A Brief History:
We trace the roots of this sartorial trend back to the Meiji period (1868-1912), when Western clothing styles were first introduced to Japan. At the time, traditional Japanese clothing consisted of kimonos made from silk or other fine materials. Western-style clothing, on the other hand, was less formal and more comfortable. It became popular among the Japanese who were looking for a more casual option for everyday wear.
During the Meiji period, pajamas were first introduced to Japan through trade with China. They quickly caught on as a comfortable and convenient option for sleeping and lounging around the house. But it wasn't until the Showa period (1926-1989) that pajamas really entered the mainstream as daywear.
Pajamas as Daywear in Japanese Culture
In the early 20th century, the Japanese began working longer hours and had less time at home to change into different outfits throughout the day. Pajamas became popular as a way to save time by allowing people to sleep and get dressed in one fell swoop. Additionally, Western influences were becoming more prevalent in Japanese culture, and pajamas fit right in with this trend. By the mid-20th century, wearing pajamas in public had become so commonplace that it was no longer considered unusual or out of the ordinary.
One of the reasons Japan has been able to maintain its position in style trends is because of its unique approach to fashion. In Western cultures, fashion is often about making a statement or standing out from the crowd. In Japan, however, fashion is more about blending in and looking effortless. This focus on simplicity has allowed Japanese designers to create timeless pieces that never go out of style.
There's no doubt about it, Japan is a style powerhouse. Next time you're looking for some outfit inspiration, we'll be looking East.