Friday, May 4, 2012

In praise of the singlet

When I was a kid, I hated singlets. Hated. Singlets. Particularly the long-sleeved variety known as 'spencers'. Even the word makes my flesh crawl.

Now that I am a parent, however, I am the Queen of Singlets. You might even call me the Mad Queen of Singlets, so obsessed am I with ensuring that my boys are wearing one at all times.

If it's cold, they give you that handy little extra layer. If it's warm, they will wick away sweat or provide a handy extra layer should you wish to remove your shirt and - voila! There you are - cool, comfortable and not walking around topless*.

My love of singlets began when I was pregnant. They were the only safely unisex thing I could buy, so I bought them by the container-load. Seriously, I had so many singlets that neither Maxabella nor Multiple Mum had to purchase a single one, sized 0000 to 2, for years. They were just so... cute. And white. And fresh. And innocent.

Seriously, is anything sweeter than a baby in a nappy and a clean white singlet? No. Thought not.

Anyway, I am ridiculed for my singlet obsession. My children are the only children in the extended family still wearing one every day. Now they come in multiple colours (even a classic navy Wife Beater or two) and patterns, but I still love the classic white the best. But never, ever long-sleeved.

The boys don't seem to mind. Yet. Every once in a while, when he's feeling rebellious, Mr8 throws the words 'well, I'm not even wearing a singlet' at me. And I laugh. 'You'll be so-o-orry,' I throw back at him, secretly pleased that I've managed to create such a benign point of revolution.

Mostly though, they're happy in their singlets. In fact, if you popped into the Fibro after school any day in summer, you'd probably find them in singlets and undies... and nothing else.

Hmmm. Perhaps it's time to take the focus off singlets and address the issue of pants. Before I run into real problems.

Is yours a singlet household?

This post was inspired by Maxabella, who took the time to throw slings and arrows at my singlets in her post yesterday.

*Note to male population, no-one really wants to see your pecs or your tatts or your beer gut, so please put it/them away.

[image: where else but Bonds?]


30 comments:

  1. I am singlet mad....I wear one every day myself and both the boys do too. I actually went shopping on Saturday to get more for Bebito cos he's grown out of the last lot and I was lamenting to Mr how hard it is to get singlets beyond size 2 readily. I just feel, well, more "tucked in" wearing one. I tend to the CR or Witchery ones when not feeding but live in my maternity singlets for the moment. Yours in solidarity, Cat. x

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  2. "Well, I'm not even wearing a singlet"... can't stop laughing! That has got to go down as the retort of the century.

    I wasn't throwing arrows, I promise. You should be proud that I love you enough to fib about the kids wearing singlets in my post. I didn't want to disappoint you.

    This singlet fest is actually a GREAT post, Al. x

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    1. ''benign point of revolution"!

      Double gold!

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  3. You know, thinking about it a bit more, I think *I* feel safer if there is another layer between *them* and the world... #madqueen

    And yes - poor Mr8. The only way is up!

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  4. You either love singlets, or you're wrong.

    I don't have any myself, I can't find them long enough to reach down past my hips, so any shopping tips would be muchly appreciated.

    My kids will NOT wear them. Not cool grey ones with white stitching, not cute little white ones with pink hearts and a bow, not any.
    *sigh*

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  5. I am a huge lover of the singlet, a love passed down through generations! I still melt when I see my littlest guy in his singlet & undies. We all wear a singlet in this house, the man, the boys, all of us. I'll even go a spencer in the winter..x

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  6. I love singlets! I actually thought everyone secretly did?? I'm at a loss to see what's not to love? In my book, singlet and bra go in the same category - essential! My two girls wear singlets all the time, and I look at my hubby in horror {and claim they may catch a cold} if he forgets the singlet! Off to check out Maxabella's mockery of the singlet... :) Elisa xx

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  7. Your boys were rocking a couple of wife beaters when we saw them in the school hols. We aren't totally singlet-free in these parts. They are a staple for bed and we do thermals and long-johns for camping trips (spencers are now called base layers you know!. But besides me who loves my singlets, they rarely get a wear during the day. Cute post. x

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    1. Base layers? That sounds almost cool.

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  8. We're going through a singlet revolution of our own at the moment with the Munchkin. I'm NOT happy. It's bloody freezing on the mountain! I got him the world's funkiest ones from Boystrous so they'd be cool and all, and he's still rebelling. Of course, neither his dad nor I wear one, but we have our layer of protective blubber instead!

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    Replies
    1. You must stamp out this revolution immediately. Immediately!

