I'm No Longer Over It: Rediscovering Overalls in 2022
My first introduction to overalls came by way of T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli – the dynamic trio of TLC.
Crooning about things my young mind had no business of knowing, I never fully understood the meaning of “creep” or why they insisted on taking pictures with perfectly good candy (I only recently discovered were condoms) tacked on to their overalls.
They epitomized “cool” and I wanted that journey for myself. The first step, of course, would be to purchase a pair of their iconic overalls. This was long before the day of online shopping, and I should have known that trying to emulate the style of a pop star when I was but a stubby five-footer with an unfortunate bowl haircut would end in disaster and heartache. But, I pushed forward with reckless abandon… and an uncanny resemblance to Terrence, my beloved cabbage patch doll, ensued.
Suffice it to say, overalls became and have been a no fly zone for me ever since… until I discovered Wildfang. Wildfang is a Portland based store that has skillfully reimagined gender norms and how they show up in fashion, and they have taken my ambivalence toward overalls and brought it back to an obsession that TLC would approve of.
The beauty of Wildfang is that they have taken utility suits and garments worn traditionally as protective wear and given them a colorful, gender-neutral twist. The promise here is a look that is feminine, masculine and everything in between. Even better, you have the joy of being dressed in 60 seconds and the guarantee of looking like a colorful bad ass with minimal effort.
Stroke of Genius
This paint stroke inspired pair of overalls gives you the feel of modern art with the ruggedness and utility of an overall’s silhouette. To break up the intensity of the pattern and not look like a floating head, I encourage you to bring a high contrast pop of color. I have gone for a bright yellow crop and finished the ensemble with a pair of platform heels. If you are someone who hates carrying a purse or holding things in your hands in general, you’re in luck! This thoughtful ditty comes with 6 deep pockets to house all of your day-to-day necessities. The contrast of feminine and masculine is a pure dream, and what’s more is this pair of overalls is luxuriously comfortable. With a bit of stretch and the ability to dress it up or down, this is a maximalist show stopper that will awaken anyone’s sleepy style slumber. These overalls are magic, they make you feel like a child, and will force you to resist creepily rolling around in your local public sandbox. And yet, it’s simultaneously vibrant and elevates the typical run of the mill jean based overall.
Coveralls are traditionally worn over street clothes and provide body protection while painting, destroying mold, and taking care of any other disaster you can imagine under the sun. The first time I saw these bad boys in a brick and mortar store, my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I let out a sigh of eternal damnation. I hated coveralls with all of my being. Mainly because they confused me, and I couldn’t imagine any occasion where I would wear without feeling ironic. But try it on, let it sit and give it a few minutes to marinate as your disbelief and anger gets whittled away and you discover the majesty that is the coverall.
High Waisted Coveralls
This coverall, like its overall cousin, is luxuriously soft and provides a bit of generous stretch. The beauty of this magical gem is in the details. With a high waistline and the ability to cinch and show off your hour glass waistline or leave it natural and uncinched, the ball is always in your court in terms of how much va-va-va-voom you want to exercise for the day. You also have the option of buttoning up all the way to the collar to showcase a tailored neckline, or you can loosen up the buttons and show the world a bit of side boob. Sexy or tough – the choice is yours. I fell in love with the olive iteration of coverall and have decided to go with an uncinched waist and a classy bit of neckline. To wrap up the look, I like to pair it with a pair of snake skin heels to continue the narrative of masculine and feminine all in one ensemble.
Long Sleeved Coveralls
This teal-esque long sleeved coverall provides a full length front zipper and is intended to be a bit oversized. Since I am still new to the coverall game, I decided to be conservative, size down and go for a fit that was slightly more form fitting. Just like it’s counterparts, this coverall is soft and gives you all the stretch you need while still holding you in. The beauty of a one piece like this is that you put it on and are instantly fabulous with little demand on the brain. It can be dressed up with a pair of classic black pumps or slides and dressed down with a classic closed toe boot. To ensure that my semi petite frame is not engulfed by all the fabric, I have gone the route of cuffing the pant leg and with one swift roll per side. With the ankles exposed, any kind of heel will play nicely.
I’m No Longer Over(all) It
With the help of Wildfang and the magic of it’s coverall-overall offerings, I have finally escaped my destiny of looking like an oversized cabbage patch kid. And I suspect, I have made T-boz, Left Eye and Chilli proud. If you throw small fits of rage when it comes to getting dressed in the morning or feel uninspired by your closet’s offerings, it may be time to play around with a vibrant coverall or luxuriously soft pair of overalls from Wildfang. Let it sit and marinate and I promise you won’t be disappointed!