The ‘siren suit’

Chief among his eccentricities of style were his ‘siren suits’, so called because they could easily be slipped on and zipped up when the air raid sirens went (said to be inspired by bricklayers’ boiler suits). These were principally worn for comfort while he worked at Chartwell, although he also wore them while at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister, and even had one made in black velvet for wearing at dinner. These could perhaps be seen as the precursor of the ‘onesie’.

You can see one of his ‘siren suits’ – a bottle-green velvet one – on display in the Jermyn Street basement of its makers, Turnbull & Asser.

Churchill in one of his own designs – a pin-striped ‘siren suit’ – with monogrammed ‘WSC’ slippers.