A History of the Onesie: From Churchill to Cara
The history of the onesie begins with the history of pyjamas and other loungewear. Wearing clothing specifically for bed or relaxing is a relatively modern practice: between the middle ages and the 19th century only super rich kings and nobles had separate clothing for bedtime; most people slept in their day clothes or—if you were an up and coming middle class bloke—you slept in your undershirt. Back in the day, having a shirt that you wore under another shirt was as posh a status symbol as today’s apple watch. It was only in the latter half of the 19th century that pyjamas received wide spread popularity, due to returning British colonials from India. In fact, the etymology of the word ‘pyjama’ comes from the Hindustani word pajāmā. Despite the growing popularity of pyjamas during the Victorian period, it would still be another hundred years until someone came up with the bright idea to combine comfortable pants and a shirt into a cozy one-piece garment. But who can be credited with this simple yet genius plan?
Surprisingly, one of the early inventors of the modern onesie is none other than (drum roll please) Winston—this is no joke—Churchill. The great prime minister designed his one-piece “siren suit,” as he liked to call it,