Admit it: you love wearing overalls. They’re comfortable, they’re easy to wear and they’re accepted everywhere as great style. Boots are equally as famous. They’ve been worn for many generations because they are perfect footwear. Boots can be supportive and comfortable or fierce and fashionable. They can be tall or short, heeled or not. But can you bring these two items together at all? Can you wear boots with overalls? Styling boots and overalls together can actually be quite a natural pairing when it’s done well. And when it’s not…well, you’ll know it right away.
The Story of Overalls
When people refer to overalls, they typically mean bib overalls. This is a particular design that includes pants and a bib that covers the chest. It’s joined to the pants with shoulder straps. This design first appeared on the style scene in the 1700s. Back then, bib overalls were called slops. Denim wasn’t a thing back then, so these early overalls were made with any variety of tough fabric that was available.
Made for comfort and durability and designed to be worn for the toughest jobs, these early overalls were worn pretty much exclusively by farmers and workers of all types. They weren’t even made to fit well, so men often wore overalls over another pair of pants. They were loose and big but they got the job done.
They weren’t meant to look good or fit well. They were just meant to provide the tough protection that workers needed to do farming tasks, perform mining jobs and take on other difficult tasks required to take the rough and rugged western lands in the U.S.
Overalls got an overhaul in the late 1800s, when Levi Strauss & Co. created blue jeans. Made with denim, Levi’s jeans began to spread through working communities quickly. Soon, Levi’s was churning out overalls made with the same tough stuff. Of course they caught on, as denim started to take over the world rather quickly.
Made with cotton, denim was durable but comfortable, tough but soft, machine-washable and yet stain-resistant. In short, denim truly had it all. Overalls made with denim because instantly popular and began to replace designs made with other fabrics.
But…they were still worn by working men, primarily farmers. It would take world-changing events before overalls started to break free of this mold and become something else.
Everything changed in the 1910s, when the entire world went to war. WWI changed things significantly for everyone. Women had to start doing more tough jobs as the men went overseas to fight. A popular silent film star wore a pair of overalls in one of her movies, proving that overalls had made the leap from men’s fashion into female wardrobes. It was during WWI that women first had to step up to do more factory jobs and farm jobs, more labor-intensive tasks than they had ever done before. They embraced the challenge and they embraced overalls, the workwear that helped men tackle all of their tough tasks.
The trend continued into WWII, when overalls experienced a huge resurgence. When the world went to war a second time, women were needed in canning factories, munitions factories. They had to service trucks and go to work on farms. Even more men signed up to go to the fight during this war, leaving women to take over the jobs they had to leave behind.
Thanks to figures like Rosie the Riveter and the real women who were holding down factory jobs during the war, overalls became popular as workwear for women, too.
The Next Step
Overalls have conquered the workings world. They had even become fashion for children thanks to Osh Kosh B’Gosh, which created overalls just for them in the early 1900s. Everyone was wearing overalls…but they were still wearing them for hard work, tough play, rugged and rough activities.
For a while, it seemed that overalls had found their niche. And overalls might have stayed firmly in the workwear category. But this fashion item refused to be hidden away from the world. In the 1960s, overalls suddenly took another step. They broke free…and they became high fashion.
Designers, inspired by the rural looks of farm life, experimented with designing their own overalls using different colors, patterns and fabrics. Plaid and other patterns appeared on overalls for the first time. Now, overalls were on the runway. Models strut in them and pictures of them appeared in fashion magazines. Stars of film and music started to wear them, proving that overalls could be cool, too.
Once overalls became high fashion, they were suddenly everywhere. Overalls have become the cornerstone for many great looks now, from cool streetwear to glamorous, sexy outfits.
Quick History of Boots
Boots are a fashion staple for many. You might not even know how many pairs of boots you have in your closet right this minute. Everyone has worn a pair of boots at one time or another. That’s probably because boots are, most likely, the oldest and first type of footwear ever created.
Of course, those first boots didn’t have a whole lot in common with the fashion boots you find on feet today. To create these boots, the lower legs and foot were wrapped with leather and lashed in place using various plant and animal materials. This was a crude design, but effective. These early boots protected feet and lower legs well enough to propel ancient humans through the Ice Age, after all. The oldest boots ever found date to around 15,000 to 12,00 B.C.E. That’s a heck of a long time ago.
The Evolution of Boots
These early boots were made with animal hide, of course, both leather and fur. But as fashion evolved, boots changed. Soon, they were made with other materials, including wool, silk, cotton and felt. In some parts of world, sealskin and other types of animal hide were used to create waterproof boots.
All ancient cultures wore boots, including the Egyptians and the Greeks. Boots came standard issue in Rome for all soldiers. Boots continued to be used as military footwear throughout history and in fact, they are still used for that purpose today. Many of the oldest boots discovered by archaeologists were worn by soldiers.
Though Romans were known for their rather visually stunning soldier attire, boots were really still made for practical purposes throughout the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. Different styles and materials and heights were used, depending on the level of protection needed and the tasks the boots were built for. Yet all in all, they remained pretty plain in design for many hundreds of years. But in the Middle Ages, boots started to become fashionable.
