Surveillance cameras didn’t catch the grocery store crime I committed last Saturday, but I still felt awful.
I shopped while wearing pajama pants.
Maybe my confession doesn’t faze you.
If that’s the case, you’re probably either a college student, a professional napper or a member of this column’s intended audience.
The onset of cold weather makes it easy to seek solace in a sea of flannel pants.
Decorated with playful prints and cartoon characters, these cheer-infused pants seem like the season’s most multi-purpose garment.
Except they’re not.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a refresher on pajama pant etiquette.
I, too, survived a phase in life when jeans and pajama pants were interchangeable.
This phase -- college -- also involved an erratic shower schedule and a blind willingness to drink cocktails mixed in plastic storage tubs. Translation? Not a reflection of real life.
You can’t wear pajama pants everywhere.
Sure, they promise warmth and comfort -- apparel traits that are perfectly acceptable, if you’re headed to bed in the next 10 minutes.
Flaunt your comfy pants in the supermarket, however, and you’ll immediately enter informality’s danger zone.
Sweatpants? Sure. Fleece apparel? OK. A velour tracksuit? Go ahead and wear it.
But pajama pants occupy their own level of fashion laziness.
Not only do they tell the world you’re lazy, but they also suggest you barely had the energy to make it out of bed this morning.
You’re not fresh off a workout or a trip to the tundra. You’re just some slacker who thinks the entire universe is your post-party brunch.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no proper way to “dress up” pajama pants. This advice specifically applies to women fond of tucking flannel wear into designer boots.
Accessorize as much as you’d like, but at the end of the day you’re still wearing something that doubles as a way to accommodate the gut-expanding aftermath of a dinner at Ryan’s.
When sported in public, the standard pajama pant carries massive social stigma. But yes, there is a way to make flannel even less flattering. Two words: rump graffiti.
We’ll all suffer moments of weakness this season.
Saying no to drawstrings takes willpower. I’ve vowed to keep it classy in the grocery store and resort to flannel only when I want to seem like one of “the kids.”
Either way, I won’t have to shave my legs for another two months.
And in a season filled with holiday cheer, that’s one of the greatest gifts of all.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org