Overall Passion

Overalls are my little black dress

Dressed for success
Dressed for success

Updated August 08th, 2018

Spiceworld: The Movie is a modern day cinematic masterpiece. It's a movie from the 90's that revolves around the pop group, The Spice Girls. This doesn't have a lot to do with anything other than the movie introducing me to the fashion phenomenon known as the little black dress. Of course, when it came to the movie, the word black was replaced by the brand Gucci. At some point, it was stated that every woman should have an LBD in her closet as it's the go-to for any occasion. Not for me. As a tomboy, my little black dress is a little item of clothing that we call overalls.


Allergic to Dresses


Photographs of me as a child can be split between ones where I look happy and ones where I look sad. There is one noticeable difference: in the photographs where I'm smiling, I'm wearing shorts. In the photographs where I'm not, I'm wearing a dress.

My mum had a pair of denim overalls when I was little. She wore them almost all of the time when she wasn't working. It was the age of Levi's and the pair she had were practical and classy. I couldn't understand why she was allowed to wear dungarees and I wasn't. My version of overalls was a pinafore dress (this was essentially bib overalls with a skirt instead of pants) because "I was a girl", and therefore not in charge of my own wardrobe yet. I couldn't find a way to say no other than throwing myself on the floor in distress.

As far as I was concerned, my mum was a girl and she was able to wear overalls. Did that mean that when I got older, I could make the decision to own a pair, myself? If I was born a man I would still wear men's skinny overalls. I liked that idea no matter how far into the future it seemed at the time. I didn't find it fair, and the only compromise I could strike with my aunt, who bought me my clothes, was a cotton pair of leggings and a matching sweatshirt with Minnie Mouse all over them. 

A Pair of Overalls for all Seasons

I never took after my mum for clothes except for those overalls. I didn't own a pair myself until 20 years later when I tried on dark denim ones at a store called Fat Face. I worked the Ellen Page tomboy-chic look the best way I could. I looked great, but the friend I was with told me that overalls aren't flattering on anyone. I should have ceased the friendship then because not only did they look great on me, but I was already planning on accessorizing them.

Needless to say, we're no longer friends and I've been wearing that same trusty pair for two years now throughout a variety of seasons (fashion-wise and weather-wise). On the streets of Paris, I folded the cuffs on top of thick-soled leather shoes and colorful socks. Beneath the straps, I wore a t-shirt cut at the waist to form a crop top and finished the look with long, dangling earrings and a headscarf. In London, in October, I wore a different pair - the kind with the shorts and some thick, glittery, warm gold tights from my favorite high street shop. Overalls, like us tomboys, are diverse.

Finding the Right Pair of Overalls

Last Halloween, I decided I would be dressing up as the character Jillian Holtzmann from the 2016 film, Ghostbusters. If this and the Spiceworld references haven't informed you already, I'm a nerd for cheesy-but-fun cinema. Jillian Holtzmann is played by Kate McKinnon and she has the most original and memorable style from the movie.

Masses of blonde curls sprout from aviator goggles and the pair of sunglasses she never takes off, look like they could have been ripped straight from a Steampunk roleplay group (and probably were). Mismatched socks are a necessity as is a necklace of the letter U with a screw through it. Also, you can't forget thick boots, motorcycle gloves, and most importantly, overalls.

The hardest part was tracking down a pair that resembled hers the most. However, I ran into a bunch of problems. As it turns out, my best bet was to search the building and contractor page of Amazon and eBay in order to look for some coveralls. In the movie, she has paint all over her slate grey overalls, which meant this was the best way to apply my artistic skills to something.

As it turns out, there are overalls for men and overalls for women, and the only differences are in the damn straps. What I needed were the straps that have the brass buttons and matching clasps, but the coveralls that were on the page were perfect aesthetically but had these hideously ugly plastic clips. This shouldn't have mattered on the whole, especially since I was going to go wild with the paint on them. But most importantly, there was also a lack of the color I needed: grey.

The women's section had the colors and the straps, but it didn't have the sizes or the material. The men's had the style and the material, but not the fit or the colors. I eventually settled on a pair of the light grey ones that didn't have a pocket for tools. I looked amazing, but it was always in the back of my head that paint or no paint, I probably would only wear them once.

Everyone Should Own a Pair

You may put yourself off with the thought that it'll be harder to pee, but honestly, coming from the mouth of a babe who wore them for Halloween and got drunk with her friends, I assure you that you can manage it. I'm sure builders would say the same, even if their straps aren't quite as stylish as I would've liked them to be.

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