Thursday, August 7, 2014

the overall comeback

There's something rather strange happening.
I think I've somehow managed to enter into a new era, the one where I can actually say "oh wow, those were in style when I was a kid!"

And look, I'm not going to lie to anyone. I don't really like the way it feels.
Part of me feels offended, like, hey, we did that first! And the other part feels like, those went out of style for a reason, right? Don't go reaching in the junk pile for new trends.
And yet, it happens generation after generation. I've heard similar statements from my parents and grandparents, feeling strange about styles they used to love coming back for their children. And I have definitely reached the realization over the last few years that the style of my mom when she was my age was awesome. I suddenly started wishing she had saved all of her old clothes. Vintage.
The point is: there is nothing new under the sun.
Not even overalls. 

circa 2002. oh god.

I can act pretty righteously indignant about the idea of them coming back, but the truth is, I loved my overalls. They were a dark wash, with rather adorable rainbow-like thin stripes along the top of the back pockets. They were my summer camp go-to. They were comfortable and only gave me wedgies sometimes, and if I was feeling particularly flirty I would one-strap it and waltz around town like a life pro.
The really interesting part about the overalls trend is that it's mostly being utilized by people my age or older, meaning they most likely did wear them as a kid. So really, the trend is nostalgic more than anything. And by anything I mean "stylish", "smart", "sensible". It's probably just contrived for the especially resistant to aging crowd, the ones who really want to insist that their overalls were the best things they ever wore. They're all in denial.
I bet plumbers are absolutely ecstatic. 

For the most part, in my lifetime, the popularity of overalls was mostly aimed at and appreciated by kids/pre-teens. The really awkward stages. It was basically a stamp on your childhood, a communal experience of regret. I mean, there was the handful of parents and hardworking farmers that donned the denim, too. But for us there was a definite moment when we all stopped wearing them. It was called adulthood.
It took some people longer than others.
But now they're being worn and catered exclusively to adults. Successful business women. Celebrities. This is counter-intuitive to me.

Because the real beef I have with the 2014 trend is that they're not even doing it right. They're wearing them with strappy heels and weird fur coats, or making them out of leather, or wearing the straps dangling around their thighs like a goof. If you're not gonna wear the denim square over your chest, why aren't you just wearing jeans like a normal American? I don't understand your life.
You look like you're wearing backwards long johns, made especially for exposing your backside in the night.


If you're going to wear them, just accept them for what they are. They aren't fancy. They're frumpy, they accentuate the unflattering, they ride up your bum, they are perfect for comfy tees and no-makeup days. Spring cleaning, maybe. They're denim rejects. They were created to hide a workman's butt crack.
Wear them with that in mind, and you will do them honor.

emma stone
zoe saldana

It's true, brand-name overall designers have upgraded them to a certain extent. There are some versions that are more fitted, maybe a little cleaner-looking. Sometimes you can't even see that trademark abdomen pooch when they walk. There has been progress. But they're still not a Gatsby garment. They're not fit for a dinner party. They're exclusively a day date excuse. They're barely above a pajama. If you're wearing them with anything rated fancier than a platform flip-flop, you're doing it wrong.
You can look sporty, tomboyish, cozy, country, cute, frumpy, relaxed. Those are your highest callings when wearing overalls.

emma watson
january jones

But hey, if Anthropologie has them, maybe I'm wrong about the whole thing. Maybe I'll be buying a pair next weekend at Forever 21 and proving myself a fool.
A fool in overalls.

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