Winston Churchill had a pinstriped jumpsuit, who knew? During the Second World war, for comfort and practicality, the prime minister had several bespoke boiler suits made, including a bottle green velvet number, by Turnbull & Asser. Nice one, Winnie. I learned all about Siren Suits at the Fashion on the Ration exhibition at the Imperial War Museum (until 31 August 2015). The wartime onesie was slipped on over clothes or nightwear when the air raid siren sounded and Londoners headed towards their nearest shelter. Now. In no way am I comparing my recent family trip, to the Second World War, but with no time to pack beforehand and mum in our bedroom, I had restricted access to my wardrobe. What to wear to travel in was quickly determined when I slipped into the second of my essential jumpsuits. Job done. Bought for summer, this chambray jumpsuit is from H&M’s Conscious collection. Though, I had to alter the waist slightly, it was shapeless and saggy around the crotch and so I stitched elastic into the back to hoick things up a bit.
This silk polka dot version from Equipment is the Winston Churchill of contemporary jumpsuits (available HERE and also in plain black silk HERE), worn with Gucci loafers for the full-on prime ministerial effect. I’m totally smitten by the idea of a gorgeous silk jumpsuit and expensive loafers, it’d be like going out in posh pyjamas and slippers. Net-a-Porter taste on an H&M budget, that’s me. At £75, the Walsham jumpsuit from Finery London is a more realstic, Fashion on the Ration alternative (available HERE).
See also the navy belted boiler suit from Autograph, £69, available HERE.
Knowing what to wear on your feet can be a bit tricky with a jumpsuit. Gucci loafers are on my wish list but until then, flat and low-heeled sandals, trainers and ankle boots, all work well with a onesie. Churchill ‘considered the siren suit adaptable for any occasion, casual or smart…from meeting Dwight Eisenhower or Stalin, to relaxing at the easel.’ I’d add braving budget airlines to that list, too…
TRAVEL UPDATE: after several comments I would like to add that I recommend jumpsuits for short-haul flights (with strategic before-and-after loo visits) and train journeys, only. Long-haul is another matter.