When considering some of the ugliest fashion trends of all time, does the boilersuit spring to mind? Well, it’s back – with a vengeance. The all-in-one piece is notorious for dividing opinions between the sartorially daring and those who play it safe due to its hard-to-wear stigma. But whichever side of the fashion fence you choose to sit on, there’s no denying that for Fall/Winter 2017 – and even Spring/Summer 2018 – the boilersuit is a fashion girl must-have.
At this point, you may be thinking, “Never mind the trend, what is the difference between a boilersuit and a jumpsuit?” And we’re here to explain. A jumpsuit has many variable factors, but fundamentally it is a fitted, seamless outfit – an alternative to trousers and a top. The boilersuit, however, has a looser and more utilitarian fit. This is due to its humble origins. It was designed in the 1920s to be worn by construction workers, brick layers, and firemen as a protective layer on top of their “normal” clothing.
This is why you’ll find some present-day versions with long pockets low down on the leg, which were added to hold tools, while the popper fastenings exist for ease of removal at the end of a long workday. Makes sense now, right? If you haven’t heard the term boilersuit before, that might be because it is also referred to as coveralls, overalls, or even a “siren suit”. However you choose to describe the piece, the outcome is conclusive; this is practicality-meets-style at its best.
The beauty of a boilersuit is simple: It eliminates the need to mix, match, and style multiple items. Who needs to bother with dresses, tops, and trousers when you have a readymade outfit all worked out for you? With a little bit of clever styling, it works for pretty much any occasion. Work? Add some courts. Weekend? Sneakers will do. Party? Roll up the sleeves, add lashings of jewelry, and put on your highest heels. If layering is fashion algebra, this is fashion math 101.
Whether you’re sold on the trend or still need some convincing, Savoir Flair has rounded up the models, “It” girls, and fashion editors currently rocking the look. Browse the gallery of style inspiration below, and then shop our edit of the best boilersuits available online.
Talk about making a statement. The youngest Hadid sister opts for the color of the season, with simple white accessories adding a 70s twist to the look. The plunging neckline balances out the open-hem details of her boilersuit perfectly.
Bella strikes again! This time, the model-of-the-moment does off-duty in a full denim get-up, finished with floral appliqués in what seems to be her favorite color of late.
The Italian stylist and “It” girl knows how to work a fall/winter look; this boilersuit and roll-neck sweater combination is the perfect example of layering done right.
The fashion editor is a street-style hit season after season and, this time around, we’re commending her for her fabulous use of color, silhouette, and dainty accessories.
Known for her love of silk, satin, and chiffon fabrics, Gigi goes a little smarter with this all-in-one look. However, the silhouette remains typical of a traditional boilersuit.
Once President and Executive Creative Director at J. Crew, Lyons is now known for expertly mixing girl-meets-boy style through feminine colors and masculine silhouettes.
The sophisticated actress veers away from her usual smart attire, opting for denim coveralls while off duty instead. The simple court heels and structured bag add a dash of her personal style.
Rather than full-length pants, the supermodel opts for a shorter, sportier take on the boilersuit. It shouldn’t really work in theory, but with legs like that, why not?
Medine’s traditionally shaped chambray boilersuit strikes the perfect balance between masculine and feminine. The trick with rocking this type of jumpsuit is clever styling – and the rolled-up sleeves, unzipped neckline, and super-long length seen here are great examples of how to do it.