Why have we fallen in love with the frumpy playsuit?

Much of what we covet when it comes to fashion defies common sense.

We desperately want a particular pair of jeans, but we already have three that look basically the same.

We can’t stop thinking about those snakeskin pumps, yet we live in trainers and flats.

We keep clicking on a dress that is backless, practically frontless, knowing, on a deep logical level, it will never work because we NEED to wear a bra.

Fashion has an unnerving ability to make us like the very things we shouldn’t.

And what is the next big fashion shouldn’t?


They have been around for a few seasons now – the glamorous version. On red carpets and evenings out, they are fitted and glittered, sexy and slinky. One undone zip and it will fall breathlessly to the ground.

But put away the champagne and tuna carpaccio. This is not that kind of playsuit.

Gwyneth Paltrow in day playsuit. Image: Goop.

This is the blue collar worker version. Think cotton mechanic's overalls; shapeless, hardy, masculine, utilitarian, a uniform of sorts if we were all working on a submarine, rewiring important submarine things.

And despite my common sense and understanding of the definition of flattering, I keep thinking about them.


Could I wear them?

How do I wear them?

Am I too old?

Why am I coveting frumpy fashion?

Connie Wang from Refinery29 has dubbed the day playsuit the "Dystopian jumpsuit" and says the reason she has fallen in love with this straight talking garment is because they reflect the mood of the moment.

"When I really examined the things that had been gnawing at me this past year — the things that have led me down a path of nighttime teeth-grinding and spontaneous blips of panic — they were the exact things that a jumpsuit would fix," Wang says. "I wanted to hide and disappear in the crowd, to be a person first and a woman second, and to feel prepared for the worst. Preppers have emergency food storage bunkers and wellness nuts have Moon Dust. Dystopian jumpsuits would be my way to becoming an advanced human in a regressive world."
If you are unsure about what I am talking about, take a look at these:

A post shared by Connie Wang (@conconwang) on

Denim playsuit from Madewell. Image: Netaporter
Crossover jumpsuit. Image: The Iconic

Wang says the trick to pulling off a jumpsuit are accessories. With such a basic overall look, choose an interesting, out-there shoe. Or try a bold lipstick or colourful clutch. Don't be afraid to undo some buttons around the neckline and maybe even wear a contrast singlet underneath to break up the block colour.

Then put on your most comfortable underwear and walk into the world knowing you can handle anything. Especially a flat tyre.


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What's your fashion "shouldn't"? 

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