I Wore Overalls For A Full Week To Gauge Whether This Toddler Trend Works Just As Well For Grown Ups
The "rules" for how to wear overalls can be befuddling notions. When I think of overalls, I think of quintessential summer things: Of eating ice cream cones on concrete steps leading down to the beach, of sweeping your hair into a braided crown and heading out to a farmers' market for some blueberries, of spending an afternoon on a friend's deck and watching the ice melt in the pitcher of sangria. Overalls mean good, good summer memories.
But I know that for a lot of people, they mean something else entirely. Mainly, a scary beast of a trend that they don't know how to tackle (or something reminiscent of elementary school days). And when you don't know how to wrangle in a style and make it work with your own, then you don't know how to feel or act when wearing it. You feel self-conscious, out of place, and as though every person within a mile radius is staring at you and your rookie styling move.
But you know that's not true and — just like how your dad showed you that there's no monster in the closet before it was lights out — I'll show you that overalls aren't as intimidating as you think they might be. Below I tried out the trend for seven straight days, and am sharing how I felt throughout it, along with tips on just how to style the overall trend.
Day 1: Monday
Today I was going to meet up my cousins for sushi, wine, and girl talk, so I decided to wear something laid-back and casual. I popped a striped sweater underneath the overalls and paired the look with sleek Chelsea boots for a simple ensemble. I was pleased to find that just on day one I already got a positive response over my overall finagling. While walking to the BYOB restaurant, one of the fundraiser clipboard people said they loved my outfit just as I was in the middle of faking left to dodge them.
Sure, they might have just said it to get my credit card number, but I'm going to choose that not to be the case.
Day 2: Tuesday
I had a full day of writing in the library so I wanted to go comfy and more under-dressed than over. I chose to style the overalls with a turtleneck crop top and tied the look together with white minimalist sandals. No one batted an eye my way as I quietly shuffled into the library with my backpack on, meaning my outfit wasn't all that outlandish. I enjoyed the playful feel of the covered up turtleneck with the summery overalls, so much so that it inspired me to get a pistachio ice cream cone afterwards. It might have also inspired me to flirt with the cashier, so these pants are clearly winners.
Day 3: Wednesday
After work, my friend had a little gathering on his deck consisting of white wine and cupcakes, so I came over to make a serious dent in his supply. Wanting to go a touch fancier than the other days, I styled the overalls with a high-necked floral shirts that's usually reserved for my fancy wide leg pants and swingy spring skirts. I always think contrasts make an outfit more interesting, so I really enjoyed the playful clash between fancy and casual. I rounded out the outfit by pairing the look with camel clogs, helping to bring out the colors in the blouse and anchor the casual feel in the outfit.
Day 4: Thursday
Chicago's spring has some bite to her, and on this particular day it looked like it could have been summer but it felt like it was fall. To compensate for its fickle feelings, I decided to center my look around my light anorak. I paired the overalls with a floral shell top, and then shrugged on the anorak to not only keep warm but to add a touch of color to the neutral blue, grey, and black palette. I added chunky sandals at my feet to give the look an unexpected kick and headed out to the coffee shop to do some much needed work.
Day 5: Friday
It's Friday and it's time to play! Knowing I had a full day of couch bonding time and then jalapeño margaritas, I decided to go completely casual but playful. I swept my hair up into a loose bun and paired the overalls with a lace crop. I liked the way the sleeveless top looked with the cut of the denim, and the way the feminine lace contrasted against the utilitarian piece. I added in chunky sandals at my feet to further offset the delicate blouse, and then settled in for a day catching up on Bob's Burgers and making patio plans.
Day 6: Saturday
I wanted to dress up for a night out to eat, and knowing the chi-chi restaurant boasted things like white leather seats and $12 martinis, I didn't want to roll up looking like a college kid just done with finals in her distressed overalls. So I decided to find a way to dress them up. I styled the overalls with a pussybow blouse and shrugged on a light cotton jacket to give the look some structure. I put heeled suede booties at my feet more for the feminine "tap" the heels make than for the height, and I felt classy and sophisticated when I stepped back from the mirror. I might not have had a swishy dress on like the other women had, but I fit right into the dim lights and the happy din.
Day 7: Sunday
The day for lounging, barbecuing, and shanghaiing friends to come help eat said barbecue. I went simple and paired the overalls with a while button up shirt and black Chelsea boots, going for a quieter style. It was probably my favorite look because it was so unfussy but still incredibly chic. I felt stylish sitting on the deck, demanding for seconds, but dressed down enough not to think about how I looked.
I loved how versatile the overalls were, and how they pretty much worked every day of the week. They were easy to dress up and dress down, and not that many people seemed put off or bewildered by them. If anything, they gathered more compliments and smiles then anything else!
Images: Marlen Komar