While many people throw on old t-shirts and sweatpants for their nightwear, the clothing of choice for the sophisticated and practical sleeper is the pajama set. 

An eastern import, the Bengali pyjama or Persian payjameh came to the western world by way of the British Empire, in the early nineteenth century. In the hot climate of India, matching sets of airy tops and loose, drawstring trousers were a practical necessity and stylish pairing. The clothing was basic and ubiquitous, with its name literally translating to “leg garment”.

Intrigued by their comfort and simplicity, the British soon adopted the style as lounge attire. Later, in the Victorian period, the style became more closely associated with slumber. 

Formal by nature, pajamas consist of paired jacket and trousers in soft, breathable fabrics. Aspiring to comfort above all else, the style pairs down the look of a traditional jacket: a wide collar frees the neck of constraint and uncuffed, not defined sleeves allow ample body movement. PJ jackets typically include one or more pockets for practical storage.

Today’s night suits range in style, but whether you call them PJs, jim jams, or jammies, they remain the most elegant fashion choice for your nighttime Zzzzs.