Wealth Blog
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 December, 2013, 5:12pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 December, 2013, 5:13pm

Watch out, onesies are about to come

BIO

Anna is a business writer. During her 20-year Hong Kong career, she’s written everything from stock market reports and luxury goods sector analysis to speeches for the HKSAR Chief Executive and served as president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club for two years.
 

In the 1980s and 90s, the UK was plagued with shell suits. These were basically tracksuits, but often made of brushed velour or some stretchy nylon fabric. Often in pastel shades of pink or green, they went from being sloppy at-home wear to being acceptable for supermarket and school runs. Flattering they were not.
 

Enter the onesie

Sometime a year or so ago, the onesie caught on, especially in Britain. The shell suit had a top and a bottom but the onesie is all-in-one. For all ages, it resembles a giant baby grow and is just as inconvenient to get out of for bathroom visits as the infant version. Onesies can be plain, patterned or in faux animal print, without hood and feet. To anyone not used to seeing their mother, sister or girlfriend permanently encased in a shell suit, they look like one-piece pyjamas. Very comfortable, but jim-jams nevertheless. Britain’s former shell suit wearers adopted onesies with gusto and soon began jumping into the car and nipping down to Asda or Tescos for a pint of milk without bothering to slip out of the onesie into, well, jeans or regular clothes. It reached the point where people apparently felt so at home in their onesie that they were living in them, day and night, often only changing them every few days or so. Get on any flight out of the UK these days and half the passengers are onesied up, ready for sleep.
 

Onesie was enough

Then UK supermarket Tesco, not known for its strict dress code, said enough was enough and banned onesie wearers from their stores. Presumably the lived-in onesies were getting a bit unhygienic if they really were being worn 24/7.

It seemed as if the onesie fad had skipped Hong Kong. It’s far too hot for them most of the year, anyway. But then in the last few weeks, as the weather got cold, the dreaded onesies have started to appear. Christmas Day revealed more, with the wearers gleefully running about in them as if they were a second skin. It took a while, but the onesie has arrived. How many people actually venture outdoors in them remains to be seen. Someone posted a note on GeoExpat, asking where they could buy one. Someone else replied: “Please don’t.” 
 

It’s serious - it’s on the MTR

The safety announcement on the escalator at Tung Chung MTR has recently changed. Instead of “Please take care of the elderly and children” or whatever it used to say, it now says: “Do not only keep your eyes on your mobile phone.” I wonder how many surfing passengers have forgotten to get off the escalator at the bottom and fallen flat on their faces, texting away?

Of all the weird things that happened in 2013, most noticeable was that the mobile phones became extended body parts. People now meander along the pavement sending text messages and reading email, with no care for their surroundings. They cross the road in the same mode, eyes fixed on the mobile gadget. I wonder how many pedestrians have been run over while texting this year. They’re probably still tapping away in the back of the ambulance on the way to hospital. With all this mobile gadgetry comes a great sense of entitlement, a friend of mine was bumped into by a texting pedestrian crossing the road the other day. He was about to tell the texter to look where she was going, when the lady looked up briefly and barked at him - for getting in her way.  

Anna.fenton@scmp.com

Share

 

Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive