Whether you wear them to relax in, dance in or sleep in, Onesies are the ultimate in casual clothing. We’re all looking at our old pyjamas and lounge pants with shame; repulsed that we ever thought them worthy of covering our bodies. These one-piece wonders have become the number 1 on the market for both adults and children when it comes to wearing something both fun and comfortable. People are even venturing outside, kitted out in their best all-in-one, to do their shopping in Tesco, have a drink down the pub and even attend Onesie themed weddings. Oh yes, it’s happened. But where did this trend come from? Who was the first adult to brave a baby grow? What IS a Onesie?
Back in the 19th century, Union suits were the Onesies of the American Dream. Originating in the United States, this innovative one-piece garment (complete with rear flap!) was an alternative to the constricting underwear of the time. The suit was then adapted into long johns, splitting the one-piece into two. Like long johns, pyjamas have also been around for centuries, first hitting the shores of the United Kingdom in the 17th century. With both sides of the Atlantic looking to develop loungewear, the beginnings of the Onesie were born.
From pyjamas to politics, with Winston Churchill inventing his very own 1940’s Onesie. Battling with the stress and worry of a World War was tough on old Churchill, and he craved a garment he could work in comfortably. After being photographed in his ‘Siren Suit‘, Churchill’s Onesie became popular with the public of war-time Britain. It was an easy outfit to wear to and from the air raid shelters. Who knew the trend would grow in to the animal suits, bright colours and mad patterns we see in Onesies today? If only Churchill had been a bit more creative, those air raid shelters could have been a lot less depressing!
The term itself, Onesie, was first coined by American childrenswear company, Gerber. Their bodysuits for babies continue to rise in popularity and are a hit with parents across the globe. However, it wasn’t until three young, entrepreneurial Norwegians decided to create the ultimate in chill-out clothing that the all-in-one for adults was born. Founded in 2007, they combined sweat pants and hoodies to create the original OnePiece. This sparked off a massive trend in Scandinavia, which started to spread worldwide.
The Onesie first entered the United Kingdom through the novelty market. Hidden between the microwavable omelette makers, steam mops and slankets, the Onesie reigned supreme. It wasn’t long before it exploded into popular culture, being seen on hit TV shows like Girls and Scrubs, as well as fitting snugly on Family Guy’s Peter Griffin. Soon, the Onesie went celebrity. One Direction and Cheryl Cole represented the pop stars in public, Olympic diver Tom Daley traded his speedos in and even Brad Pitt and Kate Moss decided the Onesie was A-list appropriate. Justin Bieber’s bodyguard was seen in one, Miley was twerking in another and Macklemore was rapping about his! Following in the footsteps of Churchill, even Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has admitted to chilling out with the Lib Dems in a bright green version.
Bringing silliness and fun to the one-piece, animal themed Onesies have also been a hit with celebrities, adults and kids across the United Kingdom. Influenced by the Kigurumi costumes of Japan, cartoon characters, cute animals and even unicorns are making it big in the Onesie world. Whether you go up-market with a leopard print Kate Moss style or you just want to dress up like a frog, there’s no denying that Onesies are the best item of clothing to hit the market in years. With their comforting feel, snug fit and no-effort attitude, they’re perfect for hungover days, cosy nights in, chilling with your mates and dressing up your kids.
Way back in 1972, Geoffrey Hoyle wrote the book, 2010: Living in the Future. He predicted that everyone would wear a jumpsuit in the 21st century, no matter who they were, how old they were or where they came from. It seems his predictions were more like prophecies. Onesies really are the future and they’re here to stay!