Fresh style insights, tips and commentary by Michelle Tea, Michael Braithwaite, Leo Plass, Page McBee and Carrie Leilam Love.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Onesies Forever! Battle Cry of the Stylishly Comfortable

Let me start by saying that I wholly disagree with the hat pictured above. Nor do I really care for those socks, though I can imagine gradually developing some sort of affection for them under the right circumstances. At any rate, we're not here for hats and socks, NAY, we are here for onesies. We have come for the adult jumpsuit, and that safari-style jumpsuit by Gaspard Yurkievich is heaven in the form of continuous fabric that mimics shorts, a skirt (do NOT confuse this with what your mother might call "coolots") and a jaunty top all at once.

Jumpsuits found their beginnings, as so many of our couture bits do, in the workplace of the early 20th century. They've been donned by mechanics, pilots, swimmers and Batman, but you can thank the official NASA space suit of the late 1960s for providing the inspiration for the first fashion onesies.

Pretty sexy!

Sam Frenzel

Maybe that's a fashion rumor. Either way, jumpsuits are crazy versatile and comfortable, making them one of the most alluring outfit choices of all time. That's right. Of ALL TIME. What other mess of fabric can make its way from Major Tom, to Hamptons garden party?

If it's Summer wedding wear you're looking for, there's a jumpsuit for that. Check out Jil Sander (who always kills it) and Stella McCartney for more conservative onesies. You'll be the only stone fox in neutral tones at your cousin's happy (hopefully) occasion. I typically don't like Stella McCartney --her designs generally range from "uptight London business woman," to "a prom queen threw up this outfit I'm wearing"--but I'm 100% into her Spring 2010 elegant onesie worthy of someone with less creepy shoulders than her model sports.

Forget about the unfortunate slouch of the redhead pictured and this jumpsuit by San Francisco's own House of Hengst takes the cake for "moody onesie for the intelligentsia." Sadly, this perfect onesie is from their Fall 2009 line (which was on impressive sale as of May).

The trick with any onesie is understanding that they emphasize your midsection, which means short torsos have to work harder to look like something other than a truncated boobs-meet-hips-too-soon region. Those with longer torsos look great in the Hengstian style, while those with the boob/hip issue might want to look into the more seamless Givenchy style.

Additionally, you need shoes with some lift. Flats, sneakers and certain types of sandals can turn your fashion jumpsuit into an oil change uniform like THAT (imagine fingers snapping here).

Dries van Noten makes these leather and fabric heels that make me want to stab myself in the eye so that I don't know the difference between perfect beauty and what I can reasonably afford.

Finally, don't think that fashion onesies are befitting of runways, cosmopolitan landscapes and garden parties, alone. Fellow Ironing Board Collective blogger, Michelle Tea, found this fantastic casual summer onesie at Urban Outfitters and promptly wore it spelunking.

I myself own a velour onesie from American Apparel (I know, feminists, I know) that works great for sipping bocce balls on my porch. Onesies forever! Onesies forever, indeed.


  1. YES! I love that Michelle gets a shout-out for her spelunking-in-Mexico-hard-hat situation. Now that's fucking fashion.

  2. ONESIES!!!!
    Thank you. My favorite.

  3. whilst you mentioned the boobs/hip ratio issue, you forgot "potential to make some look like upside down balloons" seriously, my behind cannot rock a onsie to save its life. but i'll keep trying?