I’m visiting Beijing for a week and while I’m there, I’m hoping to get two or three pairs of pajamas made for me to take back home. I’m a really lean guy, and although pajamas are meant to fit a bit full, I’ve never been able to find a pair that didn’t make me look ridiculous. Which is why I’m hoping to find a tailor who will make them for me while I’m in China.
In my mind, the perfect pair of pajamas has a shirt with curved collar points, satin piped edges, and three patch pockets – two at the hips and one at the breast. The pants have a button fly and flat draw-cord waistband. The draw-cord should be in the same color as the satin piping. Silk wears a bit warm, so I think cotton is better. The colors should be like a man’s shirt, either light blue or white, and in a solid color or with simple Bengal stripes.
You see these kinds of pajamas worn by Cary Grant, Paul Newman, and Rock Hudson in many of the old, Hollywood classics. Jimmy Stewart, in fact, played a whole film wearing almost nothing but pajamas. And they all looked great. Sure maybe they’re not things you wear out to the world, but you’ll appreciate them while you’re at home, lounging around and reading a book, and that’s what counts.
To get something like this made in the US can be extremely expensive (around $500, depending on the fabric and tailor). If you’re lucky enough to not be shaped like a twig, you can get really nice pajamas from Brooks Brothers, J Press, O’Connell’s, and Derek Rose for a fraction of that cost. Custom made ones in the US are way too expensive for me, and off-the-rack versions don’t fit, so hopefully my pajama project in Beijing will pan out.