French courtiers who hung around the King began to wear high, pretty boots that were much more about fashion than they were about being practical. During the Middle Ages, the French set many style trends that have become standard today. Fashion boots were one of the country’s many contributions to modern style. Extremely high boots began to catch on and from there, boot style sort of exploded. Many different styles appeared in popular fashion through the centuries, gracing feet all over Europe and beyond.
Today, boots are available in a dazzling and dizzying array of styles. They are made to be bulky or slim, short or tall. They’re available in any color and material you can think of. They’re stylish, they’re tough, they’re whatever you need them to be, depending on which pair you pick. You can find them with zippers and buckles and doodads of all types.
Maybe because there are so many different boot styles out there, it can be difficult to know what to wear with boots, when to wear boots and what other clothes look good with boots.
Boots and Overalls Outfit Ideas
You can put together lots of highly fashionable looks by combining boots and overalls. There are many ways to combine these two pieces of fashion into a single great stylish outfit. Start out with some ideas that will work to help you create great looks and soon, you’ll start putting together your own amazing looks that will turn heads everywhere you go.
Ready to Work
Overalls were originally created to be workwear and they became especially popular as farmwear quite early on. Pay homage to this original purpose by wearing dark denim overalls with a pair of high heel leather ankle boots. This combines rural fashion with urban chic. Cuff up the bottom of the overalls to show off your boots. Finish the outfit with a T-shirt and you’ve got an amazing casual outfit that combines classic pieces with fashionable style.
This is perfect for casual wear during the day or night. This is a mix of modern casual fashion and classic farmer fashion, and it hits just the right mark when you’re going to an event with more of a rural setting or theme.
Try pairing your overalls with combat boots to take advantage of a classic combination that’s always in style. These boots have made the leap into high fashion to become true street style icons. Wear them with overalls in a camo pattern or an olive green and you will definitely capture military high fashion style. Finish the outfit with olive green, gray or black T-shirt and you will be ready for any casual daytime activity. The combat boots are great for walking, so you can cover a lot of ground and get a lot done while wearing them.
This is a perfect outfit for hiking, fishing or enjoying any sort of outdoor activity at all. The tough boots are made to take on even difficult terrain, the overalls give you coverage and this look is both stylish and functional.
Wear light wash denim overalls or overalls in another light color with a black turtleneck and a pair of black boots. This creates some high contrast, which is always eye-catching and always has the look of good style. Finish off your look with a trendy handbag, a pair of dark sunglasses and an overcoat. Add a belt in a contrasting color to your overalls to make the look really pop and finish it off with a lot of flair. This outfit looks cool and casual, like you just happen to be effortlessly fashionable without actually trying.
Too Cool for These Overalls
Pair some low-heeled or no-heel boots with a pair of distressed overalls and a long sleeved shirt. A slouchy purse or backpack purse will bring the look together. To complete this style, you need to undo your overalls and let the bib hang down. Tuck the shoulder straps into your belt loops, pocket or waistband as needed. This casual, comfortable look is easy to pull off if you have enough attitude.
Wear a pair of dark-colored overalls with black leather ankle boots and a black handbag. Motorcycle boots work perfectly for this outfit. Finish it with a turtleneck and a knit cap and you’ll have an outfit that’s ready to take on any brisk fall day. This is a great outfit for casual day or night wear. It works particularly well if you’re doing anything outdoors.
Create a spring look with a sleeveless crop top and a pair of overalls. This will show a flash of skin on the sides of your body, which adds a ton of sex appeal. Complete the look with open-toed, high heel ankle boots and you have a great warm weather look that is casual, sexy and perfect for going shopping or for enjoying any outdoor springtime activity.
Wear a pair of wide-leg overalls with a loose-fitting, multicolored long-sleeve blouse. Add a cool handbag and a cute peaked or flat cap. Finish this with a pair of high-heeled boots and you will capture a gorgeous boho look. Build this outfit around pretty colors, loose fits and flowing fabrics and you will capture the spirit of boho style. The bobho look works well anywhere, from a casual date night to a day of running errands.
Sexy and Summery
A strapless top, such as a tube top, is perfect under-overalls wear in the summer. Choose overalls in a lightweight fabric in a light color. Match a pair of open-toe high heel boots to your top, add a matching bag and you are definitely summer-ready. You can always top the look with a straw hat or a big pair of glamorous sunglasses to really drive the seasonal outfit right over the top.
Can You Wear Boots with Overalls?
Can you wear boots and overalls together in the same outfit? Of course! There are many ways to pull off this pairing, which you may just discover is just perfect for all of your style needs. Both overalls and boots are made in a huge variety of materials, colors, styles and looks. Find the right overalls and the right boots and they will come together perfectly in all sorts of beautiful outfit ideas.
Good Housekeeping – How to Wear Overalls 15 Different Ways
Lookastic – Overalls with Boots Outfits
Love to Know – History of Boots
Our Everyday Life – History of Bib Overalls