Even the newest trends can have a historic origin; with this in mind, here’s a look at the history of one of the current most comfortable, if not rather odd, trends: the all in one:Throughout much of British history, nightwear was a luxury, something that only the rich could afford. Generally, people would either sleep in their day clothes or a simple smock undershirt which would only be washed every six months! It wasn’t until the 17th century that Britain was first introduced to pyjamas, following the return of British colonials.
By the 1930s, pyjamas were an essential to any man’s wardrobe, consisting of a loose trouser with tie waist and a night shirt. Infants also began to wear pajamas, though a problem was soon discovered as small children could too easily pull their clothes off during sleep. It was here that the first ‘onesie’ was created, combining the tops and trousers in one loose garment that prevented this issue. It wasn’t until the 1950s that it really became a popular and conventional way to clothe babies.
Earlier still there were references to adults wearing romper style garments. In ‘Post Captain’ by Patrick O’Brian, a novel set on a 1803 Royal Navy Frigate, there is reference to a ‘wool garment’ all-in-one that provides comfort with no restriction.
A onesie was even worn by Sir Winston Churchill at one stage. He asked his tailor to create him a ‘siren suit’ all-in-one, that he could work from comfortably throughout the night. The result was red and green jumpsuits which didn’t look far dissimilar to the jumpsuits of today’s youth – minus the obligatory hood which has become an essential for 21st century snuggling.
Though adult all-in-ones have been produced for decades, it wasn’t until the last few years that the popularity of a onesie as an adult garment really boomed. The internet lead this fashion trend to go viral, with quirky prints and animal onesie costumes spreading interest from America to the UK. American TV further popularized the design, with younger audiences finding the onesie springing up in Family Guy and Scrubs; put in the limelight further being worn by pop icons like One Direction.
One of the big debating point of the onesie is whether or not it should be worn in public. Whilst ultimately designed for at-home comfort, there are plenty who will brave their all-in-ones to the supermarket, the cinema or the pub. If asked whether the all in one is nightwear, the answer is definitely yes, though those who choose to wear it outside the bedroom may be suggesting otherwise. The question is will you be braving the great outdoors in your adult romper?
Onesies are now available in a wealth of designs for both men and women; they range from simple pattern pajama jumpsuits to full character design costume all-in-ones.
New Look are a retailer of value fashion apparel, the second largest women s wear retailer in the UK, with over 1,000 stores worldwide. New Look stock a brilliant range of all in one nightwear.