Babies like a tight swaddle blanket, cows purportedly prefer being squeezed before slaughter, and I enjoy the all-over embrace of a one-piece body suit.
Patagonia makes the best one: warm but ventilated, filmy but opaque, complete with nifty thumb loops and a convenient sacrum-level flap. I bought mine before an Arctic excursion last winter, where it served me well, but I’ve found myself wearing it around the house — and out on the town! — even now, months after my return. There’s the obvious appeal of reducing the number of garments one puts on in the morning (as the name suggests, just the one), but efficiency isn’t this slinky thing’s only virtue.
You can of course wear it as the designers intended — as insulation underneath other clothing. It’s thin enough that it doesn’t add noticeable bulk underneath jeans and a sweater but warm enough that you can go on a two-hour winter walk without looking like a biohazard inspector. The breathable polyester fabric even has proprietary odor control so that even if you sweat, you don’t stink.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “sexy” (it’s a high-performance synthetic base layer designed for trekking through tundra, after all) but it is objectively flattering (especially in black) and the feeling of being ensconced in a uniformly thin but snug casing is weirdly sensual. In my experience at least it helps in projecting that kind of charisma that only ever attends true physical comfort — like hosting a party barefoot or refusing to carry a purse. It’s at once laughably modest but also somehow … exhibitionist? There’s nothing better than meeting a friend for coffee and removing my parka only to reveal an unexpected, insect-like silhouette. It always gets a laugh.
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