Fashion Inspiration- Denim Overalls

The first overalls were assembled in the 1700’s as a preventive measure for stains. Loose fitting and made of tough fabric (not denim) they became a symbol of the working class. Around 1850 they were customized by colors- white for painters, blue for farmers and pinstripe for railroad workers. It was about this time that denim was introduced. Women didn’t start wearing them until the early 1900’s.

Details- vintage photo from Life Magazine, 1944 (upper left), g-star raw overalls (middle), Ralph Lauren overalls (top right and lower left), striped overalls by Citizens of Humanity (bottom right).

(Top photo- Alasdair McLellan for UK Vogue)

Related Nibs posts-

Fashion InspirationsHeadphones As Accessories, Blanket Wrap, Blue & White Stripes, Suspenders, Army Green Coats

Vocabulary #35: Overalls

Garden Club

Fall Diary

Update- Check Missa’s post on her overalls! :)

Update 7/31/2011– Urban farmer via Turned Out By Maya

Update 7/2013- Gap overalls on Danielle.


Update 12/2013– Balmain overalls, Brooks Brothers Shirt and Manolo heels. (Photo- Gilles Bensimon for Glamour Magazine, January 2014)


Updated 11/2014Overalls from Madewell.



13 thoughts on “Fashion Inspiration- Denim Overalls

  1. Love the 1944 picture…amazingly cute. Wish I had MY vintage overalls (1980) that I wore when I was pregnant! So comfy.

    1. Margot- I bought overalls from the Gap five years ago and still have them. :)

  2. Love this post and that top photo. I think its so neat how different industries coined certain colors/patterns their own.

    1. Mary- I know! Such a interesting design fact. :) When I was in eighth grade my mom made me two pairs of overalls- blue denim and pinstripe. I lived in them!

  3. still trying to find my perfect pair of overalls. something with a slightly tapered or skinny leg for a rolled hem. there was a white canvas pair by steven alan, but white is a bad idea for someone prone to getting dirty. love the old photo especially!

    1. Hi Erica- Yes…most of the pairs I’ve come across have a flared leg. What about dying the white one from S. Alan? :)

  4. Interesting informations about overalls – I knew only about industrial workers origin!
    if my mind did not forget, I’ve got 2 overall in my life: blue and jeans.
    they are comfortable but men style (the oldest – in my opinion, being a good and bad factor at the same time), but currently there are female versions lighter visually…

  5. If you’ve looked at my blog lately, you know I love this post! I adore all your inspiration photos (I’ll take a pair of each please!) That first one has been sitting in my inspiration folder too, love it :) How interesting to learn about the history as well!

  6. I’ve been looking at thrifts and such for overalls… I miss mine from the 90’s!

    1. Ginger- I know ‘Free People’ has a pair but they’re a bit high priced…

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