Am I too old for dungarees?
One thing I have pondered over the last few seasons is this: could my love of a good jumpsuit transfer to a fondness for dungarees? Same workwear family, less fabric. Admittedly, there are times when I’ve been boiling in my heavier boiler suits. In fact, the word dungaree comes from the Hindi dungri, a course calico material. Anyhow. Having not worn opinion-dividing overalls since 1977, I wasn’t entirely convinced. But, a straw poll of women in the office, women in their 20s, 30s and 40s, provided unanimous dungaree approval. As the aim of my Know Your Seasonal Style series is to experiment, nudge the boundaries and hopefully find new winning combinations, I decided to give dungarees a go.
Many a stylish woman has donned dungarees – Lee Miller, Cate Blanchett, Maxine Peake, Linda Rodin – these are my kind of heroines. Gentlewomen with a penchant for workwear, part Land Girl, part luvvie. Pure Casual Glamour ( can’t tell you how pleased I was when researching this to find a Vogue feature entitled Cate Blanchett’s Workwear Obsession). Should you fancy dabbling with dungarees: the ones I’m wearing are from the small, independent, British designer Kate Sheridan, they’re made from heavy cotton drill in the north of England (though Kate does have a version in jumbo cord, too), the 1940shop (on Etsy) sells dungarees in cotton drill that are ‘as close as possible’ to the original 1940’s Women’s Land Army uniform of the Second World War. Hush has a lovely pair in fern green corduroy and Frame’s flared denim dungarees are similar to the ones I owned in the 1970s.
Whoop things up with low-heeled ankle boots and a blazer, or match the colour of the overalls to the top underneath a la Cate Blanchett. The verdict? I’m not too old (that was a rhetorical question) but I don’t feel as comfortable in dungarees as I do in a jumpsuit. And I definitely don’t look as jaunty as Lee Miller & Co. (above). Also, straps equal faffage. I’ll probably buy a new pair of cargo pants instead.
The silk shirt is from Jigsaw, the leather shoulder bag is by Mimi Berry (made in Manchester) and the leopard print shoes are Tracey Neuls – and, of course, all these items (borrowed for the shoot and returned) work perfectly with a little Khaki Malarkey.
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