Onesies: Just say no!

When it comes to appropriate occasions to wear lounge/sleep wear, opinion seems to be divided into two camps. Those who thinks it’s fine to lounge around all day, wearing loose fitting fleece/flannel and microfibre garments, designed for sleeping in, versus the ‘bright eyed and busy tailed’ early risers, for whom, not being fully dressed by 8am, is unthinkable.

I am firmly in the ‘get up, get dressed and always put your shoes on, even when you have nowhere to go’ camp. When my dad retired someone told him the shoe rule, and he always puts his (newly polished) shoes and clothes on, first thing every morning. In fact I have only ever seen him in pyjamas when he is ill, and as for slippers, forget it. That would be like relaxing and how ridiculous would that be!

Teenagers however, think it is perfectly acceptable to lounge about all day in leopard print PJ’s (girls) or pants/boxers (boys). It’s almost the law on Sundays, to rise at noon and spend the day on the sofa, only moving occasionally, to get snacks or to pretend to do homework! In fact, they are so in love with sleepwear, that they now even wear it out to clubs, in the form of a onesie – a kind of oversize baby grow, which comes in nasty prints and strange colours. 

These onesies are apparantly very comfortable and cosy and are often accessorised with ears and tails! I have always been a fan of a tail, and ears too, if I’m honest, but not attached to a unshapely romper suit! Surely a sleek, ginger, smooth haired tail, worn with jaunty little pointy ears, is far more of a fashion statement, than giant floppy lugs and a huge swinging Eeyore tail.

It seems that adults are also indulging in, what can only be described as a verging on slovenly trend. The worst culprits seem to be people who work from home, who have moved on from spending their whole day in PJ’s, to looking like those strange men who visit brothels and pay to wear nappies!

I cannot stress enough, how wrong this is. Getting dressed mentally prepares you for the day ahead and says ‘I am a person capable of getting out of bed and putting an outfit together, I may have taken children to school or walked a dog, and I am certainly able to do a good job.’ Wearing fleece all day says ‘I am relaxed, cosy and possibly a little bit lazy, and I will get round to work, after I have made a hot chocolate, buttered a crumpet and had a little snooze.”

My friend Sarah and I always say the best bit about going to work, is choosing what to wear, if we could dress up, have coffee, tit about on FB and Twitter and write the occasional blog post, we’d be happy to call this work! And if M.A.D is reading, no, this is not what I do all day!

It is possible however, to wear both formal work wear and lounge/sleepwear all in one day, but timing is crucial. While gainfully employed, one should wear appropriate, real clothes, until all meaningful activity is done, then and only then, is it acceptable to change into loose fitting clothing designed for relaxing. If your work day ends at 4pm and you want to wear your PJ’s, so be it.

The same rules apply on weekends, but be careful when popping out to the shops in brushed cotton. One friend, a well respected journalist, who is a huge fan of his PJ’s, (so much so, he has toyed with the idea of launching his own loungewear range for middleaged men) recently popped out for a pint of milk around 6pm wearing his best flannelette two pack, and found himself in the middle of a crowd outside a one night only, pop up gallery – which had popped up right next to his local convenience store – it’s like that in Stoke Newington!  

Onesies may be ok in a hip Dalston basement, but frankly, no one wants to see their dad in his long Johns at a party! 

You have been warned!



  • Helen says:

    Oh, Jane – you always make me smile, but today you have created a real dilemma for me! Its snowy outside, I am not planning to go out, I have a pile of essays to mark, emails to do (from the sofa) and my husband is away skiing – and I had planned to spend a productive day in my Toast pyjamas. Is that giving in to my inner sloth?!? Are productivity and PJs mutually exclusive? Or is tasteful brushed cotton ok for a middle-aged sofa day…? xx

  • Anna says:

    With you all the way Jane. However I have to wince at the memory of a purple Naf Naf (anyone remember them?)’onesie’, that I use to wear to rave clubs in the early 90’s. I accessorised with red Kicker boots and thought I was incredibly cool (although I should point out that I was usually boiling, dancing in the hideous thing). I can now not even look at the offending items without re-living the embarrassment of leaving the house wearing what is actually a baggy babygro!

  • Marv says:

    Onesies are never a good look, I think. And with you all the way on getting dressed and putting shoes on, puts you in the work mindset.

  • Amanda says:

    Cashmere knit maxi dresses are the grown up onesie. Just sayin’. A

  • says:

    They do look everso snug – perfect attire for today’s weather conditions (indoors). Agree with you that they are sartorially-challenged. But they’re not quite as bad as the ‘slanket’ – a blanket with sleeves – now THAT must be the epitome of sloth!

  • Helen says:

    As I work from home I often have to make a real concerted effort to ‘put an outfit together’ and try to make myself look half decent in between walking round a field with the dog twice a day. I was recently recently “banned” from wearing a particularly cheap and offensive pair of grey harem pants from H&M which had become my daywear of choice after my other half christened them my ‘Jeremy Kyle pants’. Admittedly they did make me look as if I was wearing a nappy so he may have had a point (they were comfortable though).

    I agree with Amanda about the comfort of cashmere. Back in November I blogged about a rather lovely cashmere all in one suit from Crumpet’s AW11 range that I thought would be the perfect thing for snuggling into after a sausage casserole supper…. you know for those times when you feel like giving your waistband the evening off. Are cashmere onesies permissible do you think?

  • Rachel says:

    Oh, this is so bang on. I can’t tell you how hard I cringe when I see grown people walking around in a onesie. I’ve seen them in super markets, on planes, and walking dogs. I get it. Sometimes, life is frantic, kids have to get to school on time, you’ve stayed up too late the night before, and maybe you just gave up on trying to get dressed in the dark because doing anything else would require opening your eyes and turning on the lights. I’m lazy. I’m even sloth like at times. I am a massive fan of comfy clothing. But I draw the line at things like onesies, snuggies, slankets, or any other pajama set outfits being worn out of the house. THANK YOU for saying what I’ve been thinking.

  • Jane says:

    So it’s almost unanimous, we are not feeling the love for the onesie (not even a Naff Naff one!!) but I think they are probably allowed on a snowday (or while marking)!! Cashemere loungewear may also be allowed, but perhaps a cashmere onsie might be a little OTT. A bit giant cuddly baby perhaps A?

  • For teens and babies only!

  • Despite the fear of being ostracised and never able to show my face again on any fashionable blog site; I really have to get myself that ‘pink’ onesie. Don’t get me wrong, not for everyday use, but perfect for a ‘mental health day’ or one of those really bad ‘flu’ days when you can’t leave the house (what a cheer up that would be). Had one years ago and this article has just reminded me of its cosiness. Sorry, I must be so uncool!

  • Jane says:

    You are in fact very cool – just promise not to wear it on the school run! Jx

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