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Published May 01 2011

Swift: Sleepy jeans provide no cheer

I have worn Pajama Jeans and lived to tell about it.

I first noticed this latest “As Seen on TV” best-seller about six months ago.

As these commercials often do, this one made it look like Pajama Jeans would change my life.

Forget confining pants. Wearing street clothes with zippers and waistbands was so 1997. At last I’d found “pajamas you live in, jeans you can sleep in!”

I love the idea of jeans I can sleep in. In fact, I fall asleep in my clothes all the time while watching late-night TV. I imagined the thrill of dashing around town in my stylish, booty-hugging Pajama Jeans and then sinking into bed to sleep soundly in them.

The ad showed pert, fashionable young women sporting Pajama Jeans while they rushed off to the airport (presumably to model in the Irregular Denim Fashion Show in Milan). It showed a hot, young mom strutting her Pajama Jean-clad booty in the grocery store parking lot. (Wow! I bet she never has to carry her own groceries!)

It even showed an elegant, silver-bobbed matron curling up in her Pajama Jeans to read what could only be Tolstoy.

The TV ad also assured me that the magical pants had “high-contrast stitching” and “real brass rivets,” as if they had been designed by “some European designer.”

I wanted to wear clothes by some European designer. I wanted to read Tolstoy and strut across parking lots in my Kitten-Soft Jeans of Thermonuclear Hotness. I had to buy these jeans.

But I grew a bit concerned when the Pajama Jeans finally arrived in the mail. For one thing, they had a faux fly, but no zipper. Even worse, they closed with a drawstring.

And judging by the quality of the “high-contrast stitching,” the “European designer” who had made these jeans was working out of an abandoned slaughterhouse in Kazakhstan.

The “jeans” also had microscopic back pockets, which only emphasized the size of my rear. It was like sticking two postage stamps on the back of a manatee.

But the worst was the fabric. The ads cooed that Pajama Jeans contained a “proprietary blend of cotton and Spandex” and were lined with a soft miracle fabric called Dormasoft.

But the fabric looked and felt more like stiff sweatpant material than denim.

In fact, the Pajama Jeans reminded me of the horrible jeans Montgomery Ward used to make for plus-size women in the 1970s, which were manufactured out of some fabric called Denimex and sold under the label “You’re Pretty Too!”

Once I got past the weird sensation of shimmying into jeans that felt like rigid sweatpants, the Pajama Jeans were kind of comfortable.

But after my usually oblivious husband pronounced them “kind of odd looking,” I didn’t have the nerve to wear them out of the house. Especially after I’d worn them a few hours and they started to sag.

And, despite all this, they still didn’t feel as comfy as my yoga pants.

The verdict: The Pajama Jean has an identity crisis. This product manages to be too weird to wear in public, yet not soft enough to sleep in.

Sorry, Pajama Jeans.

I’m tossing you back into the shallow end of the jean pool.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525