jam jam jammies, or, flannel becomes you

“I have about 100 pairs of pajamas. I like to see people dressed comfortably.” ~ Hugh Hefner

“The sky was the color of Edgar Allan Poe’s pajamas.” ~ Tom Robbins

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Wintry winds are howling, snow and ice rule the day. Fine weather for polar bears and Nanook of the North. But there’s no need to stand out there shivering and stressing over your New Year’s resolutions, or lack thereof. Come on in where it’s warm and cozy.

Vintage 1950’s Maxwell House ad from Christian Montone’s photostream.

Yes, we’re in our pajamas. It’s the official writer’s uniform, after all. Squeezing out those words in some kind of coherent order is hard work. Might as well be comfortable. And happy. And well fed. ☺ I don’t know about you, but I think better in flannel and fleece, and have been known to exceed earthly boundaries when polka dots, stripes, or glow-in-the-dark elements are involved.

 Illo from “Bedtime Stories” (Birn Brothers,Ltd.). Source: Heart felt.

The resident bears were threatening to hibernate (wonder where they got that idea?) — but I convinced them it would be much more fun to hang out, nosh on pizza, popcorn, salted nuts, cookies, and obscenely expensive chocolate, not to mention the requisite hot drinks: coffee, tea, cocoa, and steamy bowls of soup. Yes, Lord, let there be soup!

          photo by averagebetty.

Something about winter makes me want to laze by the fire, reread Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, watch “Gilmore Girls” reruns, write real letters on real stationery, and take some of those nebulous ideas simmering on the back burner, stir in a fresh batch of whimsy, and cook up some chewy stories. Something about winter also makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning — my soft flannel sheets with plaid trees on them really like me and want me to stay stay stay. When I stumble downstairs to breakfast, I can hear them calling, “Come back! Come back!”

But I have it on good authority that great works of literature have been created by those inclined to recline while writing. Mark Twain was famous for writing in bed. He even liked to greet visitors in his pajamas. Ernest Hemingway wrote in bed when he was suffering from insomnia. Voltaire often spent up to 16 hours a day in bed, scribbling madly. Edith Wharton? She once threw a tantrum because the bed in her hotel room didn’t face the light.

Vivian Leigh in “Anna Karenina” (1948). Source: mondas66.

French novelist Colette absolutely adored her bed — she made it into a raft, where she read, wrote, ate, made phone calls, and entertained guests. Those scandulous Parisians! And of course there was Truman Capote, who claimed to be a “completely horizontal author.” He wrote on yellow legal pads, with his stash of cigarettes, coffee, tea, sherry, and martinis handy.  First and second drafts were done in longhand, and then he balanced his typewriter on his knees, still in bed or on a couch, for subsequent drafts. I imagine he owned a nice smoking jacket or two.

Truman Capote photographed by Arnold Newman

So, whether your “writing uniform” consists of flannel pjs, a wispy peignoir, yoga pants, sweatpants, footed jammies, a granny gown, a terrycloth bathrobe, a Manchester United jersey, a ratty sweater, Scooby Doo boxers, pink babydolls, a one-size-fits-all owly nightshirt, or your birthday suit (hee) — I hope you’ll join us here at alphabet soup for our Winter Pajama Party. We’ll be serving up lots of warming food, fun and gossipy socially redeeming commentary, tasty reviews, pub day celebrations, alphabetica, recipes, culinary tidbits, poetry, random musings, a couple more restaurant adventures, and hopefully we’ll chat with a special guest or two. January is *wait for it* National Soup Month and National Hot Tea Month! Eeee! Let’s sip, slurp and splash! And, I’m getting ready to launch yet another just-for-fun series of posts called “Just Listed.”

  Paulette Goddard in “The Torch” (1950). 

Winter doesn’t have to be cold and barren. A new year with its fresh challenges doesn’t have to seem daunting. Let’s inspire each other to take each day as it comes, express gratitude for what we have, and like Maira Kalman said in her final “In Pursuit of Happiness” blog, SAVOR THE MOMENT (and celebrate with a lovely lemon layer cake).

In our pajamas, of course.

Note: In deference to the one typing these posts, “pajama” will henceforth be pronounced “pah-jay-mah.” Toodle-oo! ☺

All Pajama Party posts can be found here.


