Would YOU dare to wear the romper suit for grown-ups How did CHARLOTTE KEMP's family fare when they spent a day out wearing 'onesies'They are the daftest celebrity trend – and they’re now on the High Street. So how did CHARLOTTE KEMP's family fare when they spent a day out wearing 'onesies'
09:12 GMT, 1 November 2012
The woman behind the make-up counter at Chanel is giving me a bemused look — or is it one of utter disdain I have just asked her if she can suggest a lipstick to compliment my outfit and she is momentarily lost for words.
The outfit in question is, it has to be said, the opposite of elegant or understated. It’s a garish all-in-one from River Island. A riot of pink, peach, sky blue and green.
This unflattering garment, known as a ‘onesie’, is one of autumn’s more bizarre trends and, to be honest, I can’t believe I am wearing it outside the house.
Cold comfort: Charlotte and Tom with (from left) Martha, Amelia and Bea, step out in their onesies
But following in the footsteps of various celebrity converts (from fashionistas Kate Moss and Sarah Jessica Parker to less A-list types such as Katie Price and the stars of The Only Way Is Essex) I’ve taken the onesie out onto the streets with my three daughters.
Even my husband, Tom, is trying one on for size later. Yes, they make onesies for men, too. If you ever had a crush on Brad Pitt, look away now because he’s been sporting a grey one on shopping trips.
If you are yet to encounter one of these ludicrous garments, then think of a Babygro, add a hood, supersize it and you get the idea. Ridiculous though they sound, they’re on sale across the High Street, from John Lewis to New Look, and the recent cold snap has resulted in a surge in sales.
Teenagers love them, apparently. So do children. My daughters have been nagging me to buy them one for weeks. But I’m yet to be convinced that the adult version should be worn in public by anyone, let alone a 40-year-old mum like me.
Family outing: But Charlotte isn't convinced their choice of outfits should be allowed in public
Mutton dressed as lamb doesn’t even cover it. It’s just unseemly. My rear view looks like a paper bag full of conkers. Though I’m snug, I feel ridiculously exposed.
Because it is loose at the waist, I feel as though my trousers have fallen down. All I can feel is fabric massing at my ankles. As for the pattern — I know dogtooth print is all the rage, but it makes me stand out even more.
Don’t get me wrong. Unflattering though it may be, a full-sized romper is certain to come in handy on cold, wintry evenings. We live in a freezing cold house and I can imagine snuggling up with the girls — all of us zipped up snug in onesies — to watch a film. Venturing out into the big, wide world, however, is another matter. Kate Moss somehow works her onesie — which, to be fair, is more of a stylish jumpsuit — with black heeled boots and a fitted coat.
But I worry if I wear any sort of heel I’ll look like Edina, Jennifer Saunders’s fashion victim character in Absolutely Fabulous. So I’m sticking with flat, sheepskin boots. I have at least put on make-up and blow-dried my hair. If I don’t make some effort with my appearance, people will assume I got locked out in my pyjamas and direct me to the nearest locksmith.
We kick off our onesie challenge with a trip to the nearest town — Maidstone, Kent. The children are in high spirits. ‘I’m a pink zebra,’ chuckles Bea, seven.
‘Doesn’t Martha look sweet,’ coos Amelia, ten, looking at her youngest sister.
In style At the shops, the family get a few strange looks
I have to admit, I am only half listening — too busy scouring the streets for other onesie wearers. I eventually spot one — a young girl aged 18 or so. She’s wearing a leopard print-style and the bottom half is so tight it looks as though it has been sprayed on. She looks way better than I do, but still, it’s not a good look and I feel rather nervous.
In the car park lift, I try not to make eye contact with anyone. The girls can’t stop giggling. ‘Look at our mummy’s Babygro,’ they shriek as a couple with a baby get in.
The lift spits us out straight into the women’s wear department in House of Fraser. I usher the girls in and suddenly, all eyes are on us. The girls look cute — the younger two remind me of the little boy’s costume in classic children’s tale Where The Wild Things Are. But I feel seriously under-dressed — naked almost. I can feel the glare of shop assistants as I walk through the store, and two women actually snigger when I pass by.
I head for the lingerie department and try not to blush when the assistant offers to help. As I ask her for a bra in my size, I can tell that she’s trying hard not to look me up and down, but she just can’t help it. I disappear into the changing room and it’s there I discover the onesie’s greatest strength when you are shopping for clothes: one zip and you’re out.
The onesie is less practical when you need to go to the loo, however. We discover this when my youngest tells me she is bursting. The arms of her onesie nearly go down the pan, too.
At Waterstones, I pick up Sue Townsend’s new novel and laugh out loud when I read the title: ‘The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year.’ How apt.
Girls' night in: Charlotte thinks the cosy onesies are better worn at home
As I buy a copy, I joke to the shop assistant that I am heading back to bed to read it — she looks at me quizzically and warns me not to stand too close to any candles.
Later, in Zara, an elegant septuagenarian, shopping with her immaculate daughter, rolls her eyes at me as if to say: ‘What do you look like’
After a day out in a onesie, I am quite used to this. Younger women and teenagers rarely bat an eyelid. I even hear one woman exclaim: ‘Don’t they look cool,’ as we walk by. But older women can’t resist a raised eyebrow. And no wonder!
Back at home, my husband, Tom, is not embracing the trend with much enthusiasm. He reluctantly agrees to go out in the garden wearing his dark blue onesie, but refuses to come with me to walk the dog.
‘I look like Andy Pandy,’ he moans. I am too busy laughing to comment. There’s certainly huge comic value when a grown man dons a giant Babygro decorated with penguins.
So, will I be wearing a onesie this winter Maybe. But only on the sofa for a girls’ night in with my daughters. This is one lounge-wear look that shouldn’t be allowed out of the house.
NOT EVEN BRAD PITT LOOKS A WINNER IN A ONESIE…
It's the Pitts: Hollywood hunk Brad looks a state this shapeless all-in-one on a shopping trip. Did Angelina vet his outfit before he left the house
Catwalk queen: Cinching her waist in with a belt and strutting her look with highheeled boots, Kate Moss shows the acceptable face of the onesie
Lacking the X Factor: Should girls be allowed out in public dressed like
this Cheryl Cole, in monochrome
leopard print, certainly seems to think so
Onesie Direction: He may be the
band's youngest member, but Harry Styles looks like an overgrown toddler in his white Babygro