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May 16, 2014

Men's Jumpsuits -- YEA or NAY?



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.

Might I suggest "Something Stupid" as covered by the Johnny Mann Singers?

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?

Men's jumpsuits -- YEA or NAY?

(Count the double-entrendres!)

60 comments:

  1. Coveralls are reminiscent of real men doing real work. They make me think naughty things. Overalls, too, remind me of days on the farm. Jumpsuits, not so much. I never thought of making myself a set of coveralls. I bet I could pull that look off. Peter, if anyone can make a jumpsuit work, it will be you. Paisley maybe? Lane

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    1. I also think coveralls are for real physical work. On the right man, they can be sexy. (And by the "right man," I don't mean model handsome, but rather a man who is confident. Maybe they give off a competent vibe? Like, "just give me a minute and I'll have this fixed right up." LOL). Jumpsuits? I don't understand what those are for at all. I don't like them much.

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  2. I was inclined to say "nay" until I watched the clip of Elvis.

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  3. @quiltfool and @lw summed up my thoughts: coveralls can be dangerously sexy. jumpsuits, for some reason, not so much. and that elvis clip! /fans self

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  4. Uh oh! Please don't tell us you're going to make that in black lace....

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    1. Please DO!

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    2. You've Grown Accustomed To My Lace....

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  5. Only for farmers and mechanics, please.
    -Sandra

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  6. I'd love to see you make the B6946 outfit...it's never too early to prep for Halloween!

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  7. I saw fatigues all the time growing up as an Air Force brat. It was kind of a sexy look. During the disco era, I used to see them alot. It helped to be rail thin to wear em. And good ole kitschy Frederick's of Hollywood had pages of them. Then of course El Paso Trucking crew made good use of them. There s always a place for them. You could rock a pair if anyone can and you can do those cargo pockets. Oh, and are your days of buying dollar a yard fabric over? Are you getting more selective now that your producing such quality garments? xoxoxox

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  8. Coveralls are a yes...on the right man. I don't think the jumpsuit has a right man.

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  9. Coveralls are fine. For when I'm feeding cows or horses. In the mud. In the winter. When it's below freezing and I need an extra layer and a jacket just won't do by itself. Or for hunting. They are super for winter hunts. I feel the same way about overalls. I was in high school in the 90s when overalls were all the rage. You wore them with a crop top and one strap undone. I just never could get into it. To me they served a purpose and it wasn't for fashion.

    But honey, if anyone can rock it, you can!

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    1. Wow, I'm getting a flashback image of the Bay City Rollers,

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  10. The modern blue one with the diagonal zippers is more of flight suit. I think those are hotter because they have that Top Gun vibe.

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  11. SeamsterEast at aol cot comMay 16, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Coveralls/jumpsuits for when a man is working on a car, or driving a race car, or flying a military jet or copter, or slopping hogs on a farm, or a young man who is a rentable boytoy.

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  12. Coveralls to protect clothing (mechanics, other dirty work, gardeners even) I am a yay.
    I never really got the jumpsuit on men or women. I just wouldn't be able to handle the whole bathroom issue. Where does the extra fabric go while um.. going. on the floor?

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    1. In the 90s I used to ski in a jumpsuit. You have to tie the sleeves around your knees. Very challenging, particularly in old-school Italian restrooms.

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  13. I could see it working in a cosmopolitan setting with very good shoes.

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  14. I think you can rock the Bill Blass pattern you posted with the right fabric choice. Lightweight denim? Linen? More than youth I think it boils down to body type for a male jumpsuit. You are slender so can avoid unintended puckers and poofs. Go for it.

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  15. Only if I were cleaning stables might I consider coveralls and I'd still get a 'Neigh'. Nay, nay, nay. They're impractical and as you've described, a logistical nightmare. I remember seeing a photo of the Bee Gees rocking onesies (and rock them they did) but if you're not young and or very buff, a definite fashion don't. Although the Simplicity #5376's center striped design has potential.

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  16. Cute young AND you're working on a car.

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  17. As soon as I find a job as an auto mechanic or a house painter, I'm going to make myself a pair. By the way, why do they call them pairs?

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  18. Coveralls can be sexy, but only if you are smokin' hot, a mechanic, or the model in the first photo.

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  19. And then there's this http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_Enterprise?file=EnterpriseCrewSeason1.jpg that I always think of in relation to overalls.

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  20. Dear lord, that model and jumpsuit in the last picture look so darn HOT!

    I think you could carry it off: it's a question of the actual style of the jumpsuit, the styling to go with it and having the right attitude when wearing it.

    On men, I like a solid fabric and a medium fit with tough-stuff rock and roll details (like leather, zippers, patches, etc.) or sleek style (like that all-black one!). Add some killer doc martens and you're done! I'd stay away from anything that even remotely reminds you of figure skating. That and elastic waists: they add a "space suit" flair that disagrees with me. I have also noticed I prefer the pictures that show jumpsuits with buttons OR a covered zip. Wep, lots of stuff to think about!

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  21. Jumpsuits ,no, not unless you're a Superhero.

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  22. It depends on the man and the accessories! Ralph Furley had the look. In my mind coveralls are loose to go over other clothes to keep them clean. A jumpsuit fits better because the only thing underneath is underwear.

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  23. Jumpsuits no! My grandpa wore them all the time, and that's all I see when I see a jumpsuit - grandpa. Coveralls are fine, assuming they are being worn for a utility purpose.

