I’m not entirely sure why I suddenly started craving new PJs last week. I suspect it’s something to do with navigating change and having a sense of freedom, bandwidth and flow.
My day to day clothing mostly consists of pyjamas, uniform and bike clothing. I tend to gravitate towards very specific items of clothing and then wear them often. It works well for me, but means I sometimes wear stuff out.
For whatever reason new Pjs felt like a good thing to do. Sorta kinda part of my ‘summer of adventure’.
I find fun clothing to be joyful. This post is too document what I’ve been trying and to share an autistic perspective on what works for me and why.
I generally find adult clothing to be a bit… boring. I don’t want to wear ‘autumn’ colours all day. Dreary colours makes for a dreary Jamie.
I find bright, fun and colourful clothing to be joyful and positive. Wearing something fun helps me to feel bouncy and cheerful.
It’s something I’ve been increasingly more open about in the past year. If someone if going to judge me based on my choice of Pjs. Then they are probably going to judge me on something else anyway.
I have the autonomy to buy the things I like and I shouldn’t let the expected judgement of others drive those decisions.
Mostly I’ve been buying PJs from the kids section. Either from John Lewis or Marks and Spencer.
The John Lewis Pjs are a long time favourite. I started wearing them often about 12 years ago and wrote a review of them 7 years ago (!).
I’ve gone for a Dinosaurs and space theme. These are some of the nicest Cotten texture Pjs I have ever tried. The only downside is the sizing, they only go up to size 12.
I’m fairly small and the bottoms are just about a perfect fit, but the tops can be quite snug. The snugness can be a feature. They give me lots of cosy feedback and have a nice sensory feel. But it’s also a bit annoying sometimes. Some pairs are just a tiny bit too tight. It’s a bit hit and miss.
The Marks and Spencer long and short pjs are another favourite. I have them in many different fun prints… dinosaurs, space, gaming, skateboards etc.
They are much more elastic than the John Lewis PJs. They give a sort of ‘close’ feel without feeling tight. The material is fairly light and the short sets are super comfortable in the summer.
The M&S Short PJs work well for hospitals trips as they are comfy and warm, but also easy to take on and off.
Another type of PJ I really like is pop button onesies. They are like T-shirts but they have poppers so they don’t come loose.
The Pjs above are great, but the gap between the top and bottom can be a big sensory issue. I’m not always sensitive to it… but when I am it can have a massive negative impact on my sleep.
A onesie sorta solves this issue. I often wear a onesie under other Pjs or over the outside of shorts.
During the day they also act as a good base layer.
My favourite onesies are from a company called ‘onesies down under’. They have a nice snugs elastic feel which I really like. The poppers are also strong and easy to do up.
The poppers are not as easy to undo…. Which is quite useful.
One of the things I’ve always done from time to time is strip off in my sleep. Something annoys me and without fully waking up I kick of all my clothing. As I’m not fully awake I’m barely aware of it. Mostly it means I wake up cold a few hours later and have to go find whatever clothing I kicked off and get dressed again.
As if happens while I am half asleep the poppers on the onesies are enough to prevent it. It’s why I often wear shorts under the onesie so they won’t get kicked off too.
Something we’ve also explored in the past is locking clothing. These are items which use buttons and hard to reach zips to prevent the wearer from removing them.
I am not a huge fan of these being used by parents on non consenting children. Locking clothing is a huge breach of bodily autonomy. Moreover it can be counter productive if there’s any underlying sensory issue at play.
However as something I am choosing to use it’s a little different. When the night stripping is really persistent we used to use a ‘keeper sleeper’ from the US. It worked well but was always a bit to warm.
A few days ago I found a UK company called SpecialKids.company who make back zipping jumpsuits. I’ve not had it long but I am already impressed. I can’t reach the zip up the back so we haven’t needed the locking function. We tried it out of curiosity and I found I could get the buttons undone… but then I couldn’t get the zip down.
I suspect this will be used much like the sleeper. My half asleep brain definitely won’t be able to get it off.
Clothing is a huge part of our lives. Having clothing which I like or helps me to sleep better is important to me.
By embracing my love for bright colourful and joyful clothing I can shape my mood. While it sounds a bit silly dressing in fun things really helps me to stay bouncy and cheerful. It’s one the tools I can use to make my day the day life easier and more joyful.