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 Inspirations– Headphones As Accessories, Blanket Wrap, Blue & White Stripes, Suspenders, Army Green Coats
Vocabulary #35: Overalls
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 11/2014– Overalls from Madewell.
13 thoughts on “Fashion Inspiration- Denim Overalls”
Love the 1944 picture…amazingly cute. Wish I had MY vintage overalls (1980) that I wore when I was pregnant! So comfy.
Margot- I bought overalls from the Gap five years ago and still have them. :)
Love this post and that top photo. I think its so neat how different industries coined certain colors/patterns their own.
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!
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!
Hi Erica- Yes…most of the pairs I’ve come across have a flared leg. What about dying the white one from S. Alan? :)
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…
dying them is a good idea. i’m going to nyc on monday and will try them on at the UWS outlet.
Erica- If you decide to dye a pair…let me know how they turn out. :)
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!
Missa- You look wonderful in your Sear’s overalls! :)
I’ve been looking at thrifts and such for overalls… I miss mine from the 90’s!
Ginger- I know ‘Free People’ has a pair but they’re a bit high priced…
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