Dungarees and boilersuits – anyone fancy going there with me?

Unlike the chap who was convinced that he was going to win the lottery, I did not wake up this morning convinced that, by the end of the day, dungarees/boiler suits would have worked their way into my consciousness – but they have. Random!

It all started whilst waiting at the Children’s Hospital this morning. It being Tuesday, I was flicking through my copy of Grazia when these Denim dungarees from Next (£35) caught my eye. I mentioned them to the eldest as we were leaving to see what she thought. Oddly the conversation turned to how she would quite like a short pair, which was probably for the best really, and I concluded that I wouldn’t go there but then….

…whilst flicking through Marie Claire at gymnastics, this Tencel jumpsuit from Mango (£59.99) jumped out at me. Having tried the tencel chinos in Jigsaw recently, I’m a big fan of its softness and the way it drapes. This style is so much more versatile too – far less Andy Pandy!

And then whilst sitting at ballet, (I do a lot of sitting and flicking on a Tuesday, not that I’m a tiger mother or anything. After all our children only learn 4 languages each and play 3 instruments each to grade 8 standard) this Utility boiler suit from Topshop (£62) leapt off the screen at me. I was being ambushed from all sides.

So, how to wear them? If you’re thinking “let’s not wear them at all” you may not want to read on. On the other hand, perhaps you will be inspired! As I’ve said before, as we get older, the options of what to wear do start to narrow down, which is why I try to remain open minded about anything that has potential, whether it’s because (in the case of shoes) they are flat – for example skater trainers – or in the case of clothing because something is fairly modest, or because it is a classic style, albeit in a bright colour or print. The fit of these will be crucial though. Too loose and they will scream Andy from British Gas. Too tight and they could become all about the camel toe, which is never a good look.

Having been lucky enough to have hung around this planet for a while now, there will be styles that I have worn before but I think it’s important to try and look at them through fresh eyes and to style them in a modern way. There are just some things that we won’t be able to get our heads around but to avoid getting stuck in a rut, keep on giving things a go or else we will all find ourselves in the same few styles and colours season after season.  Of course if you have a toddler who has a pair of these, rocking the same look perhaps isn’t where you want to be.

Despite what I’ve said above, I think for now I’ll leave the Next denim dungarees to one side and instead work with the Mango and Topshop jumpsuit/boiler suit styles. Here’s how I would style them:

  • For a casual look, I’m thinking flat strappy gold or silver sandals, maybe skater trainers or converse, a selection of layered bracelets and that’s about it. A coloured cami peeping through would also be a nice touch;
  • For a slightly smarter look I would wear a block heeled shoe, maybe a wooden or cork soled one as I wrote about the other day, a statement necklace and a fairly short swing style jacket;
  • For an evening look – which is where I really like the idea of these – I’d go for some high pointed courts and a printed jacket or printed courts and a leather biker jacket or a blazer, chunky jewellery and a clutch. At the moment I really like this one from Whistles (£55)


Hopefully tomorrow will not see me being ambushed by Ra-Ra skirts because despite trying to take my own advice, I think that they are something which (for good reason) I would not be able to get my head around.


  1. Jan McIntyre
    March 18, 2014 / 10:32 pm

    Hmm. I do wonder about the bottom size in dungarees/boiler suits. Unless you're petite in the bottom area then there's a danger you can just look huge and flabby as no support there? Will maybe say no to this trend!!

  2. Nat Ruffel
    March 19, 2014 / 7:18 am

    Erm, think they are a bit too out there for me, would like to see them on though. The last one reminds me of a denim onesie.

  3. Carol
    March 19, 2014 / 7:49 am

    I like the Mango one, it would drape nicely and feel less boiler suity! Definitely no to the dungarees, and I am not sure about the Topshop one…

  4. Alex
    March 19, 2014 / 11:56 am

    Hi Beth, great post as always. My sister gave me a tencel Vero Moda boilersuit from a few seasons ago to wear while I'm pregnant (think elasticated waist!) I wasn't sure how to wear it up until now so thanks once again for keeping me stylish while I'm pregnant xx

  5. Fin Langman
    March 19, 2014 / 6:24 pm

    De-lurking to say – I quite fancy the Mango ones… never thought I'd say that!

  6. Ali Stevenson
    March 20, 2014 / 10:42 am

    Boiler / jump suit last worn as a blue-eyeliner wearing teenager circa 1983. Dungarees last worn as a Doc Martin wearing art student circa 1989, so at the beginning of the post it was a definite no way. After scrolling down and a second look at the Mango one I might just try one on……..

  7. Lottie Schmidt
    March 20, 2014 / 7:35 pm

    Mmm. Not sure. Might feel too tempted to burst into 'Come on Eileen' which was never a good thing then!

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