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No Shoes, No Shirt, No Shopping

Not long since I went to the newsagent and bought a pack of cigarettes. For this brief excursion I wore trainers, socks, underwear, a T-shirt, combats and a hooded-top or clothes as they are normally called. It would appear though that actually getting dressed to go out is a dying art (and we are not talking suitable attire for the opera either)…

Elaine Carmody had chosen her “best ones” in which to do the shopping. But not even this was enough to prevent the mother of two from falling foul of the new dress code at a branch of Tesco in South Wales.

Bosses at the St Mellons store in Cardiff have banned customers from shopping in their pyjamas, after members of the public complained that the sight of people pushing trolleys in their nightwear made them feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.

St Mellons! Have I died and been re-incarnated as Sid James?

Those entering the store are now greeted by signs headed Tesco Dress Code Policy. “To avoid causing offence or embarrassment to others, we ask that our customers are appropriately dressed when visiting our store (footwear must be worn at all times and no nightwear is permitted),” the rules decree.

Footwear must be worn at all times. I mean I know we had a recession but…

Ms Carmody, 24, was one of the first to be escorted from the premises by a security guard yesterday, after choosing the comfortable option to “pop in for a pack of fags”.

Is it just me (and my clearly Victorian values) but why did I feel the need to put on proper clothes (and to have a shower) before going out to buy ciggy-wigs?

“I’ve got lovely pairs of pyjamas, with bears and penguins on them. I’ve worn my best ones today, just so I look tidy,” she said, unhappily. “He said it offends people. But I’ve never seen anyone offended. If you’re allowed to wear jogging bottoms, why aren’t you allowed to wear pyjamas in there, that’s what I don’t understand. It is ridiculous and stupid. I go in other shops in my pyjamas and they don’t say anything.

Dear Mother of God! Why the flying fuckulence would anyone want to be seen wearing pyjamas in public? I mean nothing against them per se – my wife wears them – but my wife wears them in the bedroom, not in the fucking fish aisle of Tesco. And no, love, they are not the same as jogging pants. Jogging pants at least imply some level of physical activity. I have to H/T the missus for this one and she (helpfully/sickfully) pointed out that wearing pyjamas to the supermarket probs means not wearing a bra and that means duggs a swingin’ and (I quote a woman here) “unfetterred minge” and my wife was very insistent that anyone with so little self-respect that they go shopping in their PJs would not be wearing a bra or knickers. It’s a horrible thought but you just know that Ms Carmody is composed primarily of duggulent substances. And it weren’t me that first brought-up the word “duggs” in this context.

But wait… It’s not just the Welsh…

It is not the first time that pyjamas have been banned in public. In May 2007 staff at a GPs’ practice in Ancoats, Greater Manchester, imposed a ban after patients started turning up for appointments in their bedwear. A doctor at the clinic said: “We’ve had complaints. It’s lazy.”

That’s just up the road from moi. Ancoats though is an utter shiteration of a gaff. It has a Currys. I shall give it that which is (to quote my gran) pretty much leaving it with nowt but it’s eyes to weep with.

Also in Belfast, the headmaster of St Matthew’s Primary, in the east of the city, sent a letter to parents asking them to dress properly on the school run after 50 mothers turned up at the school gates in pyjamas. Joe McGuinness said that it was “slovenly and rude”.

In 2008 a Dublin café erected a “no pyjamas” sign, and in 2006 the Gulf emirate of Ras al-Khaimah introduced a dress code to stop people wearing their nightwear to work.

It’s spreading… It’s got to Shanghai.

We is all buggered.

PS written at my wife’s computer whilst wearing very little…


  1. CountingCats says:

    Well, she is a free woman and quite entitled to wear whatsoever she wishes in public. Mr Tesco, on the other hand, is entitled to impose whatever dress rules he wishes on people who wish to enter his property.

  2. NickM says:

    I agree Cats. But would you want to date her?

