It seemed like a, like, totally cool idea.
An animal print “jump-suit”.
In my imagination I would turn up at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s posh annual dinner and look unique and elegant. With an ironic 80s vibe. I fear, however, that I may have made a baggy, summer weight “Onesie”. (Unfortunately the onesie is a garment I loathe. Cheap, synthetic and universally unflattering. And in terms of jokey prints and playful childishness, in the same category as the humorous tie-and-sock set.)
I enjoyed making this garment, using McCalls 7437. It was a little intricate for what can only be described as fancy dress (in this incarnation), but I enjoyed the process. The pattern was well drafted and the instructions clear and concise. The collar and rever worked perfectly, as did the continuous lap cuffs and pleated sleeves. I liked creating a bias casing for the elasticated waist. The pocket bags are caught in the same casing. The fit is good and it actually feels nice.
I do wonder if it is wearable to a serious black tie dinner, where I am in my professional incarnation. I do, after all, have some dinosaur lace which could have led to a tasteful skirt.
The all-in-one trousers and shirt/jacket ensemble has had different names historically – the flying suit, boiler suit and cat suit (Emma Peel) for example. It has veered between the practical and shapeless workman’s overall and the revealing, sexy outfit they went in for in the 1970s. I think some of the best examples were those favoured by wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill, who died 50 years ago. Although the press went with “siren suit”, Churchill himself called his garments a “romper suit”. Maybe he was thinking of Raglan and Wellington and wanted it to be called after him – a Churchill suit? He had several made for his specific shape, including one in pinstripe (see top of post). It was obviously a comfortable garment for him, (nothing tight around the middle) and he wore it on formal occasions, perhaps wanting to show he was a man of the people, a man of action, but also expressing his dramatic taste in clothes. I am delighted one of his onesies is now available for viewing at the Science Museum, alongside the original paper pattern used to make it. I hope to go and pay my respects.
I wore romper suits when I was a little, and my grandchildren wear them today. When my sons went skiing they noted that all the French kids wore colourful all-in-ones (whereas the English youth had adopted a transatlantic snow boarder/skateboarder look, usually in black).
I had some lovely stiped, stretchy towelling ones for sleeping in, that had a flap at the back for night time toilet trips (thank you for bringing this issue to my attention Stephanie).
So comfort is really the main thing with these all-in-ones. However, styled, they can make a person look long and slim as there are few horizontal lines. The all over pattern keeps the eye moving and disguises figure faults. What do you think? My daughter says NO! I say “Grrrgh!”