There are some looks that only work when you're cute, work on cars for a living, or both.
I know, I know -- that's not really a jumpsuit. It's coveralls. But it's still a one-piece garment that fastens in the front and must be removed fully to move one's bowels. Is it really that different?
Longtime MPB readers may remember that only four short years ago I sewed myself a men's jumpsuit. Due to a combination of bad fitting (too short in the rise leading to crotch discomfort), bad color choice (too beige for a "summer"), and cheap fabric (stretch cotton from my $2/yd. craptastic fabric store days), it didn't work. But it was fun to make and had a sweet, mid-century, Jack LaLanne vibe to it.
The late Sixties-early Seventies men's jumpsuit -- too often a unisex atrocity -- probably did more to destroy traditional men's fashion than polyester double-knit leisure suits. The pattern companies produced patterns for these in such large quantities that they can still be found for sale online for a song.
Where this craze originated, I have no idea. Do you know?
As you can see, some have more of a flight suit/coverall feel (and pocket style/placement really matters here) which isn't quite so bad.
Others are just one rhinestone away from this:
Actually, Elvis could rock a pair of coveralls, as he did opposite Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas.
Below is a contemporary Kwik Sew coverall pattern, which doesn't look embarrassing at all -- in fact, it's very close to the Viva Las Vegas outfit.
Are coveralls and jumpsuits just two completely different garments?
These days, some very high-end designer labels, Hermes and Balmain among them, are attempting to resurrect the jumpsuit. This reinforces my first statement up top: when you're cute (and young--did I mention young?) you can carry off anything.
Well, almost anything....
In closing, readers, do you long for the return of the men's jumpsuit?
Should I be involved in helping to make this happen, or just leave well enough alone?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!