Onesies: When did that happen?

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Author: Noel Hemphill

Though I may be a third year college student at Occidental, I am considered a first year or “Fresher” here at the University of Sussex. As such, when I entered my dorm, a handy-dandy cloth tote with fun freebies and fliers was laid on my bed. While I quite frankly will probably never use a cloth tote outside of a gym, the packets of information on Brighton and the university were indispensable.

One of the things included in this package of goods was information about a deals website. Similar to Groupon, this is a website that runs daily deals for students on all sorts of things, from paintballing to accessories. Obviously, I jumped on registering for these deals, because I am a total sucker for a sale. Most of the time I just glance over the sale mail, seeing what is being sold cheaply and decide if I want it. Usually, I don’t, and nothing really strikes my fancy, but I get a thrill from knowing I could get a good price. However, one day, I opened a message that offered me a bargain price for a onesie. Curiosity piqued, I clicked on the selection of onesies, and found more prints and styles than I have ever seen in the States. I laughed these styles off, and figured people must really like ultra cozy pajamas during the damp, chilly winters England is known for.

I quickly learned that onesies were rarely thought of as just pajamas. They are worn everywhere, typically by guys, and are considered appropriate for all occasions. Grocery shopping is apparently best done in a puppy-eared brown onesie. Classes pass by in comfort in nordic print fleece and boots. I’ve even seen guys wear them in pubs and nightclubs. I am going to be honest: I admire the confidence that it takes to unabashedly wear a tailed onesie to a busy dance bar and talk up a girl. Perhaps even more so, I admire the girl who manages to stay straight faced while talking to a onesie-wearing guy.

I totally understand the motivation to wear a onesie around town. I once even convinced my sister to wear her leopard print one to pump gas during a brisk November evening in Minnesota. Onesies keep you insulated and warm, and in this crisp fall weather in Brighton, they seem like a great idea. However, I just can’t stop being a little shocked when I see yet another person wearing a onesie on a date or for running errands.

What confuses me most about this onesie trend is that it appears to be only college aged students wearing them. British children are super stylish, with elbow patches and corduroy pants tucked into neatly tied booties. I almost asked a little girl where she had gotten her flouncy purple dress, only stopping myself when I realized how creepy a fully grown adult asking a child about her dress appears. But seriously, my peers, what gives? Why the onesies? Is it just laziness, or did I miss something on the runways?

Truth is, onesies are always going to be the coziest full-body apparel on the market. Furthermore, a bunny eared onesie or a dinosaur green onesie with spikes running down the back will always bring a smile to one’s face and most certainly get people’s attention. Bottom line, I applaud this trend for the bravado and happy childishness it takes to pull it off. Perhaps above all, I appreciate that something goofy is being embraced as a good way to stay warm. It’s not a refined or particularly chic look, but everyone is full clothed and that’s more than can be said for some people. So, onward and upward with the onesies – just don’t expect to see me in one!

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