in which carrots considers adult onesies

Before I begin:  I’ve updated my “weekly picks by carrots” page.  Check it out!


The receptionist at the writing center is grouchy in a delightful sort of way, and every morning as he pages through the Houston Chronicle he reads aloud news items and editorials he finds offensive or ridiculous.  On Thursday, he voiced out his indignation toward George F. Will, whose column railed against blue jeans.  George calls denim the “infantile uniform” of our “juvenilized” nation.

Because the tutors who work at the writing center are word geeks — spending hours, for example, explaining to students why the word they discovered through their word processor’s thesaurus function is not exactly right — we were really struck with the idea of calling jeans “infantile.”

“Babies rarely wear blue jeans,” one tutor pointed out.

“You’re right,” I said.  “They wear onesies.”

“Yes!  Adults wearing onesies.  That would be an infantile uniform for a juvenilized nation.”

I know that many adults have returned to footy pajamas.  Some even dare to regress to the butt-flap variety.  But we were thinking of genuine onesies: the kind that snap between the legs and often feature witty sayings that are meant to amuse adults and, presumably, humiliate babies.   We soon realized that, on adults, many of these witty onesies would be less funny and more creepy.  Take, for instance, this one:

Not so funny anymore, is it?  A little too literal when a grown man wears it, perhaps.  What about this one?  Yikes.

I enjoy the funny onesie as much as the next aunt bent on dressing her nephew or godson like a hip and slightly cynical young person — a child who would never deign to wear anything featuring Classic Pooh.*  But wow.  Thinking about adult onesies made me realize: we love to laugh at babies wearing inappropriate slogans.  We love dressing up kids in sexual innuendos and politically incorrect and even cruelly blunt social commentary.  And, of course, babies are never funnier than when their clothing prominently features potty humor.

But what would you do if you saw a middle-aged woman walking down the street wearing an iPoop onesie?

What if you came in to work to find your boss wearing a shirt with the cheeky equation “Mommy & Daddy + Martini = Me”?


*  Okay, I admit it.  I think Classic Pooh is cute.  And have you read the Pooh books lately?  Not the cartoonish Disney versions, but the A. A. Milne books?  Genius!  So funny.


One thought on “in which carrots considers adult onesies

  1. As someone that rarely to never wore jeans growing up (khaki pants/shorts mostly) I agree with the questioning of denim, but for different reasons.

    My recent move from a rather normal corporate clothing culture (BoA’s suits for the higher ups, chinos and polos for the non-customer-facing staff) to one that is decidedly different (Anything’s fine as long as you’re clothed) has caused me to think about men’s clothing a bit and have come to see that it’s a lot like architecture. There’s the pre-air-conditioning era and the post-a/c-era.

    A lot of the interesting layered clothing styles (the 3 piece suit in winter or cooler climates and the seersucker in warmer climates) evolved to be that way over a long period of time where buildings were barely temperature controlled. The suit didn’t stand out since it was just what you wore to be comfortable.

    Now every office and most homes are about 70 degrees year round. Suits in many climates are now impractical since the indoor environment where people spend most of their time is now one which favors one layer of thin cotton. Throw on a jacket when going outside and that’s all that’s required.

    Those people whose business benefits from an appearance of traditional wisdom still wear the suit, but it seems to be more of a costume in the modern world rather than an evolved wardrobe. (The sleeve buttons on a men’s jacket in many cases are not functional, lapels have lost their paired button to close the jacket against the elements, vests in most cases only have the suit fabric on one side since they’re for show rather than insulation)

    Getting back to the article – I’m not sure how it was decided that jeans were the new default uniform for social interaction. Real denim fabric is too heavy for the modern indoor environment – too warm in the summer pretty much everywhere in this nation, and . Modern denim is normal-cotton-twill soft, but at that point, why not wear khakis or a synthetic blend or a lightweight wool?

    Perhaps it’s more of a style statement – wanting to appear agrarian/populist – America seems to romanticize that. This is not unlike British tweed or German Loden wool for that matter. In that sense it is a valid style choice, though one that people should understand the context of. Jeans should exist, $200 jeans should only exist if they are 10x as durable as $20 jeans, as durability/functionality is denim’s claim to fame.

    Interesting aside to this – here are the layers of clothing that George Mallory wore on his final Mt. Everest attempt:

    Subtract a couple middle insulation layers and he’d fit in at a nice restaurant or most offices these days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s