The year was 1982 when the English pop group Dexys Midnight Runners released upon us the great song “Come On Eileen,” the music video that accompanied the single was filmed on Book Drive, Kennington, London. The very famous Eileen featured in that short film was a little adorable blond, skinny young woman, and she and all the musicians were wearing dungarees, or let’s just simply say overalls.
If you are like me, one of those fashion lovers who very rarely lets go of pieces of clothing, the ones who believe more in accumulating better than recycling, then I am pretty much certain that you might be able to find overalls hidden deep down in your fabulous closet. After all, hate them or love them, at some point we all tried wearing them once since overalls were such a big thing in the ’90s or we can all take a trip down memory lane to our school days.
Overalls were very much a presence on the runways at the 2014 spring fashion shows last September. That’s the beauty of buying smart: You get a great piece, wear it for one season, and then put it away until fashion decides the trend is hot again. In March, actress Elisabeth Moss appeared on the cover of New York Magazine wearing just overalls, indeed a confirmation that we will be seeing a lot of them until the winter starts.
The main rule to wear overalls is to always pair it with something. Elisabeth looks good on the magazine cover, but in reality, you should never attempt going shirtless unless you are wearing a chic jacket or coat with the overalls … or if you are the hot and lean gardener planting lilacs in my front yard.
I would stay away from pairing overalls with large prints, solid color short- or long-sleeve shirts should always be worn underneath. Oversized sunglasses are a great accessory to wear with any type of overalls. Tennis shoes and sandals are a lovely choice for a playful day look, especially if you are going with “shortalls” or “skirtalls,” but please don’t ever wear these two versions of short overalls for the night. In my book, they are strictly limited to shine during the day. Beautiful high heels and a gorgeous clutch can elevate any look, but with long overalls, it gives a pass from a day look to an early-evening look. Also ladies, I don’t think overalls and hats are a good match, but if you must, please keep it simple.
For the gentlemen, well, as I suggested above, your overalls should always be accessorized with muscles. No other way …