In recent months, we have seen a re-emergence of the overalls trend, and I thought it was fitting to look back at where overalls came from, the history behind this blue-collar work symbol, and how they have evolved over time from a working class symbol to a fashion statement.
Overalls haven’t always been fashionable, or something that was meant for everyday wear. This functional article of clothing started off as something that sailors and soldiers wore, even before the industrial revolution according to waltonandtaylor.com. The website describes how, overalls first appeared in 1650 as a uniform used in some regiments, and were called “breeches”, rather than what we know today as “overalls”. By 1785, overalls were the first creation of pants and were in full use in the workforce, being worn in English colonies and America.
At the turn of the 20th century, overalls, and denim in general, started to become associated with fashion, in addition to their practical and functional uses. By 1930, according to paisleyfacevintage.com, overalls started to be considered as fashionable articles of clothing, with an image of being rugged and sexy. Actors such as John Wayne, wore them, and their popularity grew throughout the 1900’s.
Overalls were always seen as a good combination of function and comfort, and as everyday fashion became more relaxed over time, overalls became more and more acceptable as a fashion trend.
The last time period that saw overalls discussed and recommended as “fashionable” was the 1990’s, the source of kids and teenagers who are now in their 20’s and 30’s. This period saw overalls in a wide range of materials such as denim, printed cotton, etc. But as we flash forward to present day, the better question is why did they come back and how do they fit into today’s fashion trends.
Now that you know where overalls came from, lets look at how to wear them properly without reverting back to the old fashioned style from the past. You can take anything from the past uses, but you also have to mix it with something that is current and relevant and fashionable today. The different ways you can wear these trousers without making them look like you’re in the 90’s or 80’s are staples in society today.
Leather is something that has always been edgy, and has been associated with things like biker gangs and punk style, but lately people are incorporating it into their daily lives, so they turn their outfit from normal to have an edge. There are different ways of incorporating it into your daily lives like leather booties and running shoes, or leather bags, or even a leather necklace or hat can make something that looks normal, to looking modern. You could eve have a full leather pair of overalls, which is extremely modern. Leather will always give a modern twist to any classic piece of clothing.
Spikes are something that are coming back again for another season, but they just seem to scream modern and relevance in today’s society, and can make overalls look like they just stepped out of the 90’s to something from today. Anything from a sweater, or a purse, shoes with spikes, a necklace, or even a hat with spikes can make any pair of overalls look modern and chic.
Overalls are a classic staple in the modern fashion world, and as long as comfort is a relevant trend, overalls will re-emerge as fashionable in one way or another.