Community leaders in Shanghai are trying to break up the love affair of some city residents with walking outside in their pyjamas, state media reported Friday.
The Rixin neighbourhood committee in the city's northeast has begun a campaign to discourage residents' longstanding habit of wearing pyjamas out of their bedrooms and on the streets, the state-run Youth Daily reported.
"We're telling people not to wear pyjamas in the street because it looks very uncivilised," community official Guo Xilin was quoted as saying.
The Shanghainese habit of wearing pyjamas in public emerged alongside China's economic reforms over the past 30 years as it became a sign of prosperity, because it meant people did not sleep in tattered old clothes.
For a still visibly large number of Shanghainese, wearing pyjamas outside has become more a way of life than a fashion statement, and to outsiders, the phenomenon is part of the city's charm.
Guo, however, called pyjama-wearers "visual pollution" and a public embarrassment to the city.
But some residents still argue wearing pyjamas is perfectly acceptable.
"Pyjamas are also a type of clothes. It's comfortable, and it's no big deal since everyone wears them outside," a retiree surnamed Ge was quoted as saying.
Rixin's pyjama purge campaign is not the first of its kind. In the 1990s Shanghai officials put up signs and ran education campaigns to tell people not to stroll around in night gowns. The campaign's managers eventually gave up.