This post is about boiler suits, a subset of the onesie. But it’s also about so much more than that. This post is a story of a crazy idea, unsupportive in-laws (of which I was one), and shattered dreams.
Turn back time to fourteen years ago. We were all younger and better looking back then, and life was full of possibilities. It still is, but possibilities are more exciting the younger and better looking you are.
My brother-in-law, let’s call him “Leeroy”, was sitting back at a family get together, enjoying a refreshing beer. He’s a typical Aussie male in many ways. Chilled out, loves his footy (the Australian kind) and likes to be comfy. Out of nowhere, he dropped an idea on us that was so mindblowingly revolutionary and yet so obvious that we couldn’t quite comprehend the enormity and social significance of it. Why couldn’t my Mum (who was handy with a sewing machine) make a giant baby-grow for Leeroy to wear? A onesie, if you will.
He wanted his onesie to be made of fleece material so soft and warm that there would be no need to wear underwear underneath because it would feel so luxurious against his butt cheeks (his words not mine). There would be a flap at the back for easy egress, and the feet could be detachable so you could wear flip flops if you so chose. If it worked he would take his design to China, get it made on the cheap and distribute “Leeroy’s Onesies” across the Asia Pacific region.
Oh how we laughed and ridiculed poor Leeroy for months. A grown man wearing a baby grow. Ridiculous…. Or was it?
Leeroy didn’t get the encouragement he needed to make his fleece-enclosed dream a reality. A couple of years later some cool kids in Norway came up with the same idea, developed it, commercialised it and made a fortune from their “OnePiece” label. So who’s laughing now?
Had we been the kind of supportive family that you see at those X Factor auditions who delude their family member into believing they are the next Mariah Carey, we could all be rolling around in cash in our diamond-encrusted Leeroy Onesies.
Instead, we’re still working our day jobs and waiting for Leeroy to drop another creativity bomb on us. We’re still waiting.
In the meantime, I have become rather fond of the onesie-variant, the boiler suit. It’s a smarter version of Leeroy’s adult baby-grow concept and more functional in its aesthetic. It is vaguely reminiscent of a mechanics or a painters overall, so I do get comments about whether I’m on my way to paint a house etc. In every case though, the people who make those comments are usually middle aged men who’s idea of style is a brightly coloured cagoule.
What I love about the boiler suit is the comfort and its unique aesthetic. It is functional but can be transformed with just a pair of shoes. Trainers and a jeans jacket for a casual look, loafers for a modern take, and strappy high heels and a leather jacket for something a bit more evening-casual.
So the morals of this story are (1) don’t put down your brother-in-law’s crazy ideas – be more like those families of delusional X Factor applicants, and (2) give the boiler suit a go for something a bit different.
And for the record, I do wear underwear under my onesie, Leeroy.
Jumpsuit: One Teaspoon