The return of the overalls


Jennifer Aniston wore them on “Friends.” Britney Spears rocked a pair on stage. N*Sync band members even sported them from time to time. Now, nearly 20 years later, overalls are having another major moment.

Designer brands Donna Karen New York (DKNY), Ralph Lauren, and Rag and Bone have all jumped aboard the overall trend, as seen on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week website. These designers made it official by each debuting a pair on the runway during September 2014 Spring Fashion Week in New York City.

But this trend isn’t just reserved for the runways. It’s trickling into the closets of Provo’s most fashion-forward ladies.

“Overalls are the perfect combination of comfy and simple, yet are still worthy of being the perfect going-out outfit,” said Carly Beckstead, J.Crew associate and stylist. “You can throw them on and quickly be out the door.”

Soel Boutique, an upscale and artistic clothing retailer, set precedent for the overalls movement in Provo. The boutique carries hip brands such as Free People, Jeffrey Campbell and Hudson Jeans, and it was the first to carry overalls in Utah.

Soel has cultivated an audience of more than 8,000 Instagram followers, who throw hundreds of “likes” on any given post featuring overalls, explained Hunter Gibson, Soel associate. Within days of a particular pair of overalls being posted on Instagram, the item sells out.

“More and more people are asking for overalls when they come in,” Gibson said. “I think it’s a fun trend. I wear my mom’s old overalls from the ’90s.”

Few could’ve guessed that the garb of traditional farmers and mechanics would one day become fashionable. Lori Rotenberk, of Modern Farmer, explained that overalls made their first appearance in the 1700s among blue-collar workers. They were referred to as “slops.” In the 1960s, they became an icon for hippies. Later, rock icon Mick Jagger donned a gem-studded pair, catalyzing an overalls trend among other rock stars.

The term “overall” was coined by Levi Strass, according to the company website. “Overalls” or “waist overalls” was used to describe the pants that are now referred to as “jeans,” and the term “jeans” wasn’t used until the 1960s.

Overalls, slops, jumpers, rompers — or whatever else people may call them — are back, and according to Vogue Magazine, they are the summer must-have.

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