Jumpsuits: For Women at Work

Playsuit was not necessarily designed with work in mind, and the jumpsuit was seen as the perfect garment for the fashion-conscious freefall parachutist. (Which means the answer to the question is yes if you’re a freefall parachutist.)jumpsuits-for-ladies-04

The modern everyday interpretations of the two garments are cousins of dresses and suits, both of which are perfectly viable office wear. But would you take your cousin to work with you? And let’s not forget that the definition of what is “formal” is as much of a moving target as you’re ever likely to encounter in style terms. As a business, in general, is toning back its need to appear formal, the meaning of formal wear is itself becoming more open to interpretation. Somewhere in the middle, the two will meet with an enormous explosion of laid-back businesswear, and anyone who hasn’t got their finger on the pulse of style is going to be a casualty.

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But that’s for the near future. What about now? Can you turn up at the office in a playsuit? It’s tempting to say that depending on the context; the answer is probably yes. After all, the world of playsuits and jumpsuits is itself pretty diverse, with some very straight lines and fitted silhouettes on one side and loose, flowing, floral fabrics on the other. A neat and tidy playsuit could be a replacement for a skirt suit, and likewise, a jumpsuit would pass unnoticed in an environment where trouser suits were expected. You can always wear a jacket or cardigan if the look works, and this will make the illusion complete. There are some styles in the shops at the moment, but as with any timeless look, a good place to find a great garment is in a vintage clothing store.

Office work does not necessarily automatically mean traditional formal anymore, either. Even in working environments where men have been expected to wear a suit, the leeway offered to women has usually been pretty generous, with trouser or skirt options, and a blouse, knitwear or jacket on the torso. So it’s not such a huge leap for women to wear a jumpsuit or playsuit that’s at the most tailored end of the spectrum.

Best of all, if someone suggests a drink or a meal after work, the subtleties of the style mean it can, perhaps with a little accessorizing and a tease of the hair, become a rather smart looking piece of casual wear. While your colleagues are shedding their uncomfortable jackets and loosening their collars and cuffs, you’ll already be choosing your starter. And as the evening ends, it’ll be good to know that your clobber is designed for jumping – but hopefully into a taxi.

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