A few months ago, I was reading the September issue of Elle and adored a feature on how overalls are coming in to fashion. I got so excited! It’s a bit of a controversial fashion statement to some – after all it’s worn by gardeners, painters, and err, prisoners – but I saw it as an ideal winter alternative to jumpsuits and playsuits, as well as versatile and quirky. Unfortunately, all the overalls showcased in Elle were pretty expensive. But I knew it was only a matter of time before overalls would hit the high street. And finally, the other day, I found that Topshop has brought out a boiler suit, and what’s more, it’s reasonably priced!
This gorgeous piece is only £55. When I inevitably end up buying it, with my student discount it will come to under £50 which makes it seem so much more justifiable. The navy colour and casual texture means this overall offers the ultimate versatility. It still makes a statement, but doesn’t stand out too much to make it only suitable for a select few. If it was say, bright yellow, I might question if it was worth the money.
One of the things I love about overalls is how controversial they are as a fashion item. Like all the best items, they divide opinion. Most men hate them, and many women might avoid them. Shoes that were affectionately nicknamed ‘man-repellers’ have been having a moment for a while now, and I see the overall in a similar fashion. ‘Man-repellers’ are big and clumpy. Not dainty, cute and feminine. But they make a statement. A statement which says I am not dressing for a man, or for anyone else for that matter, but for myself. I am dressing for fashion and taking a risk, rather than playing it safe. That is what the overall does. It looks so comfy, yet it takes the safety out of fashion, which I think is necessary. Safe is boring. It also de-sexualises fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cute bodycon dress and a pair of high high heels as much as the next girl, but lets face it, this is the outfit that men like. They like being able to see the long legs, and cleavage. The overalls make a fashion statement (and can look sexy) without the wearer just becoming another body to look at and attempt to possess.
Many people may see the overall as difficult to wear. But in reality, it’s probably the most versatile item of clothing there is. You can dress it up or down, and make it work for your own style. You could:
- Roll up the legs and team it with a pair of Doc Martens and a checkered shirt for an ultimate punk look
- Wear with a pair of brogues and a chunky knit, for a downplayed androgynous style
- Team it with oversized jewellery, a waist belt, stilettos, an envelope clutch, and big hair, for a glamorous look perfect for a night out.