in defence of onesies
A few years back I lived in Manchester in the north of England for eight months. I arrived in summer which meant that it was around the same temperature as winter in Brisbane. So naturally I whipped out the trench coats, thick stockings and beanies thinking that this was appropriate clothing for cold weather — apparently not. The Mancunians, or “skanky manky Mancs” as my friend dubbed them, were walking around in short shorts and sandals, oblivious to the cold I felt. Gradually summer turned to winter and the rest of the population came around to my way of thinking: it’s effing cold!
The heaters in my flat were left on 24/7. We turned to carbs for comfort and consequently gained extra layers of fat to insulate us. Outside my window the incessant Manchester rain froze in droplets on the glass, sealing my window shut and warning me to stay inside. They say every cloud has a silver lining. But the silver lining on the clouds that hung over Manchester just signaled more crappy weather to come.
And then salvation arrived! I had ventured outside to buy socks and I wandered into heaven (otherwise known as Primark). There isn’t really an Australian equivalent of this store; think Big W but cheaper. Anyway Primark sold everything. EVERYTHING. You could buy cutlery, underwear, formal dresses, toilet paper with Sudoku printed on it, gigantic bags of chips (or crisps I should say) and, most importantly, onesies.
Now onesies come in all shapes and sizes. There are bedtime onesies, the kind that look like baby’s jumpsuits, and there are daytime, or suitable-to-wear-in-public, onesies. The pyjama king Peter Alexander is currently selling fashionable bedtime onesies (oxymoron?). The onesies sold in Primark are of the giant baby’s jumpsuit variety. They are made out of a soft towel-like material and they cover everything except your head and hands. There are little grips on the soles of the feet to prevent you from slipping over and looking like an idiot…
I bought five: one for each member of my family. My dad and brother have bumble bee ones which are black with yellow stripes on the arms and a smiling bee on the breast pocket. My mum has a bright pink onesie with rubber ducks covering it and my little sister has a pale blue one with frogs on the sleeves. My onesie is dark blue with different coloured spots all over it. A family that wears onesies together, stays together.
The reason I am alive today and writing this blog is all due to my onesie. It saved me from freezing to death and helped me survive exam period. All my flatmates had onesies and we would wear them while we studied. Yes, sometimes we even wore them in public. Don’t judge! We weren’t alone. Most of the time I would change out of my onesie before going outside but there were plenty of people who didn’t bother (it’s college after all). When we went grocery shopping we would frequently run into groups of students wearing oneses, piling their trolleys high with £2 cider and frozen meals. Onesies on the buses and in the libraries were also a common sight.
Not only did my onesie save me from freezing to death, it also won me a bottle of cheap wine and the respect of thirty or so drunken backpackers. It was the night of Halloween. I was in Amsterdam with a group of fellow exchange students and on a whim we decided to go on a pub crawl. There would be prizes for the best individual costume, the best couples costume and the best group costume. None of us had had the foresight to bring costumes but thankfully we had all packed our onesies.
Now just close your eyes and imagine it. Better yet, imagine it in slow motion with some kickarse music in the background: five girls…wearing onesies…a little bit tipsy… striding through the streets of Amsterdam…
I don’t think I need to tell you who won for best group costume. It was a great night. I’ve never had so many people compliment my outfit.
In a nutshell: onesies are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Wearing one is like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a winter’s day or taking off your high-heels and walking barefoot in your pretty dress. It is liberating and uplifting. You will never know happiness until you’ve worn a onesie. And you will never know freedom until you’ve worn one in public.