Pajamas & their potential impact on learning

Avatar of Madeleine Kelly
Entertainment Column

Does what you wear impact how you do in school, or simply how you perceive yourself? And more importantly, does it potentially affect your performance on tests or exams? Fashion at BHS features an interesting medley of style and inspiration: some people plan their outfits nights in advance while others simply throw on whatever’s clean. Neither is wrong because there is really no wrong way to dress. Berkeley High School is a school where no obvious dress code exists. This means that we have kids showing up on both ends of the formality spectrum. Some opt for suit jackets, al- though many stick to the tried and true basics of sweats and a tank top.

Many kids will choose pajamas as the school year progresses as their favorite basics to fall back on. It’s generally seen as a pretty smart choice by many students. It’s not hard to see why, especially considering how little time students have in the mornings and the superior comfort of this type of clothing. I looked into this phenomenon online to try to decipher if this was the norm at other schools, too. And to be honest, I was really surprised. I was met with countless articles authored by what seemed to be angry moms with too much time on their hands. They ranted about how distracting pajamas are in a classroom setting and how disrespectful they could be to a teacher.

From what I could find, there is no definite research that what you wear to school has any impact on your learning. However, there is research that says that what you wear to work could impact your performance. A study conducted by the professors at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that what kind of clothing you wear might affect your performance on tests, based on your associations to a certain form of clothing. The study took people wearing lab coats and some people not wearing them and conducted tests. The conclusion was that because lab coats were associated with attentiveness and carefulness, subjects were more likely to exhibit such values during testing. This led to the conclusion that the underlying meaning you might assign to your clothes might have an effect on how well you perform certain tasks. They called this “enclothed cognition.” How- ever, that study only included one test, which didn’t have that many similarities to what you would be tasked with doing in a school setting.

While clothes may potentially have an impact on how you perform, comfort levels — both physically and emotionally — are ultimately more important. So just do whatever feels right for you and understand that while people may have different opinions on the matter, there is no concrete proof that you should dress a certain way.