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The generally agreed upon term for loungewear is apparel meant to be worn at home; relaxing by the TV or dozing in front of the fireplace – lounging! However for quite some time, hoodies, boxer shorts, pajama pants, etc. have been venturing into the great outdoors.

They’re routinely spotted in supermarkets, parks, high school and college campuses. It seems today’s youth have created a micro-trend by wearing pajamas and fuzzy slippers to class. Celebrities have been seen marching down red carpets flaunting designer silk pajamas accessorized with pumps and stylish clutches.

All this dressing down isn’t without merit. A few years ago, the American Council on Exercise commissioned a study to see if wearing casual clothing versus conventional business attire could affect physical activity on the job. The study, conducted by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, asked 53 professional men and women with an average age of 42 to wear pedometers two days a week—one day in traditional business wear and another day dressed in casual clothing—for a total of two weeks. The results were compelling… physical activity increased on the casual clothing days by eight percent, or an average of 491 more steps. This is equal to an additional 25 calories burned on those days.

Further calculations revealed that wearing casual clothing 50 weeks out of the year could result in burning 125 calories per week (6,250 calories per year), which is enough to offset the average yearly weight gain of normal aging adults.

When this study was published, people in health and human resource fields called the findings sufficient to declare casual clothing day part of a company’s overall wellness program. Clearly, all loungewear isn’t appropriate for the workplace – bathrobes and lingerie come to mind as definite no-can-dos. Perhaps now you will feel inclined to make logoed hoodies, polos and structured fleece jackets part of your corporate apparel program.

Now if we could only find a way to wear slippers to work, too!

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