You see them all the time — and they look amazing. Jumpsuits may not hold the same broad versatility as, say, your favorite pair of jeans or stretchy leggings. But with a little bit of know-how, you can learn how to the style a jumpsuit so that it becomes an integral part of your wardrobe.
First, consider its roots. The jumpsuit wasn’t always the style-savvy piece it’s known as today. In fact, in its earliest iterations, jumpsuits were designed for skydiving. But in the decades that followed, women became more adventurous with their sartorial choices and that set the stage for the rise of the fashion statement jumpsuit.
Soon designers were crafting them of silk, and some of the world’s most glamorous women — Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn among them — started showing that this garment is as stylish as a little black dress.
So how can you rock something that seems to be reserved for fashion-forward style icons? Keep these simple tips in mind and you’ll find that you can, in fact, wear a fabulous jumpsuit almost anywhere your schedule takes you.
How to Style a Jumpsuit — The Rules of Play
1. Focus on fabric
The material you wear plays a major role in your overall look. Headed out for a party? Try silk for an elegant party-ready outfit.
Going shopping on Saturday with the girls? Stick with materials that exude a relaxed vibe. Denim and cotton are both prime candidates — a denim or cotton jumpsuit will elevate your downtime looks instantly.
This Monki Denim V Button Front Jumpsuit ($64) captures the spirit of simplicity and puts a fun twist on your basic denim and tee pairings.
Lastly, be cautious of ultra-clingy fabrics. A jumpsuit that’s too tight is more of a catsuit. Leave that look to Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
2. Consider the details
A polished silhouette creates a flattering look from head to toe. And that’s what you want when you’re ready to swap your favorite party dress for a chic jumpsuit. Look for a piece that negotiates your figure perfectly. Details like self-tie belts, V-necklines, and cap sleeves all allow you the chance to show off your best assets.
The Floral-Print Jumpsuit ($69.90) from Zara combines pretty and practical, yielding a piece that is as comfortable as it is elegant.
3. Try a belt
The jumpsuit that doesn’t cinch at the waist off the rack may seem a little daunting. You can wear that piece as is — but you can also create a unique look by adding a belt.
If you’re headed to an upscale event, or even to the office, it’s best to wear a jumpsuit that offers a bit of definition for a more pulled together look.
This Plaid Twofer Jumpsuit ($53.97) from New York & Company captures the essence of corporate chic beautifully. The colors are nonchalantly chic, while the twofer style is sleek and classic.
4. Keep it sporty
If you’re more interested in wearing a jumpsuit when you’re hanging out, lounging, or lunching with friends, try the hyper-casual approach. The most casual cuts have wide legs and soft, free-flowing fabrics that feel great against your skin.
This Express Corset Detailed Wide Leg Jumpsuit ($79.90) offers a fun and laid-back take on the look, and is ideal with anything from a pair of flats to your favorite sneakers.
5. Experiment with shoes
Heels are the go-to anchor for a dressed-up jumpsuit outfit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment! A cute pair of flats or even your best sneakers can be the right choice on your casual days when comfort is a priority.
6. Add a blazer
When heading to the office, throw a tailored jacket on top. It will lend a classic touch while providing a shield from the frosty temps by the office air conditioner.
The comfort factor of the jumpsuit is hard to deny, but not every style is for everybody. The best way to learn how to style a jumpsuit is to have fun trying out a few different designs and accessories to find which suits you best.
Need more jumpsuit styling tips? See our posts about wedding jumpsuits and how to wear a jumpsuit after 50.