Jumpsuits for beginners

A root through my cupboards will reveal that apart from a couple of pairs of jeans and single obligatory pair of black trousers – last worn about two years ago – my wardrobe consists almost entirely of dresses and a scattering of skirts. Not only that, but many of these items make return appearances every year because as much as I revel in a good outfit, I favour style over fashion. And yet this season I feel almost compelled to acquire a jumpsuit. If you too are close to being one over (yes, yes, I did say that), here’s my advice on how to go about choosing one – and a few suggestions of options that have caught my eye.

A jumpsuit is not an investment

First of all, let’s be clear that jumpsuits are the epitome of a fashion trend – here today, gone tomorrow. While I am all for investing in good quality pieces generally, I personally do not see the point in spending a fortune on something that will likely look out of date after a season or two.  The high street is swimming in options at the moment and you can quite happily get a pretty piece for under £50.

I see a pattern

You will never, I repeat never, see me wearing any item of clothing that announces itself with a big fat logo. Allow me to indulge in a little bit of Calvin and Hobbes to elucidate:

calvin_hobbes

In a similar way, I have an innate fear of recognisable fabric designs. It’s not that I don’t like patterns it’s just that I baulk at the possibility that people will be able to tell where I bought my outfits from. A bold print is simply more likely to be recognised. Instead, I tend to go for block colours, interesting fabrics and common old garden stripes dressed up with quirky accessories and showstopper shoes. And when I do go for patterns, I opt for more niche brands where the volume of sales makes the likelihood of bumping into an outfit twin much less likely.

BUT. But. A mere glance at any fashion magazine will confirm that standout prints are big this season and as a result, some of the most appealing jumpsuits out there don’t so much whisper as scream. So you have two options:

  1. Play it safe and go with a single colour option which you can dress up with accessories.
  2. Put on a print, but  – at the risk of sounding like a complete snob – stick to brands you don’t mind being recognised in. And again, always think about how you can accessorise it to make it look unique.

Pick your fabric

This is a general rule really, but especially important if you’re thinking of shimmying into a jumpsuit. What you don’t want is a trouser that holds your leg in a static clinch, nor do you want anything stiff or brittle that either shows up every bump or creases when you so much as look at it. I’m a sucker for a good jersey fabric or anything with a bit of stretch to it. And whatever you do, do not fall victim to polyester. Ever.

Shape up

If, like most women, your top and bottom halves take a different size, you may find jumpsuits a challenge. A flexible fabric will help, but think about the way you usually wear trousers and tops and take inspiration from the shape combinations you use here to pick a jumpsuit for you. If you’re on the short side, look for petite options and err on the side of a skinnier trouser leg. Women with curvier bottom halves would also do well to stay away from wide-legged options, especially if going with a bold print. And unless you’re  tall and skinny, look for suits that provide some definition around the waist.

Belt it out

Or rather, out with the belt. If you were around in the 80s you may well like the idea of adding a good chunky belt to your jumpsuit, and theoretically the look may even be pleasing, but it’s not really the done thing at the moment. And since purchasing a jumpsuit in the first place is a win for the fleeting fancy of fashion, you’re best to play by the rules.

Here are a few jumpsuits I reckon are fit for beginners.

I love Oliver Bonas, I do. Pay them a visit if this blue number catches your eye. £42.

I love Oliver Bonas, I do. Pay them a visit if this blue number appeals. £42.

Bargain little black number from Dorothy Perkins, £22 or 30% off if you buy now.

Bargain little black number from Dorothy Perkins, £22 or 30% off if you buy now.

Lily print from Dorothy Perkins - £38 but 30% off at the moment

Lily print from Dorothy Perkins – £38 but 30% off at the moment

asos orchid

This orchid print jumpsuit, £45 from Asos, feels rather elegant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gratuitous glittery entry. Even if you don't  like this particular execution, this is a good standard shape to look out for - though perhaps with a skinner waist band. £24.99 from H&M

What can I say; it’s glittery! Even if you don’t like this particular suit, this is a good standard shape to look out for – though perhaps with a skinner waist band. £24.99 from H&M

 

 

 

 

 

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