I lay the blame for this post squarely at the (immaculately shod) feet of Frances of The Fashion Lift. Until a couple of weeks ago the thought of wearing a pair of dungarees was right down at the bottom of my list of 'must-do's', along with sky-diving and snake charming (ie: it ain't never gonna happen!). Having spent too long wearing them the first time around (Hello Indie-Kid!) and far too much time watching kid's TV (Hello almost every presenter!) I thought dungarees were a simple shorthand for dressing like a clown or a child. Neither of which would be good for a mama fast approaching 40.
Firstly Frances posted this picture, of Julie Sarinana (aka Sincerely Jules) looking seriously fit in a pair of fitted denim overalls on her Instagram feed. Then this one. OK, so that woman would look amazing in anything but oh-my, it made me wish for lean, tanned limbs, tousled waved hair, warm weather and a pair of rockin' dungarees. Obviously it would take quite a lot of exercise, hair extensions and long haul travel to achieve most of those things....but shopping for Dungarees, maybe I could manage that...
...And just like that I was in. Show me to your dungaree department, shopkeeper! Seriously, I NEEDED dungarees.
Having thought I was after a pair of denim, probably baggy, overalls, I found myself falling for these slim black numbers from Whistles. With plenty of stretch and a nice fitted waist, I really like the way they sit. Also, I felt a little less clownish than I might have in a baggier pair. The sizing is generous, though, so I'd recommend going down at least one size. I originally ordered a size 28, and ended up exchanging them for a 26.
Deciding to actually wear them in public...that took a few more days to get up the nerve. When I finally did no one laughed, no one asked me when I was due (Never!) and no one asked what I'd done with Bungle. Lolly Pop approves and after initial doubt ("You'll look like some sort of builder!") the kids have decided I don't look too embarrassing to be seen out with in them. Phew.
I've been wearing them with a simple cream blouse I picked up in Sainsbury's, my trusty Yellow Saltwaters, my new Lorna Bag from Etoile Home and this lipstick by & Other Stories. (Necklace was from Monica Vinader a couple of years ago, the sunglasses even older, found in the back of a drawer.) I've found that the trick to feeling good in my dungarees is to keep all the details fairly grown-up and feminine, thus avoiding the farmer/builder/clown look. I've drawn the line at heels, though, as I can't comfortably do all the dashing around I need to in a heel.
As we like to be a bit matchy-matchy here in the Lolly Loft, I persuaded Claire to buy some dungarees too. She looks super cute in the vintage overalls she got from Urban Outfitters. The selection in store was very varied so if you are ordering online I would recommend getting at least two pairs to try, to see which fits best.
I would also suggest ordering or trying as many pairs as you can get your hands on, as different shapes fit different bodies, and we're all pretty different when it comes to hips, boobs and leg length. A good place to start is Topshop, and check out these beauties from Boden of all places.
Frances has since posted this great Denim Dungaree round-up on her blog. Doesn't she look great? I love the way she's topped them with a fitted jacket and great lippy, to keep away any hint of construction-worker. She also has a great selection of dungarees to browse in the post.
So what do you think? Are you tempted to dip your toe in the Overall trend? Should I have stuck to the jeans? Do let me know what you think!