Churchill had the right idea, sartorially


I know that it's all anybody is talking about this weekend, and that I should write about something else, but I just have to have my two pennies' worth in the ongoing national debate.

Yes, the "onesie" is now fashionable. It has been decided by whoever decides these things that it is now acceptable to wear these all-in-one zip-up outfits and not be immediately thrown into the Jimmy Savile camp by anybody spotting you in one.

Manchester United is now selling them (you know when Wayne Rooney is wearing something that it's going to fly off the shelves …). As a long-term "onesie" wearer (although I loathe the term "onesie", it's so twee) I should be thrilled, but I'm not. It used to be my particular quirk and now it's gone mainstream. It was like when I loved Alt-J and then they won the Mercury Prize and now it doesn't feel the same.

Firstly, let me clarify. I wear "all-in-ones" (as I prefer to call them) that are not patterned, not animal-striped, don't have feet, hoods, or ears. I don't wear them in an attempt to look cute, get in touch with my inner child or to attend swingers' parties. Nor do mine have weird Velcro flaps in places that are presumably meant to make both swingers' parties and ablutions easier.

Mine are black, functional and just about the most comfortable things I could ever wear. I first got one made because I was doing loads of long-haul flights, and I started to develop an intense loathing for the sleep suits that the airlines would hand out. I just couldn't get the thought of how many people had already worn my sleep suit before me out of my head. So, I had an all-in-one made for me and, once the lights in the cabin would go down I would sneak into the loo and get changed into it.

I was slightly worried about being spotted in it, since everybody now has a camera phone. So, I would have to sneak back into the loo in the morning to change back before everyone woke up. But then, I started to relax and feel less embarrassed, almost proud of my outfit. After a year or so I'd sometimes wander down to the bar and sit chatting to stewards as though my adult Babygro was the most normal thing in the world.

I am almost always in one when at home … in fact, I am wearing one while writing this. If I do have it on at home, it is a signal to the family that I am not planning to venture outdoors for the next 24 hours. I have to admit to still having a slight, inexplicable feeling of shame when a plumber comes round or someone drops in unexpectedly and I do sometimes hide in a cupboard at such moments, but I'm nearly out and proud.

After all, Winston Churchill used to relax in early versions of the "onesie". He wore curious all-in-one boiler suits that he liked to lounge around in while quaffing champagne, smoking a cigar and defeating the Nazis.

If it was good enough for Winnie, then it is certainly good enough for me. I've just ordered a new one for Christmas. It's monogrammed. Wayne Rooney, eat your heart out.

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