Men in low-slung jeans who reveal lunar expanses of hairy buttocks when they bend over are about a thousand times worse than any old crumpled PJs, while heaving cleavage on women, bare chests on men and hairy toes on display in open sandals by both sexes are enough to make anyone upchuck their Tesco Finest Cookies.

 

However, there is something about pyjamas in public that engenders real fury in others. We have been here before.

 

Six years ago, a branch of Tesco in Cardiff banned shoppers in pyjamas from their store. They also insisted that ‘footwear’ had to be worn at all times, which suggests barefoot savages brawling over the special offers on baked beans, before hobbling home with their booty.

 

And last year a head teacher in Darlington asked parents (she meant mothers) not to do the school-run in their nightwear. She wanted the slummy mummies, as they have become known, to dress properly so they set a decent example to pupils — and, of course, their own children.

 

No felicitations, either, for the lady scuffling down the pet food aisle in her balding slippers, nor for her pal in the velour dressing gown and fluffy bed hair who is perusing the booze shelves and wondering if it is too early to have a refreshing bottle of max-strength cider. (Correct answer — no, never.)

 

Yes, 2017 has barely got off the ground, but already the bananas in pyjamas have poked their heads above the duvet parapet and are back to outrage Nude A Line Strapless La Femme 17474 Long Prom Dresses Embellishments Bust.

 

A furious Tesco shopper in Greater Manchester has demanded that people (he means women) wearing pyjamas should be banned from his local branch.

 

Chris Cooke took photographs of the offending shoppers and called them ‘bloody disgusting’. He went on to post the pictures on the Tesco Facebook page, demanding that a dress code should be enforced.

 

When you think about it, it’s not the actual pyjamas as items of clothing that cause offence — most of them pictured as evidence this week are modest and cosy. It is what they represent when worn in a public place; what they mean when sported in a communal area, rather than a private home.

 

Which is basically that the wearer couldn’t be bothered to get washed, dressed, flossed, brushed, groomed and ready to face the excitements of the world.

 

Happy New Year to one and all — except you! Yes, you in the pyjamas, rummaging through the fishcakes section of the supermarket freezer. How very dare you.

 

The supermarket giant, he fumed, should launch an official policy not to serve people who are inappropriately dressed — but who is to decide what is and is not acceptable attire in your local Tesco?

 

It means a lack of respect — for herself and for those who encounter her at the tills. And while I think this might be slovenly, it is not disgusting.

 

In fact, it is rather sad that there are women whose ambitions are so stunted and whose expectations of the day ahead are so low that they can’t be bothered to climb out of their onesies, put on a clean pair of pants and drag a comb through their hair.

 

People go wild about such behaviour because we are, after all, a nation built on dress codes and protocol.

We might not wear white gloves at the opera, twinsets for tea or spats and hats any more, but the legacy is everywhere; a cloak of custom, etiquette and good manners that still puts the starch in British public life.

 

War medals only worn on the left breast by the person upon whom they were conferred. Jacket and tie required. Lounge suits, please. Cocktail dresses, tweeds for the country, no denim or trainers, smart casual if you must.

 

Even on a chic invitation, ‘come as you are’ rarely means what it says.

 

However, I am not regularly doing a full weekly shop at 7pm in my nightie and slippers. Mostly because going to the supermarket at that time actually constitutes an exciting night out for me.

 

So yes, I feel a bit sad for these women, but if they really can’t be bothered to get dressed, why don’t they shop online and get their groceries delivered?

 

What is depressing is the dead-end torpor and the lack of personal pride that prompts their pyjama shopping safaris. Looking clean and smart costs nothing — except a little effort.

 

But do we really need to impose a dress code in a supermarket? Be honest, which of us now and again wouldn’t come under suspicion by the style council lurking behind the cold meats counter?

 

Yes, Your Honour, there have been times on a winter morn when I’ve pulled on boots and a winter coat over my PJs and nipped out for a pint of milk. Lock me up! There are Saturday mornings en-route to my threading appointments when I look like a dishevelled wild boar. Throw away the key!

 

I’d hate to see a dress code in Tesco, but if they don’t buck up their ideas, that day is coming.