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  24. I say nay, unless you're a T-Bird

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    1. I prefer the Hermès version the best. I bet you can make a good knock off! :)

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  26. There are some things that should never be resurrected and this is one of them.

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  27. Nancy K stated my feelings and thoughts. I really don't think of these as sexy.
    Coveralls make my nose crinkle up imaging the stinky sweat of a real man doing real work and not washing the coveralls because he is "just" using it to work and doesn't wash it enough. This isn't the nice sweat that makes a man attractive or sexy. It is the repulsive kind that you send him for a shower with a nice bar of Ivory.
    My hubby does have a couple pairs of coveralls--for working on engines and one he keeps in his work truck for haz mat emergencies. Neither look sexy on him--and I think he's pretty darn sexy!
    Please do not resurrect these unless you are planning om working in yuck or dealing with hazardous materials. Please. Pretty please.

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  28. New reader , first time commenter............ please for the love of all that is good in the world, do NOT do this!

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  29. Coveralls are amazing. For me coveralls are eternal as kneesocks.

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  30. Do it! But with more colour & a little bit bigger :-) I love that style, it´s so vintage!
    Hello from Hamburg, Germany
    Pami

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  31. Yea to jumpsuits! Of course. For men or women, just never ever unisex. Unisex design for a garment that has to fit right in quite a few places is a terrible idea. I can see why it suited the ideology of the 1970's but it just doesn't work.

    Of course sewing and wearing jumpsuits requires careful fitting, especially with regards to the rise (I wrote about that in my jumpsuit tutorial: http://petitmainsauvage.blogspot.nl/2014/02/the-great-jumpsuit-and-playsuit-tutorial.html ). I learned that the hard way myself. And of course, looking good in a jumpsuit requires the right design choices and maybe some careful styling.
    And I don't think coveralls and jumpsuits are completely different. They are closely related and in the world of work wear, what is what can be determined more by the weather than by the actual garment (my boyfriend used to work demolishing old car, so I know).
    As for the new designer jumpsuits, this is one of the few 'fashion forward' looks which seems quintessentially masculine.

    I'd say go for it. And if you do, feel free to ask me for fitting advice and things like that!

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  32. Coveralls are great, they're practical and can look good on someone wearing them to keep clean while doing dirty work. Unfortunately jumpsuits are just universally icky and I hope never to see them again.

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  33. On the catwalk, it seems far more fabulous than any of the real-world examples, but... try it! You could be fabulous too.

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  34. I'm totally loving that shorts version of the Bill Blass. Of course I'm also a sucker for anything vaguely safari-esque. I hope you go for it!

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  35. I REALLY like the first picture from the series of contemporary jumpsuits you posted.

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  36. I say yes! I made a jumpsuit for myself a few weeks ago and used pearl snaps instead of buttons. It makes bathroom breaks much easier.

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  37. Ohhh, boy. The word "jumpsuit" brings to mind something polyester and stretchy and accenting far too much in the groinal area, on both men and women.

    Coveralls though, those are sturdy and oversized (because they go over clothing) and are made for people that work hard and get messy.

    Not that Jack LaLanne didn't work hard, but that jumpsuit...NAY to jumpsuits, YEA to coveralls.

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  38. I like coveralls and wanna have one some day (and were it 'we can do it style maybe?) Jumpsuits are best for pj's, imo (going to make one for winter). By the way, I had no idea they were called coveralls, as the Dutch word is overall and though the word could be Dutch as well, the spelling is not

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  39. Definite NAY to jumpsuits, for men or women. Coveralls tend to be looser and heavier and are a bit more acceptable, but should never be worn unless they're actually for working.

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  40. Sean Connery wore one similar to the Butterick 5629 short version, in light blue terrycloth, as a swim coverup in Goldfinger.

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  41. Oh no. And you ARE cute. But No-one is cute enough.

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  42. I suspect the model in the Bill Blass pattern is laughing cos he's just said "I can't believe what they're asking me to wear".

    I agree you need to be young & cute to get away with it. Unless it's coveralls, which are loose & functional and not fussy about laundering.

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  43. Peter - DO YOU HAVE OUR HOUSE BUGGED?

    My husband was musing about a jumpsuit (boiler suit to him - ask any Brit!) made from men's suiting just last week. I have a bit(!) on hand so I went and bought that KwikSew pattern to do it.

    Please stop listening to our conversations;

    Cathrine

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    1. P.S. My husband is a trim & gorgeous 73

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  44. I just discovered this blog from doing a search for "guys who sew" on Google. I am also a guy who sews, and have been for years. I love that jumpsuit pattern! When I was skinnier and younger, I made a short-sleeved, short legged version in nasty baby-blue double-knit polyester with a texture. I love how they've used a kind of princess (prince?) line in the body that extends into the inside edge of the patch pocket. Mine was spiffy. I wore it with high black socks and vintage sunglasses for a German tourist circa 1971 look. It's always inspiring to see guys sewing clothes for themselves, and I think more guys should do it. I might have to start teaching guys' sewing classes here in Vancouver.

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  45. Well, I'm tired of pulling up my pants all the time, and don't care too much how I look or who likes the way I look, but the bathroom thing is a bit of a putoff. I say wear what you want if it doesn't look outright stupid, but I do favor loose if you're a little overweight...

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  47. i dont know how related are fashion and anime, but in one called "shiki" there si a character (tatsumi) who allways use jumpsuits, and looks just great. if in real life some is able to look like this 2D man then i hope it became a trend

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