    I’m not saying she has done anything wrong per-se. I’m not saying Tesco has either but… It’s like burkhas really. I can disaprove without wanting a er… blanket ban.

    It’s entirely circumstancial. You got a new client to meet? You don’t wear what you wear when you go down the beach to fly a kite. Standards should not be imposed but by the same token they shouldn’t need to be. That’s not arguing that they ought to be because the Daily Mail would be horrified and it would reduce house-prices more than a Somali moving in next door. It is merely observing that there are some right scumbaggers on our streets.

    I mean Christ almighty! I can dress myself, I can hold a door open, I can use cutlery. It’s called civilisation. If we are going to go to Tesco in our jim-jams then we might as well – as my Gran would have put it – go back to eating shit in the trees.

    I’m not talking fish knives and coffee spoons and how one passes the port here. Just basic decorum. And that means getting dressed before leaving the house.

  3. El Draque says:

    Curiously, in the Arab world – at least 30 years ago it was anyway – a sign of status to be seen wearing pyjamas. Only the wealthy would have them. More than once I visited an Arab family and one of the boys would sit to chat in PJs.
    Not the ladies of the house, though.
    Nowadays – well, with central heating they are less needed anyway. I haven’t owned a pair for decades.

  4. CIngram says:

    If your grandmother is still with us, do the world a favour and persuade her to blog.

  5. RAB says:

    There are two bits to St Mellons, most of it is quite posh, around the golf club, but there is a wacking great sink Council estate there too.

    What appears to be happening is that all the whiskey breath and crack meth mums crawl out of bed in their PJs of a morning, shlep the kids into the car for the school run, then go shopping in Tesco on the way home.

    If I were to appear in Tescos in my nightwear, I would not only be escorted to the door, but arrested. I have slept in the Nip since I was 10, when I flatly told my mum I wasn’t going to wear those goddam nylon PJs anymore! (they were all the rage back then). Together with the brushed nylon sheets, I could keep the National Grid topped up just turning over in bed.

    Nowt wrong with maintaining standards, is my take. Always dress appropriately for the situation I say.

  6. NickM says:

    Alas, Cingram that is not an option without the services of Derek Acorah. Alzheimer’s. An absolute bastard of a disease.

  7. NickM says:

    “There are two bits to St Mellons”

    RAB – is that an attempt at humour?

  8. RAB says:

    You know me Nick, I try to be funny even when fast asleep ;-)

    But despite growing up in Cardiff, the Sid James connotations of St Mellons never occured to me till you mentioned it. Magnifique Monsieur!

    It was always the place me and Uncle Charlie used to play golf is all.

  9. RAB says:

    Damn fine club by the way.
    You turn up there with your clubs in PJs and the Dress Code Committee wont show you to the door, they will bury you alive in the big bunker on the sixth.

  10. I’ve been complaining for the last 18 months or so that no-one in Wallsend bothers to get dressed anymore. Some lib-dem moron on any questions on friday evening said that they thought Tesco were being ‘authoritarian’, which makes me wonder if any of our politicians have ever read any books in their lives ever.

  11. CIngram says:

    Very sorry to hear that, Nick. A bastard indeed.

    RAB- you expect us to believe you can talk about the two bits of St Mellons without intending any double-entendre?

  12. RAB says:

    I’m a tricky bugger me, CIngram.
    Having grown up there, I genuinely hadn’t seen the joke until Nick mentioned it in his original piece.
    Touch of woods for the trees I guess.

    But once he had mentioned it, well say no more! ;-)

  13. Current says:

    The chavs do this in Ireland too.

    I understand that it originated in the US. Rich kids went places in their Pyjamas. It caught on and got written-up in gossip magazines. It spread from there as a sign of status. It’s hardly that anymore though.

  14. Bod says:

    The only people I see doing that kind of thing in NYC and Greenwich, CT, are the mentally disturbed.

    Rich, by middle-America standards, but I think the key point is that the people are barking mad.

  15. sam says:

    quite easy really, if you want to go shopping in pj’s put a burkha on top.

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