On rare occasions I am asked what I wear in bed. It’s one of my favourite questions. My actual favourite is, ‘When were you born?’ Because then I can answer, “ ’69. Year of the Cock.” The gratuitousness of which gives me enormous satisfaction.
But ‘What do you wear in bed?’ is good too, because then I simply say, “A dab of perfume and a smile!”
And this is one of the ways in which I know that I am no longer in the first flush of youth.
Young people today go to bed in more clothes than Captain Oates wore at the South Pole. They can’t get enough of unstructured, plush clothing and garments previously known as ‘fancy dress costumes’.
Some of them feature Disney princesses or superheroes and are worn ENTIRELY WITHOUT IRONY.
A catalogue arrived in the post today featuring five pages of ‘loungewear’.You know the sort of thing: tartan, brushed cotton, draw-string affairs which an aged relative in times past might have worn when bed bound with an antibiotic-resistant infection.
In this millennium however, a whole new vocabulary, to say nothing of a culture, has grown up around pyjamas.
‘Lounge pants’, ‘pull-ons’ and ‘onesies’ abound! And it’s really important that, although they absolutely are pyjamas, we don’t call them pyjamas, because that would mean putting them on before bed.
To hell with bedtime and its exclusivity! ’Lounge pants’, ‘pull-ons’ and ‘onesies’ are for any time of day! Often all day!
How do I know this? Because I myself am related to some young people who will happily be seen in them during the hours of daylight.
In fact, they can go for days without peeling them off. They’ll mow the lawn in them, sit down to dinner in them and then enjoy endless hours of Netflix in them.
Nightwear-as-daywear has a big audience. In the recent past I joined a queue for the cinema comprising students dressed in onesies ranging from an XXL Batman to a five foot eight inch wolf. (I can’t imagine that sitting for the length of ‘Inception’ with a nylon tail under one’s bottom can have been terribly comfortable, but what do I know?)
I have tried to join in the fun, and have purchased several pairs of ‘lounge pants’ ranging from a black velour tracky-bum to a cotton floral pull-on.
There are a few problems I am unable to overcome:
1) They’re too hot in bed.
2) The elasticated waist is a gateway to obesity for a woman with an evening snacking issue.
3) I look too much like Kerry Katona on a bad day.
I grew up with sex kitten imagery. Brigitte Bardot insouciant in a man’s white shirt; Cybill Shepherd smouldering in a satin camisole, Cheryl Ladd winking in a nightshirt open to her navel…
These were my role models. These were women for whom dressing for bed meant calculating how many buttons were worth doing up.
The thought of any of them in a onesie with pom-pom ties and velveteen ears doesn’t compute and I’ll wager Cybill Shepherd wasn’t wearing a Minnie Mouse nightie or (I kid you not) Harry Potter pull-ons when she indulged in the Cybill Sandwich.
Last week my Twitter feed was bombarded with revelations that millennials are having less sex than their parents’ generation.
Has no-one made the connection? The Onesie isn’t just a fire hazard, it’s a state of mind!
It’s the infantilised and ‘can’t be arsed’ mindset manifest in polyester. No wonder they’re not having any sex.
If like me, you are a peri-menopausal woman, or you are sharing your bed with a peri-menopausal woman, I’m going to suggest that the dab of perfume and the smile is the way forward for bedtime.
It’s simple. It’s fun and, importantly, it’s cool.
Plus, having sex with a person in a romper suit is really niche.