Are Onesies Cool?

FREYA BERRY explores the growing craze of the onesie.

babies childhood freya berry Iron Man onesie Primark pyjamas Revs scrubs university

VOTE in a fancy dress special of Fit College.

Sometimes, to brighten the exciting life I lead, I like to put an ‘ey’ sound at the end of my words. Thus, fork becomes ‘forky’, supervisors becomes ‘supeys’, and pregnant becomes ‘pregnanty’ (I haven’t had an opportunity to use that one yet). This has the effect of injecting a delicious ray of childish sunshine into my otherwise wonderfully grown-up and erudite life. Never let it be said that I am not a cool kid.

You will, therefore, understand my excitement at a particular episode of Scrubs two years ago. The episode involved JD being rudely awakened by a distraught Dr Cox, and dragged to a bar whilst sporting a onesie – an all-in-one pyjama suit, and the clothing equivalent of crawling inside an enormous squirrel and settling in to nest. Faced with an enormous bar bill and an increasingly peevish barman, JD uttered the immortal excuse: ‘I left my wallet in my other onesie.’ They’ll never catch on, I thought.

Illustrations by Amy Jeffs

Fast-forward to last December. There I was: sporting a fierce set of tartan pyjamas, throwing some pretty powerful shapes at a Rev’s Pyjama Club night, feeling strangely underdressed. I was surrounded by a tiger, a soldier, a bunny, and a cow. My onesie-fied friends seemed completely unfazed that they were wearing an outfit hitherto only modelled by dribbly babies and fictional medics. I have never taken sartorial advice from either of these categories (except when Elliott cut her hair short and looked totally fit whilst somehow working a middle parting – something I tried in vain to emulate until I realised that I am a resolutely tea-drinking Brit, meaning I will never possess ‘bangs’).

I freely admit that sometimes I miss home whilst at university – if one takes the fridge and Sky Plus as kind of metonyms for home – but should I take the Freudian route and spend my days being permanently hugged by warm animal-themed fleece? Is the onesie essentially a return to the nest? The exclusive onesie website pertinently asks me: ‘Why should babies have all the fun?’ Ne’er were truer words spoke. I might even start putting the food from hall into a mixer so I too can enjoy pulverized mush three times a day. Yum.

Alternatively, and much less interestingly, the onesie is just another manifestation of the so-called irony that ‘scenesters’ have brought to the mass-market. You know, the ones who live by the ideal that one is supposed to look like an idiot (eye-roll). It’s like Noah and the Whale donning moustaches and little shorts, or Ellie Goulding singing like the three-year-old infant she isn’t, or the horribleness of every indie haircut ever. The ones who say: ‘Don’t take yourself so seriously, dude,’ and then tell you to stop laughing at their hair. This is all very well, but having run the gamut of style disasters from super-gluing pashminas to my neck, to convincing myself that those granddad jumpers that were 12 sizes too big actually made me look skinnier, I’m less inclined to dip my toe into these proverbial waters.

I still don’t actually own a onesie (I figure mainly because I act like a child often enough already), but seeing one in Primark, artfully hung so the blood of the factory children doesn’t show, has the same effect on me as I imagine babies do on other people. I start going all gooey, cooing, and fondling it tenderly in a ‘should-I-steal-this?’ kind of way. If that’s the kind of behaviour it can have on me from a distance, imagine what the darn thing would do if I put it on.

For the moment, I don’t need any more infantilising. I’ll stick with my jammies, thank you very much.