“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.” ~ Groucho Marx

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

27 thoughts on “jam jam jammies, or, flannel becomes you

  1. What a cozy post! I’m reading it in my jammies right now! (my blue zebra striped ones…with a sweatshirt over it) My writing attire varies from jeans to yoga pants, but once in a while when I’m writing late at night, I get cozy in my pj’s and sit on the couch and write!


  2. Love Capote’s pudgy little legs! I am writing this in my winter uniform of flannel pa-jay-ma pants and a sweatshirt. People in my neighborhood think this is all I wear. I favor Nick and Nora from Target, just to let you know I have a *little* style! Great post!


  3. I’m in my flannel PJ pants all the time, too. So soft! I haven’t seen Nick and Nora yet; you’re way ahead of me on the fashion front!
    P.S. I suppose Winchester is the “cat’s pajamas.” 😀


  4. Well, I don’t do much writing in bed (there always seems to be someone else’s book waiting to be READ!), but I’m a big fan of the pajamas, sweats, etc writing gear. Also, I believe that baggy jeans have their place!


  5. Target carries Nick and Nora pjs–they are retro prints, poodles and sock monkeys, etc. Winchester is bothering me a LOT this morning. He’s been after lunch since 10 a.m. Lunch!


  6. My husband tends to stay in his lounge pants (which double as his PJs) and a t-shirt/sweatshirt (as weather dictates) any waking moment he’s at home, unless we have visitors or something, and sometimes not even then. 😛
    The girls likewise love being allowed to change into their PJs early (I don’t always allow it depending on how messy dinner is – might as well get the regular clothes dirty, THEN change into jammies). Ahhhh… cozy comfort.


  7. I tend to stay in my street clothes out of laziness, but I do sometimes change into a soft fleece lounge set (just got it!) or my flannel jammies in the evening. 🙂


  8. Leggins’ and one of my granddads old oxford cloth shirts. That’s my favorite uniform but I’m also gonna admit flat out that I’ve written in the bath before. And I’m famously barefoot all the time. Honestly, it’s a very good thing I didn’t grow up to be a trial lawyer.


  9. LOL! I never understood how people could read in the bath, let alone write. There’s the whole water gets cold too quickly issue, plus pages getting wet. The oxford shirt sounds perfect!


  10. PaJamas
    Loved today’s entry, very cozy, warm, nostalgic and friendly — sitting in my double-layer sweats-and-jeans and cozy old Christmas sweatshirt. Brrr, but the sun’s coming through the window. ~~ Lois


  11. Re: PaJamas
    Hi Lois!
    Hope you had a nice holiday. Where would we be without sweats? The sun’s shining in my windows, too, but it’s still pretty chilly. It’s only January, and I’m already tired of being cold all the time.


  12. What a comfy post! I LOVE my jammies, especially on a cold winter night.
    Now you’ve made me want to watch some reruns of Gilmore Girls. I love that show.
    Becky Ramsey


  13. I do love the weather-y excuse to stay indoors cooking and reading and writing. Plus, as a bonus, when I do venture outside, I feel extra-good about it, because it was a challenge. The end of March is when winter really starts to get to me. (Spring for us is a late-April thing. Sometimes late-May. Depends on the year.)


  14. Oh, what a lovely party, Jama! Where else would I discover that it’s the month of both soup and hot tea (officially!) — *and* hear literary gossip about Capote and Wharton?
    I’ve got my fuzzy scarlet cape wrapped around me as I type. That’s as close to jammies as I can get while not actually wearing a robe!


  15. Bathrobes are the unjammies
    These pictures are great writing prompts. They have me itching to write stories about pjs, nightgowns and bathrobes. Wonderful collection! I’m not a jammie person myself, but I generally write best in my soft, fleecy, dark chocolate, ankle-length robe. I wear it until noon if I’m home, then change into something a little closer fitting until mid-evening when it’s back to the robe. Cozy comfort.


  16. Re: Bathrobes are the unjammies
    Welcome to the party!
    Ankle length robes are so haute couture! When you described it as “dark chocolate” I swooned. 🙂 Who could ask for more?


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