According to Wikipedia, the phrase, “the cat’s pajamas” was coined in the 1920s in reference to the unconventional spirit of the female flapper (“cat”) and, combined with the word pajamas (a relatively new fashion in the 1920s), it formed a phrase used to describe something (or someone) that is the best at what it does, thus making it highly sought after and desirable.”
When I look at the gorgeous pyjamas in Lindsey Cooper’s Rowan Charles’ collection, I’m transported, in a time - travelling frenzy, to the 1920s and 1930s. The ‘Bright Young Things’ of Evelyn Waugh’s novel, the decadence and romance of the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby, and the moody and atmospheric themes of novels like Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier are brought to mind. These stories, all set in the early part of the 20th Century, have vastly different plots but are all set in an era where clothes were for languishing in, fabrics were rich and luxurious in style, and ladies were elegant and feminine.
‘Pyjamas became the new lounge wear of the 1920s, no longer limited to actually sleeping in. In the 1920s and 1930s, these garments ... became not only acceptable, but a chic, stylish item for women to wear to soirees in the homes of their bohemian friends.’ (from gjeometry.com)
As a writer and actor I believe that clothes are so important when shaping a character. What a person wears reflects their personality and affects the way they walk, sit, stand and behave. When I’m writing a story I always have a picture in my mind of what each person looks like and what sort of style they have. Put a female character in satin pyjamas with a matching dressing gown and they become elegant, feminine, maybe a little self indulgent and chilled, perhaps waiting for some handsome Gatsby-esque gentleman caller to arrive.
So what I’m really trying to tell you is that wearing beautiful pyjamas will most certainly change the way you feel. No sooner do you slip into them but you will be laying back on your sofa on a Sunday morning, with a relaxing coffee, feeling like a film star. You’ll be languishing on your chaise longue (ok- maybe just in your head) through the afternoon, imagining you’re in a Noel Coward play, feeling just a little bit decadent and planning an early cocktail. You’ll be wandering from room to room in your satin loungewear as the sun goes down, with maybe a G&T in your hand (chin! chin!). All in all, you’ll be feeling just a little bit glamorous, which is very important in these times where no one is dressing up because there’s nowhere to go.
In short, we could all do with pampering ourselves with gorgeous loungewear, for a little dose of glamour. We all deserve to feel a little bit awesome sometimes, and when we do, well, it’s ‘the cat’s pyjamas’.
Linda Hampton is an actor and writer based in the North West of England. She is the published author of ‘Wish You Were Here Seaside Stories’ and ‘The Art Worms on Imagination Street’ (with illustrator Francis Charlton). Linda and Francis are working on the next four books in the series. Linda also runs creative writing courses online, writes for online arts and culture magazine, Blackpool Social Club, and is developing a solo theatre show that she hopes to be able to perform in late 2021.
You can find her on Facebook: