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She knew something about my outfit was off, but couldn’t say quite what.
Sure, the jacket and pants appeared to be made of a sweatsuit-like material, and I had the pants hiked rather high for a man of my generation.
But neither this young woman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, nor the many others I met during a week of wearing this suit around New York City, guessed at its true powers.
For this was no mere suit. This was a miracle of sartorial engineering, in which pants, shirt and jacket were all one in the same.
This was a business suit onesie. This was Suitsy!
The one-piece business suit (“Look professional — feel like you’re in pajamas,” the website boasts) is the brainchild of Jesse Herzog, a San Francisco real estate developer with, perhaps not shockingly, no background in fashion design.
“I wanted a way to look professional but feel like I was at home on my couch,” Herzog told TODAY. “But I didn’t want to show up for work looking like a slob."
The idea began with a gift from his wife: a kaftan, or long tunic, Herzog liked to wear on occasion —“Idyllic Sunday mornings, reclined by my fireplace,” he said — and which he found to be a winning combination of comfort and function.
“So I undertook this experiment to see if I could build a business suit onesie,” he said.
And though a good sense of humor is a nice accessory to wear along with Suitsy, Herzog said it is “a serious garment that works and is beloved by many of its early adopters.”
A gray version, sizes small to extra-large tall, is available for pre-order now for $340 through the clothing company Betabrand.
Constructed like a ski suit or jumpsuit, Suitsy’s key feature is a long zipper stretching from between the legs up the front of the torso and chest.
Except unlike a ski suit, the zipper is hidden behind a panel of fake shirt buttons, so it looks like a regular dress shirt.
The jacket, meanwhile, is sewn to the shirt and the shirt is sewn into the waistline of the pants — for better and worse.
Better because the shirt won’t come untucked and lead to accidental slobishness.
Worse because every time the Suitsy-wearer lifts his hands, his pants come right up along with them.
In fact, as I cruised around the Big Apple in my Suitsy recently, I experienced a frequent wedgie.
Nowhere was this as dramatic as the day I wore it to a morning dance party called Daybreaker.
The event, at Irving Plaza in Manhattan, happened to be onesie-themed, and I found myself surrounded by revelers in all manner of crazy, colorful, furry and sparkly onesies.
Naturally, I was the only guy who looked like I’d be heading to a Wall Street job after, and I caught a few uncertain looks that seemed ask, “Who is this square?"
Still, the crowd was delighted as I showed off my secret party trick, the hidden zipper that revealed I too was wearing a onesie!
Things were a little less delightful when I joined the dance floor and thrust my arms high above my head. Ouch!
After the party, though, as other guests struggled into street clothes, my Suitsy and I just strolled right by, ready to go about our day.
Suitsy, of course, isn’t the first invention aiming to make getting dressed easier for guys.
From the clip-on tie to the self-lacing sneaker prototype from “Back to the Future Part II” that Nike sent Michael J. Fox last year, history is peppered with fashion innovations that promise comfort and convenience.
However, none of these sartorial short-cuts were likely to fly at the stately, 180-year-old Wall Street steakhouse Delmonico’s, where I stopped for a cocktail in my one-piece threads last week.
Sales director Carin Sarafian took one look at my pants and raised her eyebrows higher than my waistline.
“I see guys in suits all day long, and this is not the kind of suit you would usually see in Delmonico’s,” she said. “I think it would look better in the dark.”
Still, none of the Wall Street traders at the bar seemed to notice anything was amiss.
And back at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, where I wore Suitsy during a nighttime tour group called Museum Hack, nobody had the vaguest idea I was wearing a onesie.
Not even tour guide Mindy Leanse, who, coincidentally, was wearing a stylish jumpsuit of her own.
After the tour we compared onesies.
Hers offered a little more stretch in the waistline.
But my Suitsy offered something far more valuable — the fun of fooling everybody.