Overalls, coveralls, dunga-bloody-rees. You know, the trousers that just won’t quit. But the burning question on everyone’s (my) lips is: how to hop on board this particular denim clad train without getting waylaid in ‘I look like a 6-year-old’ territory, diverting through Super Mario-ville or simply ending up at the hillbilly hoedown terminus.
I own some baggy ones, almost excessively baggy (I could fit myself in them at least twice) which I scored from my local charity shop. They are super comfy (obviously) and, in my opinion, a little bit flattering (less obviously). Of course they widen me out, particularly from the back (9 acres of denim will do that to you) but I also think all that excess material gives the vague impression of being just too damn lithe to fill it (I can dream can’t I?)
Besides, ‘tight’ can equal the DREADED camel toe, particularly if you’re tall like I am and have a spine the length of the M25. To my mind ‘tight’ also contradicts the practicality, comfort and nonchalance of a good pair of dungas. Like low-fat chocolate mousse or a tiresome charity ‘fun run’, skin-tight dungarees seem to miss the point. Y’know- enjoy the chocolate mousse, but don’t pretend the chocolate mousse is good for you; go for the run, by all means, (it’s for a good cause after all) but don’t you dare pretend to me it’s fun; wear the dungarees (you’ll never look back, I promise) but don’t try to make the garment itself inherently alluring. Coz it just ain’t.
What you can do however, which is hella fun, is be a little bit flirtatious underneath it. So- I bought a slightly misjudged ‘off-the-shoulder’ (it’s early 2017, of course it was ‘off-the-frickin-shoulder’) long-sleeved jumper from Asos for 90 pence or something ridiculous, and couldn’t be bothered to return it, but the no bra situation combined with the awkward ribbed fabric made my rack look like that droopy knitted monkey who flogs teabags off the telly. Not a great look, we all agree, but I was mercifully saved by… you guessed it- Dungarees, hooray! This works on more than one level because not only is knittedmonkeygate avoided, the peep of shoulders and a freewheeling ‘OMG my t-shirt is literally slipping off ma body’ vibe sexes this ensemble RIGHT up. Add some completely inappropriate shoes and a choker (again, it’s early 2017, of course you add a frickin choker) and wham, you have yourself a smokin’ outfit.
The other option with baggy overalls, of course, is to totally drown yourself in fabric, which I know is a ‘cardinal sin’ when trying to flatter one’s silhouette, but to be honest 1) who cares? And 2) With a bit of judicious attention to detail and proportions, you can really kick the usual ‘jeans and jumper’ combo into next week.
I had a go with a new jumper that has big old trumpet sleeves and an oversized funnel neck. It’s boiled wool (so quite structured and stiff) and white- which keeps this voluminous outfit-ingredient otherwise simple. Tucking it into my mahoosive dungarees and adding a chunky 8 inch platform boot renders my proportions OK again. Well not necessarily OK, taller and wider for sure, but head-turning too. And I’m cool with that.