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Are Overalls Sizes the Same as Jeans?

The size of an overall (bib) depends on the brand, style, and shape of the garment. Read on to learn more and choose which overall size is ideal for you.

A farmer standing in the hay field.

Overall (bibs) sizes vary according to the brand, style, and cut of the garment. However, they usually run slightly larger than jeans to accommodate for the extra room needed when wearing them.

Speaking From Experience

I once decided to purchase a pair of overall rain pants. In this case, it was a men’s size, but I still decided to order a large because I wore a medium-sized jean (about 10 women’s) at that time. I purposely ordered them in a larger size because I wanted some room in them, but that was a mistake.

I should have gotten the small. For one, I ordered a product ordinarily made for people with a stockier body type and long legs. Besides that, I went the wrong direction with my sizing criteria.

I don’t know what I was thinking. For women who wear a size 10-12 jean, the small men’s overalls should fit just right. If I had purchased the women’s however, I probably would confirm my waste size. Then, choose a pair based on that. 

What happens if you wear too large overalls?utcoco Men's Relaxed Fit Adjustable Multi-Pockets Dungarees Bib Denim Overalls Washed Loose Workout Jumpsuits (S, Dark Blue)

Just Looks Sloppy

In my opinion, wearing too large of an overall size makes them look sloppy around the ankle, for one. In no time, you also may have rips and tears at the hemline after repeatedly stepping over the legs when you walk.

Insecurity When Straps Fall

I can’t stand it when overall straps fall off. When this happens, I feel insecure if only wearing undershorts not regular ones. You can prevent feeling insecure, however, if you wear a pair of bibs as close to your size as possible without fitting them too tight.

Discomfort From Tight Straps

Besides straps falling off, you could experience some minor discomfort from straps that are too tight. This may especially happen if your pants are so loose that you try to accommodate by adjusting the suspenders. In the process, you might constrict your shoulders so much that you cut off the blood flow. That doesn’t feel good.

Potential Hazards

“Oversized workwear might look comical, but it’s no laughing matter – it can endanger you or your workforce,” says, “Geoff” of “Total Work Wear” in an article called “One size does not fit all: the dangers of improperly sized protective workwear.”

Extra overall material can cause you to trip when you walk, especially when you’re in a hurry on a job. The extra fabric can also cause obstructions, and the suspenders could come loose and caught in a machine, which could pull you in and injure you or choke you. By the way, that’s why you should never unhook your straps when working around production machines.

What happens if you wear tight overalls?

A woman wearing overall with a schock expression on face in pink background.

First, you might discover how difficult it can be to move around and perform tasks while wearing skin-tight overalls. Second, they can cause painful skin irritations, otherwise known as chafing. Too-tight bibs also can restrict your breathing and cause difficulty in regulating your body temperature.

What’s more, you might experience poor circulation when wearing tight clothing, which makes your legs feel stiff and tingly. Even in winter, make sure your bibs have at least enough room in them to allow for blood flow through your body.

How do you correctly size your overalls?

A photo of kid holding a measurement stick on her two hands.

I haven’t yet found a 100% foolproof way to size overalls. However, you can follow some general sizing rules, take measurements, and consult a sizing chart.

General Sizing Rules

Make sure your overalls stay on your body but don’t feel too tight. With just the right amount of looseness, they make it easier for you to maneuver when at work and even when outside playing recreational games.

Clothing that has a looser rather than tighter fit will help you regulate body temperature on a hot day. The same applies when you work in a hot environment either indoors or outdoors.

Take Measurements

To size your overalls, you’ll need to measure your chest and waist. Once you have your measurements, you can consult a sizing chart to find the right fit for you.

Consult a Sizing Chart

It’s true that clothing sizes vary based on brands, which may differ by half a size or less. However, taking your body measurements and looking them up on a chart can increase your chance of ideal fit. Check the overall sizes for your body type, and compare them to small, medium, large, extra large, and other sizes.

What should I wear with overalls?

A woman in carpentry workshop wearing overall and protective gloves.

For Industrial Work

You can wear whatever you want, but it depends on where you go and what you do. For work, you might combine them with a t-shirt (either long- or short-sleeve) and sneakers for comfort and safety reasons.

For Business Casual Jobs

You might wear a camisole, dress shirt or blouse under them. The overalls or jumpsuits you wear might have a cotton feel rather than a denim one. However, black jean overalls often look dressy enough if worn with a blazer over them in an office setting.

For Going Out (Women)

Allegra K Women's Overalls Faux Suede a Line Short Pinafore Button Up Overall Dress X-Small Black

I have some ideas for anyone who identifies as a woman who prefers certain clothing styles perceived as feminine. However, my advice depends on where you go. I don’t know if I’d wear them to a club, for instance, unless they’re the skirt type instead of pants. It also depends on the material and color you wear though.

If going to a movie or a dinner you might dress bibs up with a blouse and heels. If you do wear heels with them, however, I would suggest chunky boots, shoes, or dress heels.

Otherwise, you might instead wear a one-piece jumpsuit for semiformal and formal occasions. Some dressier overalls and jumpsuits can be worn in an office setting too with a less low-cut collar and heels or flats. 

For Going Out (Men)

What someone who identifies as a man wears when going out, especially to a club, depends on personal style or the establishment’s dress code. For instance, some men might prefer either the black or blue denim overalls, which I like.

For warmer months, the cropped or rolled-up overalls – or even bib shorts—would work. Most of these combine well with a tight-fitting T-shirt and sneakers. Some men also wear them with an overcoat or blazer.

I’ve also seen men wear both tight and wide-leg overalls with canvas sneakers, work boots, or chunky shoes. Additionally, I noticed that some men and women both wear a sweater over their bibs, treating them much like cargo pants.

For me, I love cargo pants when working jobs that require pockets for tools and supplies, but they’re hard to find. Wearing a sweater covering my bibs could solve the problem quickly. If wearing wide-leg pants of any type, however, I suggest making sure the hems cover the boots or shoes for a neat fit.

When On The Street (For Women)

A woman on her overall, sunglasses, red checkerd flannel while holding a shopping cart.

I personally wouldn’t wear high heels when walking down a city sidewalk. However, word on the street suggests that the skinny overalls with a fitted t-shirt and heels seem to make an impression.

“With just simple jeans overall, you can pair it with a white undershirt and bold red high-heeled boots to create a flashy accent,” says SBS Zipper fashion advisor.

The heels don’t have to be red, however. You can wear any color, and distressed jeans seem to be back in as of mid-2022.

I’m hoping the trend of wearing overalls with heels changes by 2023, as attractive as this duo may look. I don’t ever see myself wearing overalls with heels unless they’re the chunkier type. Otherwise, I’d wear strapped sandal flats.

If I were to go out, I’d probably think about wearing them with sneakers if I were to wear them to a dance club. That’s much easier than trying to wear shoes that have a heel the girth of a twig.

On The Street (For Men)

Men’s street overalls fashion seems to take on a life of its own. I’ve seen them with one strap down, which some women do too. Some males (and females) also walk down the street with both straps open and the bib part hanging down over the pants.

I do like my bibs loose when using them for outdoor work and construction or cleaning projects. I do have my limits though. I don’t take too much to the sloppier, baggier overall fashion at all.