Latest Issue

How to Style Overalls

Now that spring has sprung, you may be starting to unpack warmer weather clothes or at least are thinking about your spring style. Pastels and florals are springtime staples and work well for standard spring events like Easter or weddings and graduations. But for a more casual approach to spring style, I’ve been thinking about overalls. Typically, overalls are associated with autumn, but they can easily work for the transition from winter to spring and into early summer. Overalls became popular with women during World War II as they entered the manufacturing sector. The denim-bib style has evolved into an easy-wearing wardrobe staple that can be quite versatile with layers and rendered in unexpected fabric.

Here’s a rundown of some overalls to consider this spring and how to style them for fashionable effect.

You can’t go wrong with a classic, and Levi’s has you set with their Vintage Women’s Overalls in three different washes. Lean into the weekend vibes of this piece and wear it with a striped t-shirt, sneakers, and a baseball cap to work out in the yard or to run errands. For a more budget-friendly option, check out Old Navy’s Baggy Wide-Leg Jean Overalls for a roomier fit with all of the standard elements of adjustable buckled straps, chest pockets, and buttons at the hip. Again, keep the styling simple and casual for an easy-breezy springtime look.

If you like denim but are looking for something with a bit more character this spring, look to Three Bird Nest’s High Hopes Slouchy Pocket overalls. These oversized overalls are chock full of bohemian panache with their relaxed fit and distressed detailing. Coming in blue, black, and patchworked washed denim, you can wear these with a ruffle-sleeved blouse and metallic sandals for some feminine flair. Or lean towards a more rustic style with a fringed boot and printed tank top. I also love the idea of wearing a bralette top or cropped sweater underneath a looser fit overall for sunny, relaxed days.

For those who prefer softer material with a breezier fit, then Free People’s Sun-Drenched Overalls should suit your needs. This textured cotton one-piece comes in up to 8 shades, features a slouchy yet flattering silhouette, and would make a great alternative to a swimsuit coverup. You can also play on the raw cotton of these overalls and wear them with a ribbed top and pile on the jewelry for a trendy look. Natural Life’s Gauze Dakota Tie Overalls also have a slouchy fit but are rendered in gauzy cotton with a tie-back instead of buckles. This comfy piece is easy to wear with everything from a bandeau top and boots to a button-down and flats. Plus, if you’re not feeling the overall style, it can convert them to flowy pants with a tie belt.

Even though we are headed into warmer days, don’t sleep on corduroy overalls for spring. Toad & Co’s Scouter Cord Overall is made from lightweight organic cotton that’s surprisingly breathable and rendered in a fine wale cord that pairs well with a flannel and boots for a springtime hike. For something a bit quirkier, there’s Cider’s Ditsy Floral Corduroy jumpsuit. And while it’s titled as a jumpsuit, this has straps and an open back like a standard overall. This comes in blue, brown, and green floral prints and works great with a bodysuit in a contrasting shade. Full disclosure: I have a toadstool printed version of these overalls, and I’ve been wearing them with a henley shirt, shacket, and boots here on chillier spring days.

Corduroy isn’t for everyone, but you can still seek out some alternative materials for overalls, like seersucker, which is an essential spring and summer fabric. Trying to find authentic seersucker overalls that aren’t meant for toddlers can be a challenge. Walmart has striped Summer Boho Bib Overalls that have a seersucker feeling and come in different color stripes besides the expected blue and white.

This one-piece can work on its own with some mules or layered with a breezy blouse and clogs. If you’re in the market for something a bit more androgynous, then there’s Dickies’ Hickory Stripe Boyfriend Fit Bib Overalls. These bibs can be worn with a t-shirt and rainboots for outside chores or crocheted top and Birkenstock-style sandals for a picnic.

No matter the style or material, overalls should be comfortable and easy to wear. Whether it’s the rugged edge of classic denim or the softness of jersey cotton, comfort and style should be paramount when incorporating overalls into your spring style. I realize overalls aren’t for everyone. Women of a certain age may find this style a bit juvenile, which they can be especially for dressier events. But for weekends, and particularly for outside work and play, overalls may fit the bill this spring.