Overalls have been hot (again) for a couple of years now. They’re hard to resist. Roomy and comfortable, flattering to all body types, available in lots of colors and fabrics. Best of all (to me, anyway), they take a lot of the effort out of getting dressed.
Throw on a pair of overalls and you’ve already got your bottoms and half of your top covered. But you still need a top. So what tops go with overalls?
Technically, you can wear any top with overalls. And people do.
As People says in a recent piece on the glory of the garment, “It’s a staple that’s easy to dress up or down, and it pairs well with what’s already in your closet (read: sweaters, tees, sneakers, or boots).”
In my opinion, though, overalls look best with certain types of tops.
Because overalls cover so much, I think they’re most flattering paired with tops that don’t. One of my favorite looks is overalls with a basic white ribbed cotton tank top. Any color or style of tank top works just as well. What I like about this look is that it’s the perfect combination of fabric and skin.
If the tank’s neckline is low enough, or the bib is high enough, from the front you almost can’t tell if you’re wearing a top or not. It’s a sexy look that’s not too revealing.
I told you overalls take a lot of the effort out of dressing! What could be easier, or more comfortable, than a sports bra? Because the overalls’ bib covers my front, I don’t feel so much like, “I’m wearing a bra as a top.” And, when it’s hot out, I just love the feeling of a little breeze on my torso.
Off-the shoulder top
Like I said, when I wear overalls, I like to wear tops that show some skin. An off-the-shoulder top is a cool look with overalls because it’s unexpected. You’re showing bare shoulders, but then you’ve got the overall straps going across your bare skin. Any off-the-shoulder top works, but I especially like one with a ruffle.
It’s a nice counterpoint to the overalls’ simplicity. If you’re sensing a theme, you’re right. I like contrasts and the balance they create.
When in doubt (or a hurry), wear a T-shirt under your overalls. Any T-shirt. You can’t go wrong. Keep in mind that different styles of tees create different effects with overalls. A loose one looks more relaxed, while a fitted one is more body-conscious and streamlined. Both solids and stripes work.
I think stripes are more playful, while solids are safer. I stay away from tees with words written on them when I wear overalls because I know they won’t be fully readable with the bib in the way. But that’s just me. I know people who aren’t hung up on that kind of stuff and, honestly, I wish I weren’t either!
Button-up (or down)
Whether you call it a button-up or a button-down, a collared shirt with buttons down the front looks cool under overalls. Maybe it’s the contrast between the dressy and the casual, or the intellectual and the person who works with her hands. I don’t know. I just know I like it.
Buttoned all the way up to the neck, please. In a cottony fabric. And fitted. My favorite button-up top to wear with denim overalls is white and short-sleeved. But long-sleeved ones achieve the same look, and keep your arms warm!
Now we’re moving into colder-weather looks. Or not. When you want some coverage, a long-sleeved turtleneck in stretchy cotton, acrylic, or wool-blend fabric is warm, cozy, and sleek. A long-sleeved black turtleneck with blue denim overalls is one of my favorite outfits of all time.
In warmer weather, I like short-sleeved and sleeveless turtlenecks in pastels, brights, and stripes.
The first time I saw someone wearing a hoodie with overalls, I was like, “I can’t believe that works, but it totally does!” Its unexpectedness is what makes it such a stellar look. This combo definitely looks best with overalls on the baggy side.
The hoodie should fit just right, or you’ll be bagging out all over. With this one, literally, any color combination works – the more unexpected, the better.
Lacey and crochet tops
Overalls are the very definition of “no frills.” They were originally designed to do just one thing: protect the person wearing them during hard physical labor. And their essence is still practical rather than pretty. That’s why pairing them with a top that’s designed to be more pretty than practical is so genius.
Tops with intricate detail like crochet, lace, eyelet or scalloping, or made of delicate, even sheer, fabrics look especially beautiful with overalls. The unexpectedness of the pairing is visually interesting, and the simplicity of the overalls cuts the sweetness of the top.
I hope overalls never go out of style. They make putting an outfit together so much easier and so much fun because they really do go with everything!