Many of us are struggling during these difficult financial times, and inflated prices on a fixed income often means cutting out the luxuries, like, say, shopping. However, old habits die hard, and if you’ve spent the pre-recession years filling up your shopping cart with the newest trends, you’re probably hard-pressed to give up your fashion fix. So this summer, instead of running up a huge bill with lots of separates, look for just a few pieces that pack a big style punch. The latest trend to step onto the scene? The jumpsuit, an economical combination of a top and bottom that has garnered mixed reviews but, ultimately, can become a modish staple to any recessionista wardrobe.
There are a few guidelines to finding the perfect jumpsuit for your body. The look is certainly a little more challenging to pull of than, for example, a bubble hem dress, but the payoff can be a much more sleek silhouette. Take a few cues from those who have really nailed this trend, like Padma Lakshmi and Real Housewives of New York’s Bethenny Frankel. For starters, they both have fabulous bodies; Padma’s legs can probably be measured in miles and Bethenny’s BMI might be in the negatives. However, they’ve maximized their appeal by finding jumpsuits that fit perfectly. Padma’s eggplant style isn’t supertight but still looks streamlined, while Bethenny’s is quite tight but adds maturity and sex appeal to her petite frame. As is the case with most clothing, immaculate fit is essential.
The next aspect to consider is the cut. If you’re short, you will probably want to look for a shorter version, as long leg pant versions will probably overwhelm. Check out Selma Blair, wearing a short sleeved, short pant jumpsuit. The elaborate sleeves balance her sporty figure, while the high waist adds length to her legs. On the other hand, supertall ladies can get away with voluminous versions, like the lanky Kate Moss in her couture jumpsuit.
Just as important as the jumpsuit are the accessories that go with it. Five-inch stilettos are in right now, but if you choose to pair them with a jumpsuit, be sure the pant leg extends long enough to accommodate the extra height from the heels. Since this trend is a lot of “look” in itself, keep jewelry minimal. Instead of Rosie the Riveter’s jumpsuit and handkerchief ensemble, try a single, lavalier-style necklace to keep the look fresh. Beware of too many accessories, though: see Kim Kardashian, who followed the guidelines for fit and cut, but cluttered her look with jewelry, an oversize handbag, enormous sunglasses, admittedly adorable but otherwise intricate shoes, and a blazer. It’s a bit of a trend overload.
Jumpsuits are a bit tricky to pull off, but with these simple guidelines, you’ll find this trend flattering and versatile. So while financial fat cats may be enjoying their golden parachutes, you can still enjoy these parachutist-gone-diva suits even after you receive your pink slip.