1 Piece/3 Ways: The Pajama Top

March 17th, 2014

As winter slowly comes to an end, it’s a great time to get creative with lightweight layers before rushing to polos and tees.

I’ve had this blackwatch flannel pajama top for a long time. I think it was a Christmas present from way back in the day. Then one day, as a side-project in design school, I took-in the sides, slimmed the sleeves and added back darts. Since then, I’ve been wearing it outside the house more than inside.

Here’s three ways to rethink your flannel pajama top.

    1. Pajama Cardigan


    It’s a soft flannel top, so naturally it doubles as a lightweight cardigan, with a cool camp collar.


    To avoid the “collar on collar on collar” action that sometimes feels like alot of neck, I went with a band collar shirt. It’s a great shirt to have in your rotation as a base layer.


    • Clear frame sunglasses by Vintage
    • Light blue cotton trench by Burberry Prorsum
    • Blackwatch plaid flannel pajama top by Polo Ralph Lauren
    • White striped band collar pullover shirt by Club Monaco
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Grey Hopsack Trousers
    • Black Loafers by Amsterdam Shoe Co.

    2. Pajama Shirt


    It’s a casual flannel shirt, essentially. Just more comfortable.

    Try wearing it as one.


    Simple, comfortable, slightly unexpected.


    • Tortoise and silver sunglasses by Matsuda
    • Navy wool cardigan by Uniqlo
    • Blackwatch plaid flannel pajama top by Polo Ralph Lauren
    • White denim jeans by Helmut Lang
    • Brown suede boots by Massimo Dutti

    3. Pajama Jacket


    On mild days, it’s also the perfect lightweight jacket.


    More casual than a blazer and, oddly, looks dressier than a cardigan? Perhaps because of the collar? Or the formal associations with the blackwatch pattern?


    • Grey tortoise shades by Matsuda
    • Light grey shirt by Hugo Boss
    • Navy knit tie by Ralph Lauren Black Label
    • Blackwatch plaid flannel pajama top by Polo Ralph Lauren
    • Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label
    • Grey flannel suit trousers
    • Brown suede wingtips by JCrew


    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style


    Photography by Alex Crawford 

    • Michael Wesely

      One of my favorite articles to date. Really makes me want to go thrifting and see what I can find to work something like this into my spring style. You continue to amaze me, Dan. Keep up the good work.

    • Desmond

      Top shelf. Creative dressing at its best

    • TO

      Love it! Posts like this help me keep an open mind and expand my creativity when I am shopping in thrift/vintage stores… Thought you sold that trench on the TSB shop?

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        We’re all about keeping minds open.

        …couldn’t let ‘er go TO.

    • AJ

      I would love a How-To feature on making a band collar shirt from an existing collared shirt. I’m guessing it’d help with page views too, as there is a scarcity of decent how-to’s, something I discovered with Google.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        We got a whole new series of How-Tos coming your way soon. I’ll ad this to the list of topics. Cheers!

    • Jorge B.

      Jesus, my mind was honestly blown here. Posts like this, where you do some of the most innovative and creative things with clothing that I’ve never even imagined were possible, are the reason I have stayed a reader of this site. Never a dull moment, there’s always something to draw from each new post. Thanks Dan, please keep pushing the menswear boundaries.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Jorge. That was a very nice comment. It’s always a balance between innovative content to “push the boundaries” and useful/relatable content that is relevant to a wider demographic… Cheers mate.

    • Changingman

      Blackwatch is my all time favorite color/pattern. Although I dont think I would do this with pajamas, I can use your outfit color combos for when I come across a blackwatch jacket or blazer. Hmm, a blackwatch peacoat would be awesome!

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Exactly. This is how the site is meant to be used: “I wouldn’t necessarily copy that, but I can put my own spin on it”. Thanks for reading Changingman.

    • http://www.lucidlingo.com.au/ Gazman

      Hey Dan, I keep reading about hopsack material on this site but when I ask around here (Sydney, Aust) all I get are puzzled looks. Is there another name for it? Is fresco the same thing?

