How To Style A Jumpsuit For Work And Play

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.

Style Notes:
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.

Style Notes:
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