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  9. I hate hate hate singlets. Always have and always will! Not too sure where my hatred came from exactly, but to me they just scream DAG!!! Not even as babies did mine wear sinlets. I just couldn't bring myself to do it?
    I do remember having a little chat about how daggy they were with multiple mum when we first met in MG, now I know where they all came from!!!!! Too funny :)

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    1. I admire you for your passion - and am laughing that you and MM have discussed the singlets. But what did your kids wear as babies if not singlets? Am fascinated...

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    2. If it was hot, just a t-shirt/short onesie. If cold, a bonds suit then a litle cardi/jumper. And when they are really little they just went to bed in either a wrap or a sleeping bag. See, no need for singlets hehe

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  10. Yep we have a pile of singlets (or vests as we call them) here too. I'm a little paranoid about giving those little chests an extra layer in the winter, and a do love the style worn on its own in the summer. As a child I hated giving up my vest (wife beater style) when it was thought I was old enought to be wearing something a little more girly!

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  11. First time comment, but long time reader :) With you ALL the way on singlet wearing kids. I love my boys in the navy "Jackie Howe" (Queensland thing - he was a gun shearer that classically wore them!!) and was VERY disappointed to learn that bonds has recently stopped making them. Love my girls in all shades of pink and grey(bonds ones def faves here too).... but yes loved the fresh white on them when they were babies!

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  12. Mine WAS a singlet household until each kid in turn reached primary school age and refused to wear them, or spencers, especially the girls. Same with skivvies, after age 7 I couldn't even bribe them into a skivvy. I still have singlets and wear them in the winter.

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  13. I will join your singlet cheer squad ...My boys are seven and nine and wore singlets today to school ... like you I find the multi purpose nature of the singlet a blessing ... when we lived in the snow line they wore them for warmth, when we lived in the Gulf they wore them only to be cool ... they are truly the only article we wear here in Brisbane and in Dunedin NZ with equal joy ... long live the singlet :) le

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  14. I LOVE my singlets. Both the girls wear them and I always know when it is really cold when DH puts one on under his work shirt. Mum and my Nonna always said that if your kidneys are warm then you won't catch cold. I stand by that. Can't stand feeling a draught up the back of my top.

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  15. Gold, Al, truly.

    As a kid I was the sad lame arse child that desparately looked on at the other kids, changing for gym, with their fresh white singlets on. I never did. I have no idea why my parents never thought to put singlets on us, in England - I suspect some vague forgettfullness excused by the principle of "toughen them up".

    Either way, I had singlet envy.

    As a result, my three are in singlets from the moment there is a nip in the air. Not all year round, but Autum and Winter.

    White is always best. This year, though, Lexie is sporting some pale pink organic cotton ones - and again I have singlet envy.

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  16. We're a singlet household. And I agree with you on the spencers and skivvies. Bleeeeuch.

    That said, Ashleigh's not yet 2. Not sure how long we'll stick with them...

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  17. Ewww, spencers. Mum insisted on spencers. I hated them almost as much as I hated skivvies. Singlets I am fine with though.

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    Replies
    1. My hatred of spencers also extends to the skivvy. I think the skivvy deserves its own post!

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  18. Mad for a singlet!
    My little man is never without one and neither am I.
    I hate seeing bare backs on kiddies, I am always worried they are going to get a chill! Oh, I am so very old!

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  19. Yep. Love me a good singlet..I even wear them to bed. My 9 yr old loves them too!!!

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, I wear one to bed too. Very seductive...

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  20. I am SO with you on this Allison and I'm so pleased you wrote a post specifically about singlet love. My Mum ALWAYS made me wear a singlet AND spencers in Winter. That same rigid obsession has transferred to me, who now insists on the boys having a singlet on at all times during the year. I have such a huge collection and have tested many brands and varieties of them. I always come back to Bonds though. In fact I just purchased a whole swag of the next size up for Mr4 yesterday. Crisp white ones (because they didn't have any coloured ones in his size).
    I just like the feeling of knowing their little chests have that extra layer of protection against the cold... or as you say, in Summer to absorb the sweat away from their bodies. And here's me thinking I was the only Mama out there who over-thought the value of a singlet.
    Babe or child in singlet and nappy or undies, just pure perfection, haha xo

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  21. You need singlets to keep your kidneys warm - just ask my grandmother, apparently she was an expert in such matters.

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  22. I lived in singlets and skivvies from toddler age to about 12.

    I gave up on singlets, but I've returned to the humble cotton skivvy and poloneck sweater :)

    Cee.

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