It’s time to add a jumpsuit to your wardrobe. Here are some of the best ones to buy.
Rock a one-and-done look with these five stylish boilersuits.
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Whether it’s a sweet, floral style or a wide-legged black velvet number, a jumpsuit is a statement piece. Its striking head-to-toe look channels a put-together vibe that pushes beyond donning a dress or two-piece outfit.
“Jumpsuits are a must-have staple, much like a great black blazer, a chic boot, or a white tee,” says Heidi Watson, fashion director at Evereve, which boasts more than 80 jumpsuit styles in its look book. “They’re figure flattering, wardrobe refreshing, and flat-out fun to wear.”
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The origins of the jumpsuit
Forget the ballgown and glass slipper. If there was ever a Cinderella story of fashion it would be the jumpsuit. With humble beginnings in 1919 as a functional garment for parachuters to wear while, you guessed it, jumping from planes, this one-piece magically found its way throughout the decades onto the runways and into our closets. An intro in the late 1930s by Elsa Schiaparelli (a rival of Coco Chanel), to WWII’s allegorical cultural icon Rosie the Riveter, to ‘70s Studio 54-ready Halston’s glamorous staple, almost every designer has had his or her version. It even earned a rep in 1980 as "the ballgown of the next century,” or so said designer Geoffrey Beane.
Fit comes first with jumpsuits
Finding the right jumpsuit for your body is the key to looking elevated and polished, according to Boston-based stylist and podcast host Tara West. With so many jumpsuit silhouettes—utilitarian boiler suits to sexy strapless options—a good jumping-off point is fit.
“The best fit is a tailored look that’s not too baggy or loose-fitting,” she explains, also warning against a polarizing swing in the too-tight direction. A must for any look? A smart waistline. “I find a cinched waist to be very flattering as it gives you definition while showing your curves,” she adds. Choosing a wide-legged style is also an elegant way to flatter your shape while allowing for ease and comfort.
Try your hand at a tailored fit with the Dynamo Stretch Cotton Jumpsuit by Rivet Utility in a vibrant scarlet red, with just the right amount of stretch thanks to the organic cotton blend.
Dressing for the occasion
What’s on the agenda for your showstopper outfit also can be a deciding factor on which jumpsuit to wear. Are you going out at night or heading to the office?
“While silhouettes vary widely for jumpsuits for evening—think one shoulder or sexy strapless— most jumpsuits for daytime tend to fall into one of two categories – fitted and nipped in or more relaxed and straight,” explains Watson. She suggests a shapelier, looser style with more give for every day, while more fitted jumpsuits can look polished and chic for work.
The lightly padded shoulders with flutter sleeves help to balance out the silhouette of the X Revolve Donni Jumpsuit by Sabina Musayev, while the shimmer makes it sassy for a night out. $430 at Revolve
West also offers guidance when choosing a fabric. “Silk jumpsuits are a great evening look, while a cotton or denim fabric is more playful for daytime styling,” she says. For Watson, a sure winner across the board is choosing any fabric with stretch. “It allows for movement and comfort and is easy to get on and off,” she says, giving a nod to the quick change bathroom struggle that often arises with this fashion choice.
The Marta Jumpsuit by Citizens of Humanity is a sporty denim option perfect for daytime wear. Its front button closure, buttoned cuffs, and front and back pockets make it a nod to our favorite jeans.
Styling is key with a jumpsuit
According to Watson, when it comes to styling, treat a jumpsuit like a blank slate. “Pop a lightweight, fitted layer underneath—a tee, tank, or turtleneck. Accessorize the open neckline with a stack of personal necklaces, or add a belt for waist interest,” she says. For those chilly temps, layer a blazer, quilted jacket or duster over the top, an especially great look to balance when your jumpsuit is more fitted at the waist.
West suggests pairing your jumpsuit with sneakers for travel, booties for a walk around town, and a pair of heels for an evening out, while Watson thinks outside of the (shoe) box with a fresh fall update that swaps last year’s sleek bootie for a western boot vibe or lug sole.
If you’re feeling fearless, Venus’ Floral Print Jumpsuit captures a bold floral print in a navy sleeveless one-piece that is actually quite a breeze to wear.
Ease into bold prints if you’re a beginner
As confidence itself is something that builds, the full impact of a jumpsuit is worth working up to. Translation: don’t jump right into full-on florals or sequins for your first foray into the style.
“If it’s your first time wearing a jumpsuit, stay with a solid color suit. [This] lengthens your body and is flattering to most body types,” says West. But if you’re a sucker for patterns, go for something subtle and keep your accessories to a minimum. “If you decide on a bolder one, pay attention to the fit of the jumpsuit both in length and size to ensure it’s the right fit when you’re sitting, standing, and walking as the fabric needs to comfortably move with you."
“Jumpsuits are statement-making and head-turning, so keep in mind that a print doubles down on this,” warns Watson. “If this is your first foray into the jumpsuit trend, you can’t go wrong with a solid—black, navy, utility green, and denim are all great ‘first time’ purchases.” That being said, she still maintains “Print is less versatile, but a whole lot of fun.”
The Lima Silk Mix Jumpsuit is an essential one-and-done piece that would be a great entrance into the trend, with its solid color and simple yet flattering silhouette.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.