Monday 19 March 2018

My new husband hates my 'onesie', but I'll never give it up . . .

Celebs including Rihanna are fans of the Onesie.
Celebs including Rihanna are fans of the Onesie.

Chrissie Russell

Chrissie Russell is too comfy to care that her spouse is horrified by her sartorial choice

Last week, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was roundly mocked for his revelation that he owned a onesie.

But to anyone who's ever donned a onesie, the most shocking part of his admission was actually that he "possessed one but hadn't worn it yet".

Why on earth not?

It's only been a week since I bought my first onesie and I am already so comfortable in my new garb I'm not sure I'll ever wear real clothes again.

For anyone who has somehow by-passed the trend, a 'onesie' is an all-in-one garment for adults; a sort of giant romper suit.

Personally, I can't say enough good things about the myriad merits of my fleecy jumpsuit. I've already ordered a second, more garish number and am seriously considering investing in a novelty leopard print one with ears for whimsical days.

Essentially it's my ideal 'working from home' uniform – simple, utilitarian and needing no thought or accessories.

It's so toasty warm I can leave the heating off and save a few quid – probably to be spent on more onesies.

It's comfortable, nothing pinches, restricts or impedes. There is nothing pulling me into place (as seems the ambition of so many women's fashions); a onesie lets it all hang out.

Which is, of course, both the onesie's blessing and its curse because, for all that it is, the onesie is not sexy.

One has to suspect Mr Clegg's failure to don his romper suit is down to Mrs Clegg's censure because I can report from personal experience that my partner is not woo-ed by the sight of his spouse in a giant romper suit.

"My God, you look like a giant baby," came the horrified response from my own husband on first surveying me in my black fleecy onesie.

Since then, he has taken to looking at with a hostile gaze – and at a distance. I'm certain that he thinks it's a side of my life I kept secret from him only choosing to reveal it now, six weeks after our wedding day.

I fear he may be looking at our wedding photos, disconcerted at the disparity between the woman he married and the baggy romper suit he sees before him.

There are already three of us in the marriage – a onesie has come between us.

I can understand his horror. Shapeless, unisex and zipped from crotch to neck, it's impossible to imagine a garment that could scream 'no nookie for you' quite so clearly as a baggy jumpsuit.

But, frankly, I'm just too comfortable to care.

The onesie isn't about being sexy. It is the final descent, preceded by Uggs and Crocs, into a Dante's Inferno of lounge wear; the ultimate celebration of function over form.

According to many retailers, it was the 'must have' Christmas item last month.

In the UK, Debenhams reported selling its entire stock of 16,184 all-in-one adult romper suits a full month before Christmas, with the onesie's success contributing to the store's best ever Christmas period.

Unsurprisingly, celebrity wearers led the charge for the onesie catching on in 2012. One Direction wore them; Cheryl Cole had one on at the Eiffel tower; Rihanna's been out in one.

In one memorable episode of The X Factor, Louis Walsh donned one and even Brad Pitt was spotted in a black onesie – it must be OK if Brad Pitt's doing it, right?

But the real reasons the romper suit has come into vogue now go beyond celebrity endorsements.

Like the anti-It bag of 2011, the onesie is a backlash to fashion and years of corn-inducing high heels, budget- busting designer 'must haves' and body-con dresses.

It's practical and, with most onesies retailing around the €45 mark, it's a cheap alternative to central heating. It's a product of its time, 2013 recession-wear, an all-in-one austerity measure.

Style-wise it is the progression of the trend for sofa wear, started by the slanket – a blanket with arms – some years back.

Initially a catalogue item, all-in-one snuggle suits started being stocked by big retailers and – like jumpsuits and playsuits and gladiator sandals and a whole raft of fashions before it – soon evolved from 'I'd never wear that' to people buying them in droves.

There's also something psychologically comforting about a onesie. In keeping with the trend for nostalgia at the moment, wearing a fleecy baby-gro is like a hug – it's protection against the big, bad world out there.

In the 1930s, Winston Churchill was already championing the onesie – his red velvet romper suit now hangs on display in London's War Rooms.

But, interestingly, it's only in today's economic climate, general global gloom and need for comfort, that the look has caught on. This is the onesie's finest hour.

Unfortunately, along with failing to incite desire, the onesie also prevents the wearer from commanding respect.

They say in every relationship one is the parent and one is the child. But when one of the two is wearing a baby-gro it makes the division of power infinitely more clear.

My instructions for correctly loading and unloading the dishwasher, hanging out clothes and shopping have all fallen on deafer-than-usual ears since I became a onesie-wearing wife.

A romper suit does not exude authority, which is presumably why Churchill never wore his in Westminster.

I have, however, hit on a cunning plan. A male, charcoal grey adult onesie has been ordered on Amazon and is currently winging its way to our home.

I know as soon as Himself steps into its fleece-lined comfort, he'll be a convert and we'll be back on a level playing field.

That's all you have to do, Mr Clegg, if you want to wear yours too; it's the old "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" tactic. One would have thought he'd be familiar with that . . .

Irish Independent

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