Can you wear overalls anywhere?

I recently put on some denim overalls - voila! - I went from a serious businessman to an old-fashioned charcoal burner. The kind that ran the trains of the 1930s. I thought, looking at the mirror, that I could pass for a farmer from the 1950s, stealing corn. (Is corn something to "swish"?) I definitely didn't feel like myself.

Coluche in Overalls

Of course, there is a fine line between the pleasant transformation and the Halloween getup. "If you're not a working man, the bib becomes more costume," said Ann Richardson, the brand historian at Dickies , a Fort Worth, Texas company that has been making overalls since its inception in 1922. Traditionally , La Salopette meet the needs of those who work in the grain fields , on construction sites or in factories. But today's creatives also value practicality . “You can get them dirty and there are pockets everywhere for random things,” said Noémie Salia, 26, a lighting designer and model maker in her spare time.

Will Smith in Overalls

Dungarees have sometimes flirted with fashion, especially in the 1990s. To see: the adorable Jennifer Aniston nicknamed "Friends" or the less cuddly Tupac wearing a pair bearing the emblem "Thug Life". Seventies hippies embraced cheap dungarees to stand out from the establishment. The children of lawyers and drunk middle managers "identified with the working class and the rebellion and objected to being very well dressed all the time", Ms Richardson said of the counter-cultural gesture.

Tupac in Overalls

Today, despite increasingly casual dress codes, overalls remain a tough sell for those without a bushel or a saw. Marketing consultant Jeff Thrope, 35, recalls feeling judged while wearing overalls to work: "I'm sure most people I met thought I was a complete loser. ."

It takes guts to defy such censorship. And, like most style risks, being famous helps. Coluche suffered few consequences when he wore denim overalls during a TV appearance. Now, as other pre-2000 fashions, such as baggy jeans and chunky sneakers, are experiencing a renaissance, brands like Our Legacy , or Supreme are also offering new overalls.

Work Overalls

After swapping my work-evoking Overalls for a cleaner, all-white version from Dickies, the lure of overalls kicked in. I was happy to have a pocket the size of a smartphone at the level of the rib cage. I also found odd comfort in wearing a shoulder to toe garment/suit. Still, the fabric was stiff (I'm told it loosens up after a few washes), and the trouser legs were wide enough to accommodate a bell bottom. Also, the pearlescent color made me nervous to look like someone heading to their work site. So I opted for slimmer olive green pants for the Hellfest Festival in Clermont-Ferrand, with a soft fabric and a straight cut that felt almost smooth to me.

I wore them to lunch, exploiting the extra pockets to stash a few pens and a folded Saturday crossword. The crowd seemed indifferent, although to be fair, I ate there, at the refreshment bar, where weird outfits abound. After the meal, I joined my brother to attend some art exhibitions, which seemed like an appropriate context for such a quirky look. The only comment came from my brother, who simply asked me where I got these overalls. He credited the fabric - a dry cotton typical of military pants - with giving them a polished look. Nevertheless, I changed to standard cotton pants before leaving for dinner. Even in a low-end restaurant, I wasn't ready to be mistaken for a farmer at the table.

Leave a comment
Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.