Susannah Frankel: The challenges of the all-in-one are many and mysterious

Ready to wear

Pity poor Anne Hathaway (oh, all right then, you don't have to), who, according to news reports, is having, like, a major body-image crisis.

The problem is not quite so representative of Everywoman as it might at first seem. You see, in her role as Catwoman for the soon-to-be-released The Dark Knight Rises, she has to wear a (no prizes for guessing...) catsuit. "It was a psychological terrorist," she said of the offending outfit. "Thoughts of my suit, changing my life so I would fit into that suit... It dominated my year. I went to the gym for 10 months and didn't come out." The words "drama" and "queen" spring to mind, which is apposite at least.

As it happens, I've had my own issues with an all-in-one recently – it's not skin-tight, though, so to my mind it's not really a catsuit. Instead, it's a boned all-in-one which I've hardly ever worn, not least because it takes a minimum of two people to dress me in it, which is an interestingly retro concept but something of a challenge on a practical level.

"You look like you're going abseiling," says one member of my family (male, 12) and it's not clear whether this is a good or a bad thing. "Is that a onesie?" wonders his friend. I think that might just be bad.

I love the idea of wearing just the one piece of clothing and having done with it. If I was maybe 2ft taller I'd seriously consider taking out a mortgage to invest in a black crepe Celine all-in-one, as worn by Stella Tennant, who we all could be forgiven for wanting to be. If, meanwhile, I was a pop star, I would wear a skin-tight Pam Hogg catsuit, gleaming with panels of gold, black and scarlet. In that instance, I would think I was Siouxsie Sioux, which I could happily live with.

I would never, though, wear a onesie. Paris Hilton, One Direction, Tinky Winky (or is the latter technically just naked?)... Whatever, none of these is really representative of a look I was ever knowingly aiming for, although the good news is that no fitness frenzy would be required.

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