      • http://www.tsbmen.com/ Westley Dimagiba

        They might be confused bc “hopsack” is the way the material is woven.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Wes is right. In this case the trousers are 100% wool, but “hopsack” describes the texture and the manner in which the wool is loosely woven. Try something like “breathable, basket-weaved wool”…or better yet, browse a fabric shop for a free swatch to carry around with you in place of a proper definition.


    • John B

      Blackwatch plaid is definitely underutilised. Great looks, especially look #1 and Wes’ look. That MB rugby is awesome.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        If that Rugby could talk…

        …it would probably say “wash me”

    • Randy

      Look #2 is killing it. Great post, as always.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Thx Randy!

    • Mike

      Hey Dan,
      I see a lot band collars in the outfits you guys wear (especially Wes). I’m having a hard time finding any. Is there a specific time of year they are usually offered and I have to snag them quickly when they come out?

      • WideEyesTWBlog

        Correct me if I’m wrong, as I have yet to do this, but I believe a tailor can remove the collar from any dress shirt and just leave the ‘band’?

        • Master Pee

          Yeah, but, honestly — if you already have a shirt that fits well — it’s much more efficient (fiscally and time-wise) to just cut the collar off on your own. It’s quite hard to ruin the collar, and they snip off easy with a bigger scissor.

          • http://www.tsbmen.com/ Westley Dimagiba


            • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

              Take the scissors to that collar and make it say UUUGGGHHHHH

              • http://tsbmen.com/ Alex Crawford

                Nana nana

          • WideEyesTWBlog

            Gotcha! Good to know…I might have a project on my hands now…

      • http://www.tsbmen.com/ Westley Dimagiba

        I usually just cut the collar off shirts I don’t wear as often to bring new life to them.

        Although, I do have a few being made…

      • http://www.tsbmen.com/ Westley Dimagiba


    • MS

      LOL at Dan still trying to make the pajama top work. I love you, man! “You’re crazy for this one.”

      When I was in college I had leather slip-on slippers that I wore out of the house all of the time. Caught a lot of shit for it, but you gotta have fun with it sometimes.

      • http://www.tsbmen.com/ Westley Dimagiba

        Dan has this unique ability to make me, Towni & Alex think he’s crazy and next thing you know… everyone is doing the same thing.

        Not that he’s a genius or anything ;)

        • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

          They only call a man a “genius” in retrospect… I’ll live like a fool and die like a genius… At least I’ll be remembered for something.

    • Miguel

      That’s what I call a versatile piece, all three looks looked good, I was actually surprised then again, I’m always surprised by what you guys post, in a good way, lots of inspiration to try myself.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Best part is I can go from sleeping to out the door in 2 mins.

        Thanks for reading Miguel!

    • Tom

      Nice looks! What are the shoes in the Look #1?
      I think that for look #3, which is my favorite, the floppy collar of the flannel shirt make it look very similar to lapels, yet the material and completely deconstructed cut is very casual. So it looks like an odd (in a good way) transition piece that sits between a cardigan and casual blazer.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Just updated the clothing credits for look 1.

        Agreed. Call it the ultimate “deconstructed jacket”

        Thx for reading Tom!

    • Jeanscuffed

      Before I go to Look #2, I want to add that your clothing list of what your wearing isn’t there. I need to know where Look #1 shoes are lol.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        *clothing credits updated. Apologies – wrote this one on the road yesterday…

        Go ahead and bite. We keep the best secrets for ourselves ;)

        Cheers mate.

    • Mike J

      From the title, I assumed this was going to be ridiculous. Turns out I was very wrong. Nicely done, Dan.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Assumptions are the silent killers of creativity.

        • Andrew

          Oh snap! Menswear Philosophy 101

    • Daniel Barea

      Well I haven’t ever considered this, perhaps I haven’t came across the right fit. What I have done was wear polo pajama thermos out and about.

    • LouCaves

      Great looks and idea, Dan.

      I remember the blackwatch top from a previous post quite some time ago. Because of it I once wore pajama bottoms to a more-casual-than-normal Miami Beachi nightclub. No one was the wiser.

      Thanks, TSB.