In a high school where grades weigh heavy on the mind, drama challenges friendships, and the future seems so very far away, there’s one thing I know I can rely on for comfort: my good ol’ American Eagle sweatpants.

Sure, I’m aware the economy is still in shambles and one in four American children goes to bed hungry every night, but I’m fairly certain these problems don’t stem from the fact that citizens are wearing pajamas in public. In fact, I think pajamas might very well be the solution to many of our problems—or at least the ones we face at Staples.

With zombie mantras like “I need some sleep,” and “I’m sooooo tired,” ever-ubiquitous in the Staples vernacular, throwing on jammies or sweats can be a game-changer in the morning. I’ll try anything that eases the a.m. grind, even if it’s getting an extra two precious minutes of shut-eye by throwing on some clean sweats rather than allocating valuable time to picking out the some schmancy fashion-forward outfit.

(Granted, I’m a guy, so the necessity to trend-set isn’t so important to me, but I at least make an effort to keep the fashion police at bay by abiding simple laws like not mixing plaid and stripes.)

For me, wearing sweats to school just makes the day go by more smoothly. Sure, you can get through a math test in any kind of clothing, but it’s exponentially more comfortable to square those roots in a pair of soft, worn-in sweats than in a pair of stiff, constricting jeans.

Interestingly, there seems to be a class-divide here at Staples when it comes to school attire.  

It’s become apparent in my three years at Staples that underclassmen earnestly aspire to dress for success, while most upperclassmen, like myself, wind up dressing   for stress—inevitably succumbing to the relentless pressures of standardized testing, AP classes and college preparation by taking a fashion-backward approach.

We dress like comfortable slobs.

A friend recently glimpsed my choice of slouchy attire and jokingly cautioned me not to violate the school dress policy. However, according to theStaplesHigh Schoolhandbook, “The school system requires that attire be safe, appropriate to the activity, and not distracting or disruptive of the educational program.”

C’mon, don’t sweats and pajamas comply with the dress policy even more so than the typical Staples attire? I find myself eminently more tuned in to a scintillating lecture on logarithmic functions in the comfort of sweats, so in the end I can rationalize that my casual  dress dramatically improves my capacity for learning. And that’s the whole raison d’etre of a high school student anyway, right?

So laugh as you will while I saunter the halls during passing time wearing sweatpants and a flannel shirt, surrounded by LF shoe-trotting freshman girls and suit-wearing game day jocks.


Wearing real clothes is overrated.

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Ben Reiser, Managing Editor

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