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Why Gen Z workers in China are embracing ‘gross pyjamas’ in offices

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NEW DELHI: In China, the younger workforce, dubbed Generation CoZy, is challenging conventional office attire norms by opting for “gross” pyjamas as their daily uniform.
According to the New York Post, professionals in Wuhan are increasingly seen sporting pyjamas during office hours to express a desire for comfort and individuality. This preference can be attributed to the younger workforce seeing little value in spending money on formal attire for work, especially when the tasks involve sitting at a desk.
This fashion rebellion has found a platform on Xiaohongshu, China’s counterpart to Instagram, where a thread dedicated to “gross outfits at work” has gained popularity.Participants proudly shared photos of themselves dressed in sandals and socks, sweatpants and sleepwear, challenging traditional notions of workplace attire.
The movement reached a peak when a user named Kendou S posted a viral video on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, showcasing her unconventional ensemble, including plaid pajama pants and a burlap-like sweater. Kendou recounted her boss’s disapproval, emphasizing the clash between her attire and the company’s desired image.
In China, where business attire tends to be conservative, the adoption of pajama chic represents more than just a fashion statement. It reflects a broader societal trend known as the “lying flat” movement, where younger professionals reject the intense work culture of previous generations in favor of a more relaxed lifestyle.
This countercultural shift is partly a response to concerns about slowing economic growth and limited job prospects, according to the New York Times. Gen Z workers aim to demonstrate that their clothing choices do not diminish their professional capabilities, challenging stereotypes about productivity and appearance in the workplace.
While unconventional, the embrace of pyjamas as office wear is not entirely unprecedented. It symbolizes a departure from rigid dress codes and a celebration of individual expression among China’s younger workforce.

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