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Your Stylist: How to wear spring's tomboy staple without looking like a Marky Mark back-up dancer

April 12, 2010 |  8:00 am

Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column.

Hey Melissa,

I have recently been seeing overalls in a few of the major fashion mags. I'm hesitant to go out and grab a pair because I’m not quite sure how to rock this new trend (well, old trend that is making a comeback). I love the comfort and ease of overalls, but how can I wear them without looking like a high school kid, farmer, or just silly? And are there any brands that you recommend for the best fits? --Maria, Huntington Beach

Ralphlaurenss2010

I know, I know…all anyone seems to think of when they hear "overalls" is Marky Mark and Vanilla Ice bopping around wearing them through the '90s or TLC sporting them five sizes too big for their tiny frames and then leaving one strap to hang down and swing while they danced in unison.

Well, thankfully that look was left in the '90s, and I am hoping you will use your better judgment and stay away from wearing them too big, with one strap down or with Elmer Fudd-style head wear and combat boots.

DieselBecause overalls are covering you from shoulder to shins, less is more when pairing them with other items. The dust bowl vibe that walked down the Ralph Lauren spring/summer 2010 runway is the best and most chic way to wear them. Treat overalls like the work-wear staples they are and let them be the focal point.

For summer, they’re easy to throw over a bathing suit or wear with a solid-colored tank top and flip flops. Roll the bottoms like you would a boyfriend jean to show some leg and not let all the denim consume your frame.

Overalls should not be tight necessarily, but you also shouldn't be swimming in them. Check from behind and make sure your bottom isn’t too saggy or your shape isn't totally lost. Levi’s makes the Seven225 most traditional and inexpensive styles that may be a little boxy since they’re made for function more than fashion, but if you buy them a size or two smaller than your regular size, they should work fine and flatter your figure. 


Diesel Black Gold is doing a sort of jumpsuit/overall hybrid, which is edgier and sexier than what other brands are doing this season. These are great for going out at night, paired with some super-high heels or ankle booties and a little leather jacket on top.


7 for All Mankind has a pair that has less of a bib than traditional overalls, which are a cute option if you want to wear a T-shirt or long sleeve T-shirt underneath. These also look good more fitted and would be work-appropriate if paired with a nice T-shirt and a fitted and cropped black blazer and black ballet flats.

Since overalls have such a tomboy feel to them, keep everything else simple and feminine with just a bit of an edge.

Send your style queries to melissa.magsaysay@latimes.com

Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: Top: Ralph Lauren spring/summer runway show/Ralph Lauren, Middle: Diesel Black Gold/Diesel, Bottom: 7 For All Mankind/shopbop.com

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