In the 1950s, men’s sleepwear and loungewear become synonymous. Men’s sleeping pajama shirts could be tucked into pajama pants and voila! Now it’s loungewear. Tying a pajama shirt with a sash belt was another way to make sleepwear into loungewear.
While stripes had been classic patterns for a few decades, the 1950s went in all directions, adding two-tone combos, paisley, novelty prints, medallions, atomic graphics, checks, and plaid to the mix. Men’s pajamas were as diverse as men’s casual sportwear shirts.
These images highlight the popular styles of men’s 1950s sleepwear and loungewear.
The Classic Pajama
Two piece pajamas with notch collars, sport collars, mandarin collars, peak collars and more. All kinds of prints and patterns, solids and stripes. Robes coordinated, but didn’t match patterns.
Pajama tops (print) paired with plain colored pajama bottoms become lounge-jamas. Tops looked more like sport shirts with bigger collars and bigger, bolder, prints.
Pajama bottoms looked more like dress trousers with a tab-over waistband, leg pleat, and either straight cuff hem or elastic rib cuff.
The Knit Pajama
The knit pajamas (rib knit shirt) with woven cotton bottoms began in the 1930s. The 1950s added knit bottoms with rib knit cuffs, waistbands, and collars, renaming them ski-jamas for their resemblance to classic men’s ski suits.
The heavy rib knit sweatsuit was also sold as men’s winter pajamas and loungewear.
The matching family pajama trend took off in the late 1950s and Dad was a ready participant. Read more in this article.