On Coveralls and Figure Flattery

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Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Kate Twill Jumpsuit in green with silver Birkenstocks and the Jenny Bird Cober Hoops in Silver

They always say the older you get, the fewer f*cks you have to give. I see this when it comes to my wardrobe.  I have less patience for clothing that is difficult.  I don't want to be pinched or sucked in, I don't want anything too complicated to care for, and I've started breaking all the rules regarding figure flattery.  I mean, what is considered flattering anyway?  Nine times out of ten, it is a garment that makes us look taller and slimmer or to have a more hourglass shape.  And why do we desire length, a slimmer figure, or an hourglass shape? Sometimes I love to highlight my bust, to showcase how I now have a waist and curves above and below it.  And I like the look of having pieces of clothing end at points on my body that makes me look more proportional. And other times… I don't have any more f*cks to give and I just want to wear what is comfortable and fun.  

Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Kate Twill Jumpsuit in green with silver Birkenstocks and the Jenny Bird Cober Hoops in Silver


Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Kate Twill Jumpsuit in green with silver Birkenstocks and the Jenny Bird Cober Hoops in Silver

Coveralls: Kate Twill Jumpsuit c/o Universal Standard (XS) | Earrings: Cober Hoops c/o Jenny Bird | Bag: ALLSAINTS (sold out, this one is almost exactly the same one) | Shoes: Birkenstocks | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Lipstick: L'Oreal in Matte-Traction Red

universal standard coveralls petite 3 Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Kate Twill Jumpsuit in green with silver Birkenstocks and the Jenny Bird Cober Hoops in Silver

I love overalls, coveralls, and jumpsuits.  Any fashion advice column would say that being short, busty, and solid that these items would not be figure flattering.  I have proven those experts wrong and own many that do create a flattering effect on my body.  This red jumpsuit is a fave; this black short-sleeved one always makes me feel six feet tall, and I even own overalls that don't make me look like Mr. Potato Head.  But other ones I wear not because they are flattering, but because they are fun.  My black overalls are one, this denim jumpsuit another (oh how I miss you, one of the saddest things to give up when my body changed shape).  And these coveralls… as soon as Universal Standard launched them I HAD to have them.  They come in black or green; I liked the idea of green for summer. They are supposed to be cropped, but on my 5'3″ body they were this weird length that wasn't long enough nor cropped enough.  I am not sure what length I want, so I put up a temporary hem with Stitch Witchery and my iron and wore them out and about at this length.  I think I'll like them a hair longer; I'll adjust it, try it out and if I like it take them to the tailor for a permanent crop. 

universal standard twill coveralls 3 1 Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Kate Twill Jumpsuit in green with silver Birkenstocks and the Jenny Bird Cober Hoops in Silver

This jumpsuit is stretchy, and unlike many coveralls that have buttons, this one has snaps.  And snaps that go long enough so if you're in the bathroom you can yank this thing open, easily slide it down and get to business.  AKA this is a piece of clothing that allows you to remain hydrated.  I love the giant pockets; this day I ran a lot of errands and had my sunglasses, my car keys, and my iPhone Plus in my front pockets and they felt secure. Come fall and winter I'd love to style this with a black or striped turtleneck and heeled ankle boots. 

Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Kate Twill Jumpsuit in green with silver Birkenstocks and the Jenny Bird Cober Hoops in Silver

Continuing with the no f*cks look, I paired the jumpsuit with silver Birkenstocks.  These are three years old, perfectly broken in, and one of the only pairs of shoes I have where my feet feel better after wearing them all day than going around barefoot or in my slippers. As I mentioned in this post, I love adding big bold shiny jewelry to a casual look to make it more purposeful.  I find red lipstick accomplishes the same thing; this lipstick is my absolute favorite red.  It's matte and I like how it wears away so gently so I don't end up with a ring around my lips or a weird patchy effect and it's not too intense that it can't be worn with an otherwise simple or bare face.

Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Kate Twill Jumpsuit in green with silver Birkenstocks and the Jenny Bird Cober Hoops in Silver

I really believe the most flattering thing to wear is what makes you feel comfortable, happy, and true to yourself.  I'm finding with age, a new hairstyle, and a new fitness routine my personal style and what I enjoy wearing keeps evolving.  But I'm getting more joy out of wearing what may be seen as unflattering or even ugly to others and finding ways to make it mine and therefore, quite flattering for me. Have you had your style evolve with age, life changes, or body changes?

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A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. You’ve already got the sunglasses and the flight suit. Now all you need are some leather shoes and to borrow a Dave Clark aviation headset and you’ll be ready for your intro flight lesson. I don’t like to miss an opportunity to promote aviation.

