08 Dec 2021

Fashion Fix: From utility to gingham — these are the biggest jumpsuit trends of the season

Advice, tips and tricks from industry experts

Fashion Fix: From utility to gingham — these are the biggest jumpsuit trends of the season

Margaret Clunie wearing a cream utility boiler suit. Picture: Ian West/PA

Few things embody easy glamour quite like a jumpsuit. If dresses feel too feminine and separates too much of a faff to wear, a chic one piece is the way to go.

They're the ultimate answer to lazy dressing - all you have to do is add heels or trainers and you immediately look polished or cool.

Jumpsuits rarely go out of fashion, but styles shift and change. Think of the disco-fabulous flared one pieces from the Seventies, or the more minimal Nineties versions with thin spaghetti straps and loose silhouettes.

Currently, many of the popular styles are all about giving a 2020 update to a trend from the past - because who doesn't love a bit of nostalgia in fashion?

Jumpsuits are versatile; they can be adapted for all occasions to suit any age, body type or style. Jane Fonda's stylist Tanya Gill agrees with this, last year telling British Vogue they are "the epitome of a modern woman's wardrobe".

So how are modern women wearing jumpsuits this season?


Utility-style jumpsuits remain incredibly popular this season. This makes sense - jumpsuits have become synonymous with military uniforms, and still evoke images of fighter pilots and soldiers in American movies.

But even though it was adopted by the military, according to Vogue Italia a Florentine artist known as Thayaht first invented the jumpsuit in 1919. The THAYAHT & RAM Archive says the artist referred to the garment as "the most innovative, futuristic garment ever produced in the history of Italian fashion", publishing the pattern in a newspaper so everyone could make and wear it.

The military - particularly in America - adopted the style into their uniforms, and the current trend very much echoes these utilitarian beginnings. For this look, it's all about nailing the detailing. Pockets are very much encouraged, giving jumpsuits a major one-up over dresses. The more pockets, the better, and look for other military details like zips and buttons.

Stick to neutral tones with colours like olive, navy blue, brown and grey. To keep this trend looking modern and fresh, steer clear of styles which are overly baggy - either go for fitted jumpsuits or ones which are belted around the waist.

Candy colours

Jumpsuits are all about fun - after all, they're basically adult updates of the onesies we wore as babies. That's why we love combining it with another joyful trend of the season: bright, candy colours.

There really are no rules with this trend - all you have to do is choose your favourite colour, making sure it has highlighter levels of brightness. Either clash with hues that really don't go or colour block with all your accessories matching. Either way, you'll be bang on trend and bring a bit of the summer sun with your outfit.


Gingham dresses are a timeless summer outfit, but they don't suit everyone. If your style isn't particularly feminine or you feel like they're a bit twee, a jumpsuit version is the perfect answer - and that's exactly what Emilia Wickstead sent down the runway for her spring/summer 2020 show.

A gingham one piece will bring a bit of joy into your wardrobe. Our advice is to keep the style loose and floaty, rather than tight and tailored. Not only will it look great, but it will leave you plenty of room for food when hitting up a BBQ.

While the gingham pattern is definitely relaxed, you can choose more starchy materials or fancy silhouettes - like bubble sleeves - to dress this look up a bit. Long gone are the days when jumpsuits were seen as informal - after all, Ascot finally bowed to pressure back in 2017 and allowed them on the dress code.

Seventies-inspired denim

There are plenty of ways to wear a denim jumpsuit: you can go down the tomboyish boilersuit route or even wear overalls. However, this season our favourite style is all about channelling the Seventies.

To nail this retro vibe, styles tend to have sleeves, tight waists and flared legs. Wear with trainers for relaxed events, and it looks equally great dressed up with heeled boots.

One of the best things about the jumpsuit trend is that many styles are gender neutral. Seventies-inspired denim one pieces can definitely be worn by both men and women - most recently, trendsetter Harry Styles wore a sparkly version onstage. As the gender lines in fashion become increasingly blurred, we're sure to be seeing a lot more unisex jumpsuits in the future.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.