Fashion Flashback: The Return of Overalls

It’s official: 90s grunge is back. Which means your favorite childhood overalls are about to become a wardrobe must-have. But before you track down an old pair and start partying like it’s 1999, let’s take a look back at how this denim one-piece became popular in the first place.

The Return of Overalls

At the turn of the century, overalls – often called “slops” – were considered a symbol of the working class. Slops were worn over clothes not as a fashion statement, but to prevent stains. They were also available in a variety of colors, based on occupation: white was worn by painters, pin-striped by railroad workers, and classic indigo by most other professions.

While overalls were a working-class staple, they were never really fashionable until the 90s when grunge music became popular. During this time, angst-ridden teens could be found wearing overalls with one strap hanging down and a flannel shirt tied around their waist. The trend became so popular that even the hip-hop scene (think Will Smith during his Fresh Prince years) took to wearing the style.

From DKNY to Alexander Wang, this spring’s runways were all about the revival of 90s grunge and the teen-spirit staple. This time around, however, fasten both straps and ditch the flannel accents in favor of more feminine accessories, like stilettos.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column every Tuesday.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.


Instant Inspiration: 5 Pinterest Boards We Can’t Get Enough Of