I'll confess. I've never been clubbing in the daytime. I've also never been to a music festival. My instinct is that if you do one, you probably do the other. But I'm old skool. When I used to go clubbing, and I use the term loosely, given that the majority of my 'clubbing' nights took place either in The Swan in Stockwell or The Arts Bar on Frith Street (both rather cheesy pulling joints with DJ's who would happily indulge my requests for Jackson Five on a regular basis and wouldn't dream of playing any house music, let alone all those other types of music that passed me by. Jungle?), it would be at nightime. After dark. There were probably a couple of occasions when it was light as I headed home, and boy did I think I was a crazy kid. Not.
Now, I was aware of daytime clubbing. People dealing with the hangover from Saturday night by getting back on it on Sunday day. I sort of respected it. But now I find myself baffled by it. Probably becuase I'm getting old. It's not the daytime misadventure itself that baffles me, it's the dressing up. Every Sunday as my man and I head on the bus to our favourite coffee shop, we pass The Grand in Clapham, and a large queue outside of mid 20 somethings, dressed primarily in leopard print onesies. What is going on??!!
I've never quite got the fancy dress thing. I think because I was always acting, I got to dress up and play different people all the time, so why would I want to do that in my own social time? But then I have friends who are actors who bloody love fancy dress. Some who dress up in Edwardian gear, hire an old car for the day, and have Afternoon Tea as Edwardians. Again. Baffled.
I fear my dislike of Fancy Dress is my inability to take the piss out of myself. But then, I'm not sure that is true, because I end up doing that during stand-up on a regular basis. But maybe it's an inability take the piss out of myself aesthetically..... Which brings us to the inevitable dilemma - do you do funny fancy dress, or sexy fancy dress? Now, my answer is always sexy, never funny. Be funny with your mind, your speech, not with your clothing. And maybe that's my problem with it all. There's a need, a desire to still look good, in whatever manifestation that takes. Maybe that's a bit messed up. Or maybe it's perfectly normal. Who knows.... And bizarrely it's paired with a willingness to look as ridiculous as possible on stage if it gets a bigger laugh. Cue me aged 26 and a size 18 wearing a leotard and a tutu, pretending to be a fairy forest creature, moving in slow motion, bizarrely in a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Not pretty. But highly entertaining slash disturbing. So I'm told.
There's something childlike about fancy dress. I'm not talking role play/dressing up in the bedroom - got no issue with that :-) But outside of that arena, fancy dress is still about playing. About an alteration of self. And, for my money, an infantalisation of self. And a onesie is the height of that. Which is where I get confused with the fancy dress daylight hours clubbing, becuase why, when you are out with your mates, probably on the pull, do you want to play dress up? If I was single right now, there is literally no way I would be joining in, and I can't imagine chatting to a guy dressed as a bear. Or with a fake pumpkin belly (Clap Jct last Sunday). Or in full Lederhosen. Call me boring, but I'd prefer a prospective male in a nice cable knit and some well fitting trousers.
Now, obviously the clubbing isn't all about pulling. Some folks might be just out with their mates for a laugh and a dance. But since when was either of those activities enchanced by a onesie? Will Strictly Come Dancing forego the tanning booths, and just dress the contestants in orange fur? I think not.
I realise this is a bit of a Grumpy Old woman post. I would genuinely like to hear from people who love fancy dress, primarily onesies, and especially for a club on a Sunday afternoon. I'd like to get inside their heads and find out what it's all about. I wonder if I'm assuming it's going on up and down the country, and it's really only in Clapham Junction. I wonder if it's escapism from economic problems. I wonder if it's peer pressure. I wonder if it's hungover laziness.
But to me, wearing a onesie in public, socially, is just faux cool. People trying to demonstrate how chilled and sorted and down to earth they are, by showing how willing they are to look silly. I bet some of them are dying inside. As far as I'm concerned, the only times to wear a onesie, are:
- when you're a baby, and even then, you can claim it wasn't of your own volition when you get old enough to reflect back.
- at home, when you are subtly trying to convey to your partner that you have zero desire to get jiggy with them. Ever again.
- at home, when your partner has finally revealed both an animal and velcro/zip fetish, and you are trying to indulge them before you decide you want someone sane and dump them.
Now, where did I put my corset?