A few weeks ago, J.Crew announced the creation of a pantsuit onesie and the fashion world went a bit berserk. It's definitely a bold look, with pleats and layers and a weirdly deep cut in the front. The layering of the denim shirt underneath the jumpsuit didn't really help with the overall professionalism of the look. But commentators calling it "childish" might be going one step too far. (We also really shouldn't be surprised that someone at J.Crew tried to make the "professional jumpsuit" a thing. This is the company that brought us the wedding onesie, after all.)
Although I can admit that the J.Crew jumpsuit as presented looks a little bit wacky, I refuse to admit defeat for the professional onesie. As a lazy human woman who strives for ease in getting dressed over most other factors, I am a strong advocate for all things one-piece and monochromatic. Jumpsuits are amazing because of their simplicity, and contrary to popular belief, can be totally appropriate for the workplace. It might be little tough to pull off in a conservative work environment, but I have seen it worn with aplomb at offices that have slightly more forgiving dress codes. The jumpsuit is not childish, but practical and stylish. If you're willing to be a little bit daring, here are five tips to help you feel comfortable rock your own onesie in the office.
1. Treat It Like A Dress
In terms of ease of getting ready in the morning, there's really nothing simpler than throwing on a single article of clothing that can be a whole outfit in and of itself. This is the main reason to get over your fear of jumpsuits in the workplace. They don't belong in a separate category from your favorite tailored dress, especially if the jumpsuit is made from a sturdy material and fits well. A jumpsuit can be just as chic and put-together as any LBD, and a neutral base for other accessories. I like this navy jumpsuit from ASOS because the cut is relatively traditional and modest, even though it is a one-piece.
ASOS Tailored Wrap Front Jumpsuit, $92, ASOS.com
2. Or Like A Blouse And Slacks
Some jumpsuits give the illusion of being a blouse and slacks, and you can use that to your advantage. It's a onesie that doesn't look like a onesie, especially when it's belted like this one from ASOS, which makes it seems like it's two articles of clothing, not one. It looks like you perfectly coordinated separates, when really, you put in little to no effort, and this lack of trying while still managing to look chic is the inherent advantage of the professional onesie. I cannot stress that point enough.
Little Mistress Color Block Jumpsuit, $114, ASOS.com
3. Either Way, Keep It Simple
You'll want to make sure your jumpsuit is simple, especially in a conservative workplace. Some onesies come with plunging necklines or backs, and those should be avoided in the office, in the same way that you'd avoid a shirt that's too low-cut. (This is why, in my semi-professional opinion, the J.Crew professional onesie fails. It's low-cut and weirdly pleated and designed to stand out, rather than blend in seamlessly.) Busy patterns or bright colors might also not translate well to the workplace, but feel free to experiment. If the cut is modest and simple, you'll probably be able to get away with a more aggressive color or pattern.
Mesh-Inset Jumpsuit, $140, BananaRepublic.com
4. Top It Off With A Blazer
Adding a blazer over a jumpsuit adds an instant level of polish, especially if the jumpsuit and blazer are the same color. This simple addition elevates the professional onesie to a full pantsuit, and, if we've learned anything from Hillary Clinton, there's nothing more powerful than a good pantsuit. Although Jennifer Hudson's teal-on-teal jumpsuit-blazer combo might be a little too bold for the office, trying the same look in black would make for a more professional style.
5. Be Confident
If you're going to wear a onesie to the office, do it, and be proud of your fashion choice. Don't let the fear of taking it off when you pee intimidate you, and don't let your co-workers make you feel like you're a weirdo. A jumpsuit can be professional, especially if you wear it with confidence, find the right cut, and accessorize correctly. Besides, if you do it right, you'll look totally hip, and no one will probably even notice that your pants are connected to your blouse. (Did you also get that point about how easy it will be to get dressed in the morning? Because that's also a pretty compelling argument for wearing a onesie to work.)
Images: Getty, Giphy