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Let’s hope this is a cruel April Fool’s joke

April 2, 2010

Guys. Guys. I believe this would fall under the Alicia Silverstone category of fashion emergencies: overalls are back.

It was another busy night at The GAP; I was folding our routinely destroyed V-neck table when my manager approached me and dropped the overall bomb. “So, I don’t know if you heard yet, but we’re getting overalls in next week. They’re back.” She seemed jovial about the news, but my reaction was similar to what might happen if I had some estranged parent I hadn’t heard from in years and had purposely blocked out of my mind, who randomly decided they wanted to be a part of my life again. Only this parent was horribly dressed in a denim concoction originally designed for use as protection from debris during manual labor.

Anyway, as part of my sales preparation I have to get really excited about overalls. I am not excited about overalls.

Overalls on children are adorable. Overalls on adults, in my opinion, are not. Let’s take a look.

Cute kid vs. Woman with identity crisis.

Now, I have nothing against the overall prior to puberty. I was an overall junkie as a kid, mostly because I was too fussy/tomboyish to wear anything that required a zipper, tights or a belt. Overalls were easy, durable and cute. I had overall skirts, khaki overalls, curdoroy overalls — ooh, God, I just now remembered this pair of heinous, purple velvet overalls I had that I abused because I loved them so — and of course a few pairs of trusty denims. They even made their way into middle school, when I’d wear an Abercrombie tee underneath, and maybe leave one strap open to keep up with the trends.

But the second the boobies pop up, to me, overalls become irrelevant. Not because you should be showing off your boobies at 14, but because overalls have no patience for curves. They’re not meant to be flattering because they are designed to be uniforms for construction workers. Yet, top designers have attempted to reinvent the worker’s bib. Let’s look at Ralph Lauren’s “evening gown” interpretation of the overall.

Model thought bubble: "Fuck my life."

And more attempts:

Image courtesy of

Jean Paul Gaultier, Ralph Lauren, Cynthia Steffe and Chloe all did interpretations of the overall on the runways for Spring 2010, and I really wasn’t enthralled with any of them, but did appreciate their attempts, at least. To me, it feels like some outrageous “Project Runway” challenge. I can just imagine the designers’ faces: “We have to do what!?” I have yet to see what The GAP will offer, so there’s an extremely slim chance I might change my mind. But I doubt it.

What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Are overalls relevant to fashion-forward adults in 2010?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2010 10:41 am

    I know we already discussed this at length via gchat, but I have to reiterate how disturbing I find this “trend.” Why why why why. Sure, they look somewhat chic on the runway, but normal adults in the normal world cannot pull them off and be taken seriously.

    Remember that scene in “Clueless” when Tai is introduced the the rest of the girls at Bronson Alcott High during P.E.? Amber said, “She could be a farmer in those clothes…” Yeah, SHE WAS WEARING OVERALLS. (This may be a sign I’ve seen “Clueless 10 times too many. However.)

    I also distinctly remember wearing overalls in the fifth grade — with one strap loose, mind you — WITH CLOGS. I had these high-heeled clogs that I pretty much never took off for all of 1997 and 1998. How is it possible that the trends from my childhood are returning? I’M ONLY 22.

    I need to calm down. But let’s remember it’s 2010, not 1997. Friends don’t let friends wear overalls.

  2. April 2, 2010 12:14 pm

    OK. I was so upset after reading this post I immediately G-chatted Shannon to talk about it. There’s just so much to say.

    First, the Clueless quote does NOT bode well for this so-called trend, and, btw, Tai really could have been a farmer in those clothes. Also, does anyone (other than me and Shannon) remember the very old episode of “Friends” during which Rachel is wearing overalls? They actually make Jennifer Aniston look bad, and that’s a feat.

    I do remember wearing my sister’s hand-me-down black velvet overalls in fourth grade, and I admittedly was excited to inherit them. But I was in fourth grade, and I also distinctly remember wearing them after having my appendix out because there was no waistband to rub against my scar. The point: overalls are used for very specific, very rare purposes that do not include being stylish.

    Seriously, overalls are not OK for anyone beyond the age of about 12. I’m very worked up about this…

  3. April 2, 2010 12:25 pm

    Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but I think this trend could work.

    One of the blogs I follow made overalls look downright wearable:

  4. April 2, 2010 6:38 pm

    I can’t believe no one else has commented on this. I’m as worked up about this as Kelly. NOT OK.


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