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Like overalls, this style protects wearers from the day's dirt and grime. However, coveralls come all the way up, creating a barrier between you and whatever you're working on. Postal Worker Clothes
Coveralls, a boiler suit, jumpsuit or onesie: No matter what you call this kind of garment — a one-piece top and trouser combo with a collar — there is a nearly endless list of uses for one. Tending to your garden? Great. Playing with your grown-up toys (cars, furniture, even art)? Perfect. Tired of taking the time to find pants that match the shirt you want to wear? Amazing. Coveralls can do it all. Never worry about whether your outfit looks put together ever again, because a coverall literally covers all of the bases.
And that's what it was invented to do, first for factory workers then for everyone else. It's a rather democratic get-up — one that's generally unisex, oftentimes cheap and incredibly hard-wearing. Early boiler suits — called this because workers tending to locomotive boilers wore them — were made from canvas or denim, came with big pockets for tools and a cinched or belt waist so that loose-fitting fabric didn't catch on anything or interfere with the wearer's field of view.
You see, coveralls are generally the same as a jumpsuit or a onesie or a boiler suit, but there are, I must add before you go searching for your own, subtle differences only a trained eye will notice: Jumpsuits are slimmer and trimmer, which is why one-piece women's garments usually claim this name. The boiler suit is merely earlier nomenclature for the coverall. They're one and the same. Truly. And a onesie? Well, it's something slouchy and comfortable — like a kid would wear — and you should steer clear of wearing one in public. (Save, perhaps, for pyjama days at work or school.)
Modern renditions range from old-timey and true to the past to smart and economical. (Who needs two dozen shirts and pants when you could have four sets of coveralls?) Find one that's right for you below. But first, read our tips for pulling them off.
Alex Mill's Field Jumpsuit takes the crown because it's comfortable, cut from durable BCI-certified (meaning it's sustainable and transparently-sourced) cotton and comes in three colors, Olive (aka the green seen here), Navy and Vintage Khaki. It's straight-fitting with slack in the right spots and pockets only where necessary. Where? Two big camp-style ones on the hips, two on the rear and one that folds shut on the chest. Plus, there's a hammer loop should you need it, making this not only the most stylish version on this list but also the most versatile. If you're doing real, dirty work can wear trust this option. If you're just a fan of the style, well, this version won't disappointment.
Did you dig through the archives of this style? Were you impressed by what you saw? Slow down. Don't bid on any antique coveralls on ebay. Instead, go for Dawson Denim's true to form, limited edition iteration. Every set cut and finished by hand in Dawson Denim's own Brighton-based workshop using sewing machines from the 50s. This is as close as you'll get to the ones engineers were wearing to tend to early trains, planes and automobiles: the vertical striping, very wide but flattering fit, the pair of pockets on the chest. It's so good and impressively of the era, considering it's made from 11 oz, indigo-dyed Japanese twill.
A little bit of research revealed most people ordered this option as a blank canvas for a costume: Michael Meyers, a mechanic, stunt double, astronaut — you name it. Honestly, though, despite being largely one or two time use for these users, the reviews are... really good. It's a trusty, durable option from a brand that's been making workwear since 1923. The back promises a full range of mobility; the material itself is rip-resistant; and all of the hardware (brass zippers and snaps) are covered by plackets, which prevent unintentional scratching on delicate (like car paint) surfaces.
Levi's were originally workwear. The brand began as a dry goods and work garments retailer and stumbled into inventing jeans when its founder a friendly tailor filed a patent for rivet reinforced bottoms. Had all that never happened, Levi's would probably look a lot like these, which the brand calls Stay Loose Coveralls. They're cut from a slate gray colored blend of cotton and hemp, have pockets in your usual places (hips, chest) and a snap-front closure that runs all the way up to your neck.
Jumpsuit? Sure, I guess, but not so much. Kingsman's Moleskin Jumpsuit is more like a Siren Suit, a style (supposedly) invented by Winston Churchill. He wore it to all of his important meetings, touted it as the ideal coverall for when chaos breaks out, aka when sirens signaled an air raid was inbound. I know, dark history. But plenty of what we wear today derives from military attire. Think of this option as the polished alternative to the others, which are best saved for dirtier duties.
Of course there are workwear brands aplenty that attempt their own iterations of the classic coverall, but what about new brands? Ones blurring gender bounds and shrinking the gap between work and leisure? Al's Big Deal is just that: a desert-based independent brand making its unisex jumpsuit in California in just a few classic colors. As such, sizing is a bit different: It runs from 0 through 7, and the garment has not been pre-washed, meaning it'll shrink a little bit after that first cycle. Keep that in mind.
Darker options will not only trick other into thinking you're simply wearing a matching set, but they hide rips and stains better. This wool one from designer Oscar Jacobson mixes traditional references and modern fashion cues, taking the vertical striping, for example, from the past and pairing it with overt, exposed buttons. Don't throw this one in the wash. It'll ruin it.
Of course Carhartt made this list! The Rugged Flex Canvas Coverall is a classic example of a workwear brand tweaking one of its pillar styles to the modern wearer's liking. Flex implies a bit of stretch through the body — 2-percent spandex to be exact — and the waistband is elasticated for easier all around movement. Plus, if you're stressed about a stain, this one's machine washable.
Not to be outdone by Carhartt, Dickies does a coverall too. Theirs comes in a broad range of sizes — small and small tall through XXXXL — but only one color, blue. This one's definitely made for work. It resists fading and stains, has a bi-folded back for added mobility, pockets aplenty and extras like a ruler sleeve and snap closures to keep the zipper protected.
Man In Coveralls For its rendition of the jumpsuit, South African menswear brand ALC, designed by Amanda Laird Cherry, combines a classic short sleeve shirt with chinos. It's clear: The top looks an awful lot like one you might wear on a summer day, and the pants hark field chinos, for example (evident by the pocket style). There are even belt loops should you decide to add one, thus hiding the fact the two are actually fused together.