  2. A great deal with the good look of this is that it fits you properly. Your waist is where the rouching is.

  3. This looks so good on you. I had to order one. Can’t wait to get it – and I have some great silver hoops to go with.

  4. Your links just don’t work for me, but I’d love to know which red lipstick that is!
    You really are hitting your stride this year Allison, and you look great!

    1. Oh darn I wonder why not! It’s L’Oreal in Matte-Traction Red, I know it’s a bit hidden but it’s after the third photo. It used to be called Eva’s Red. For outfit posts like this I will always provide the name of the product when available, but it may get hidden if you have ad-blockers since they are hyperlinked.

  5. This actually looks way better on you than on the model. 🙂

    I’m short, stocky, and curvy, and yes, I believe that jumpsuits can be cute on me! I have a navy one with a tie waist, and on my more confident days, I love it! It doesn’t make me look skinnier than I am, and it doesn’t hide that I have a stomach, so sometimes I don’t feel confident in it. But other times, I recognize that an outfit doesn’t have to make you look skinny to be cute, and if I like it that’s all that matters!

  6. Have you read about the Rational Dress Society? Their manifesto ties in a lot to what you’re talking about in this.

  7. Love this, this is so weird but I have always worn gold jewelry with olive (old habits die hard). The silver hoops and berks look terrific with this outfit! Who knew? I am a little nervous about wearing such large hoops, but maybe I will say, “Who gives a f***!” and do it!

    1. YES! I love big hoops, they make such impact! And it’s only been in recent years where I’m switching up metals and wearing the unexpected combo. Olive, brown, khaki, cream, and leopard with silver or gray and icy tones with gold. All rules have gone out the window in the past decade, this is an easy way to dip your toe into rule breaking to see if you like it!

  8. SO cute! I bought silver Birks 2 years ago after seeing your awesome ones. I’ve worn them constantly and they are currently at the cobbler getting the heels fixed up a bit so I can wear them again all summer. Those coveralls are adorable, might have to get some myself!

  9. You look totally fab in this outfit. The green suits you with your coloring. I would wear this many many times. Bravo!

  10. I’m with all the others who have posted—you look great in this outfit! Beauty comes from within and you’re just proving that today!

  11. I think this outfit on you is absolute proof that wearing what we like is the best way to looking fantastic, whether or not our clothing flatters in a conventional way, or is currently in style. Wearing what makes you feel good on any given day is the absolutely the best way to approach dressing!

    I am currently in the early weeks of a huge life transition–I retired three and a half weeks ago, and two weeks ago today I became a grandmother. In anticipation of that joy, three weeks ago I arrived in lovely Corvallis, OR, to help my daughter with her baby for the summer. I brought a limited “palette” of clothing. . . and find I am not even wearing all of what I brought. Because in this situation, I am really truly dressing just for myself. There is no one here to even notice what I do or don’t wear! So I definitely wear whatever feels comfortable and makes me happy every on any given day. I thought I was doing that before in my life but maybe not!

    1. Congrats on becoming a grandmother! And isn’t it funny how we can plan our wardrobes so carefully and then find we don’t wear it, or it just isn’t right for the situation? Have a wonderful time with your family this summer!

  12. You look fantastic – I love the jumpsuit, and your hair is just the best!! I love wearing cropped wide-leg pants during the summer (the wider, the better!)…maybe not the most flattering, but they make me happy. Keep doing (and wearing) what makes your heart sing! 🙂

    1. The wide the better… love it! I’ve been getting wider and wider pants, they just make me smile! To teh extent that anything that clings around the knees or calves can be really annoying, especially when its hot. Who cares about ‘flattering’ if you feel energised and fresh!

  13. As a reader for probably close to ten years (albeit a mostly silent one), I have to say that you look radiant. Your hair, your skin, your smile… I know you’ve mentioned lately that this is the healthiest you’ve been in years, and it shows. You’re an inspiration. 🙂 Just had to pass along that praise this Monday morning; I don’t think women compliment each other enough. Thanks for all the great content!

  14. I’m having jumpsuit envy here. You look great in it— like a green, relaxed, summer vacation day.
    Yep! Giving no f***ks about what used to send me into a pretzel is a wonderful benefit of my age. I enjoy the freedom and creativity that those two words provide.

  15. With you all the way on the birks…mine are probably as old as you are and still the go to when feet need a refresh. The silver shoes, super ear rings and your amazing hair make this overall fab! Proof comfort and style do not have to be independent.

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