You know those cool girls you occasionally see shopping at the mall or posed outside in an abandoned-yet-cool parking lot for random pictures on Pinterest? (And about those random parking lots — I have no idea where these girls live where there’s just a conveniently edgy enough area/neighborhood/abandoned building where I could take pictures of my outfits, because all of the abandoned areas around my house are complete with vulgar graffiti, strewn garbage and homeless folk, but I digress).
Those girls are usually wearing outfits that us mere mortals and our lack of cool parking lots think we could never pull off. And one of those looks happens to be jumpsuits. But I’m here to tell you that you absolutely can pull off a jumpsuit — with a little practice and the right accessories, jumpsuits can be the perfect outfit (hello, no need to match pants and tops!).
Long ago are the days when rompers were only for children and plumbers. Jumpsuits and rompers are extremely fashion-forward, trendy, and can work for nearly everyone. Not to mention — they are easily dressed up and down, so you can throw one on with a blazer and heels for work and wear the exact romper with sandals for brunch on the weekend. Simple!
Let’s jump in, shall we? (I’ll also stop with the terrible puns).
For the jumpsuit shy, here are some simple pieces to help ease you into the trend…
For beginner jumpsuit-wearers, I don’t recommend jumping in (sorry!) to pieces that are super patterned or heavily detailed. Simple, cleaner silhouettes will make you feel more comfortable and will look more streamlined. All of these jumpers would be fantastic to wear to work because they’re sharp, sophisticated and sleek without being too trendy or costume-y.
The bottom two pieces are a perfect way for the super gun-shy, since both of these jumpsuits have the appearance of being separates. The Salt & Pepper Jumpsuit on the left has a solid black top and peppery colored bottoms with a simple belt cinching the waist and breaking up the one-piece. And the DKNY jumper has that tuxedo effect with a classic white top which whittles into the flowy black trousers.
Assuming your office is slightly more casual, you could wear any of these jumpsuits as-is and expose your arms. However, with temps eventually cooling down (or the fact that most offices are usually arctic temps) you could pair any of these jumpsuits with a tailored blazer (simple black would look best, though a fun color like hot pink would add a nice pop of color), a structured coat, or a simple, breezy cardigan. Workplace-friendly jumpsuits like these would work best with classic black pumps or stilettos, black strappy sandals, or black flats.
Now let’s talk about patterns…
Florals are a pattern that never goes out of style. Case in point: floral jumpsuits, which offer the right amount of femininity and girliness without being as cloying as a tutu. Black jumpsuits with a floral pattern look breezy and stylish; the black anchors the floral from being too overwhelming, but the floral offers a break from your basic black. Wider legged styles, like the ModCloth version (right) are best worn with chunky booties or platforms to add height to all the volume in the pant legs, whereas slimmer styles, like the middle LoveCulture suit, would look badass in strappy heels, gladiator sandals, or even boots.
My general rule of thumb: the wider the pant leg, the higher the heel (so to speak). Again, with so much volume on the bottom, it helps to elongate your legs and add height with heels. Chunkier shoes, like boots, can look too bottom-heavy with wider-legged styles. You have more shoe options with slimmer pant legs.
Depending on where you work, I’d say these jumpsuits have the potential to be workplace-friendly, depending on how they were styled. The far-right suit would look best with a tailored cardigan, chunky bangles, and wedges. And the middle would look great with a structured blazer, a skinny belt around the waist, and a strappy heel. The first look is quite casual, but if your workplace is more casual, throw on a leather moto jacket to add some toughness to the outfit.
Tribal patterns are so trendy right now, simply because they’re fun and easy to wear. I used to think that tribal patterns were only exclusive for Amazonian-gorgeous model girls, not a pale chick with Ray-Bans… but I was wrong! Animal prints can easily be taken as ‘tribal’, and technically, the jumpsuit on the far right is a chevron pattern, just done closer together which gives it an exotic feel.
I love the idea of pairing boots with the tribal prints, especially if the jumpsuits have slimmer legs. The first look would look awesome tucked into badass black leather boots; the middle look would look adorable with ankle-length brown suede booties; and the last look, as shown, would look great with black pointed-toe leather booties or moto boots. Of these three looks, I think the first would look best for the office setting. Top it with a leather or denim jacket to add in some difference in texture (the silky fabric of the suit combined with supple leather or tough denim would look awesome). Simple gold jewelry, like a pretty necklace, helps sophisticates the look — save the chunkier jewelry for your day off.
Tribal prints, admittedly, are usually “louder” than florals, so don’t let them scare you off if you’re pattern-shy. You can break up the overwhelming, full-body tribal print by adding a shell on top (cardigan, shawl, jacket) or even by belting it with a bright colored belt to add some interest to the waist and “cut off” the pattern, so to speak.
And now, for you wild children…
These jumpsuits aren’t for beginners — or for the faint of heart. But for those girls who seek to turn-heads and experiment loudly with fashion, these jumpsuits are for you, babe! Rompers in loud patterns, bold prints, or unexpected textiles make for a real statement piece — and you must have the confidence to rock it.
Take for example that gorgeous all-over sequin bandeau jumpsuit from TopShop. It probably seems like the most ballsy pick, but since it contains one color (an all-over navy) and is in a classic shape, it’s actually pretty versatile to style. The obvious choice would be to wear it to a party or cocktail event with sky-high heels and a clutch. But you could also top it with a jean jacket, a crossbody bag and booties to dress it down.
The denim suit can work as styled, with simple nude stilettos and gold jewelry, or it can be punked out. Unbotton the top portion to reveal a graphic tee underneath or even a flashy lace bandeau bra; wear with moto boots. Swap out the built-in sash with a studded black belt and pair with cagey black leather heels. Mixing denim (which is typically seen as casual) with unexpected textures (leather, lace) and adornments (studs, straps) makes it interesting.
And lastly, that floral jumpsuit. I actually want one — it looks so comfy! Punk it out with chunky creeper boots and a leather motorcycle jacket. Wear it with a cut-off denim vest and sandals for a more casual-cool vibe. Or top it with a super chunky knit sweater and equally-chunky brown clog-heels for something more boho. And layer on those necklaces, girl! I think a series of really pretty gold pendants layered together would look so chic.
Keep In Mind…
*Yes, curvy girls CAN wear jumpsuits, too! Just pick one in a stretchier fabric (to help conform to curves!) & proceed with styling as normal.
*Belts can be your friend. For anyone, steer clear of shapeless, straight up-and-down jumpsuits which can make you look like a plumber. When in doubt, accentuate that girlie waist of yours with a skinny belt. It not only helps nip in your waist and enhance your gorgeous figure, but it will help polish up the look or break up a pattern, if needed.
*Do a test walk in your jumpsuit to make sure it’s right for you. Some jumpsuits can ride up when you walk, giving you a dreaded camel .. you know. Avoid this by taking a couple laps around the fitting room to ensure your fabric doesn’t ride up in the front or back.
*And also, make sure your pants aren’t high-waters. No one likes high-water flood-pants. Unless the rompers are specifically cropped to be capris, make sure they’re long enough for you. Hem if they’re too long (they shouldn’t drag on the floor; if anything, they should lightly skim the floor if you’re wearing heels). If nothing else, go up the next size and hem those OR cuff them.
*HAVE FUN!! You’re a sexy, beautiful, smart, CONFIDENT woman! Wear those jumpsuits with pride! Fashion should be fun.
Have a fantastical day!