Although there have been countless iconic jumpsuit moments throughout fashion history--from David Bowie in Ziggy Stardust-era spandex to Britney Spears in red latex circa "Oops!... I Did It Again"--my favourite has to be Rosie The Riveter. The 1940s cultural icon was a symbol of female empowerment in her utilitarian denim jumpsuit and polka dot head scarf. Many years later, the jumpsuit--whether in full-length form or in an abbreviated romper style--still seems to be the calling card of a gutsy lady.
Not everyone is game for gambling on the one-piece, though, with resistance running the gamut from claims it will be ill-fitting to infantile. But when properly executed (I have some tips below!) you can achieve stellar results. It’s all about finding the right fit and style for you. As the S/S 13 runways revealed, there are a bevy of options to choose from, whether you prefer the elegant and minimalistic interpretation from Valentino’s collection or consider yourself more of a bombshell type and are drawn to a version with alluring lace panels, as seen on the BCBGMaxazria runway. To get started, I present one jumpsuit for work and a romper for play, which I hope will inspire you to find your own one-piece wonder.
Look 1: Jumpsuit For Work
There’s nothing like a jumpsuit to whittle down your morning what-to-wear routine. I chose this two-tone piece because it gives the illusion of a top and trousers. It’s completely unfussy (I never have to worry about my blouse staying tucked in!), and feels perfectly polished for the office. When choosing your own 9-to-5 jumpsuit, be conscious of the fit--think tailored, and not too tight. You’ll want to leave the body-hugging numbers for your off-duty hours.
Since my jumpsuit is minimalistic with a slightly androgynous feel, I wanted to add a touch of femininity via my styling choices. My blush-coloured jacket with waterfall lapels adds softness to the jumpsuit’s clean lines. A blazer or smart jacket is almost always necessary for wearing a jumpsuit in the workplace, as it breaks up the ensemble and ensures the look feels polished. As for my purse, a colour-block tote in an of-the-moment trapezoid shape feels professional, yet fashion-conscious.
What I Wore: Topshop Premium Contrast Vest Jumpsuit ($120, available online in Blue); Diane von Furstenberg 440 Top Handle Small Leather Satchel ($545); Mango Tan Leather Jacket ($190, 212.343.7012, similar style here); Tuleste Market Heart Chain Necklace ($195); Tuleste Market Rosegold Large Ladder Bracelet ($140); Vince Camuto Genuine Stingray Rectangle Watch ($175); Steve Madden Realove Heels ($80) in Fawn Patent.
Look 2: Jumpsuit For Play
While some people believe rompers should be reserved for toddlers, I have some ideas on how to make the piece fail-safe for adults. You’ll want to make sure it fits perfectly, so visit the tailor if needed. I had my collared version taken in a bit at the waist for a more flattering look. Also make sure the hemline hits around the ends of your fingertips to avoid any onesie comparisons.
When it comes to my weekend wear, the brighter the better, so I paired my sky-blue playsuit with a canary yellow camera bag, green oversized cat-eye sunglasses, and an orange and pink striped sweater. As much as I love to wear colour, I usually try to limit myself to no more than a handful of hues, lest I end up looking like a walking rainbow. Accordingly, I finished the outfit with a pair of neutral low-heeled pumps in woven raffia. Picking a somewhat polished daytime shoe is important for making sure the overall effect is stylish, not sloppy.
What I Wore: Confezioni Crosby Shirt Coverall ($215, available in April) in Blue; American Eagle Striped Sweater ($50, 212.219.4600, available in stores now); Rebecca Minkoff Collin Camera Bag ($295, available in Black); Oliver Peoples Reigh Sunglasses ($295) in Seafoam with Julep Gradient; Sarah Chloe Sienna Initial Pendant ($894) in 14kt Yellow Gold; Sarah Chloe Mini Heart.beat Necklace ($98); Tory Burch Clay Pumps ($295); Giles & Brother Skinny Archer Brass Cuff ($80) in Brass; Sequin Sea Fan ($58) in Gold Plated; Dannijo Giulia Bracelets ($130) in Pink.
P.S.: Do you have a trend you're not quite sure how to wear? Leave a message in the comments, and yours truly might try it out!--Kat Collings