When Were Overalls Invented? (What Style Are Overalls?)

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When Were Overalls Invented?

While overalls became popular in the West during the gold rush when Levi Strauss made work trousers for miners for improved durability and longevity, overalls have been around since the 18th century.

In the old days, people used to wear protective clothing over their nicer/more expensive clothing. A form of trouser was worn as an outer layer over other garments as protection.

Overalls hit the market as fashion wear in the 1890s and over the years, they transformed from being a workwear garment to an everyday fashion staple. Overalls nowadays are appealing, fashionable, and lighter.

At present, there are many different types of overalls for people to choose from. There are short overalls, long overalls, denim overalls, denim short overalls, and casual workwear overalls for women.

They each have their pros and cons because they’re made out of different materials like cotton or polyester and come in different designs or styles like the slim fit or straight leg. Generally speaking, they’re comfortable to wear in any season because they can be worn with jackets or coats in cold temperatures and t-shirts or tank tops when the weather is hot.

What is the Meaning of Overalls?

Overalls are a piece of clothing that was made to meet the demands of workers who performed their jobs in rigorous conditions that required some protection for their regular clothes and their legs and allowed them the freedom to move their hands at will.

The term “overalls” is used to refer to clothing that is worn over other clothing. Therefore they go over all other clothing. They were originally designed to cover all of your clothing and protect them from dirt, grease, etc.

They are essentially loose trousers attached to a vest via shoulder straps and have large pockets (for tools). Initially, overalls were meant to be worn over clothes to keep them protected while performing various activities.

But then came the casual overalls and other varieties and nowadays they are commonly used as a fashion statement.

What Style Are Overalls?

Overalls are not just a single style of clothing; there are different styles of overalls that are available to purchase. The most common type of overalls are bibbed or jumper overalls which feature a bib on top as well as straps that attach underneath the arms.

Many people call these strap-on overalls because they literally fit underneath your arms. There is also another style named coverall which features one piece with no bib called bibless coveralls, but this style is not very popular today.

There are many different styles of overalls available on the market. The most common styles include dresses, skirts, long, and short overalls.

These overalls can be worn at a lot of places, e.g. events, office, college, party, etc. The most popular styles of overall nowadays include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. Pants Overalls: They feature a classic style and they are easy to wear with a cute top, e.g. a crop top or a blouse.
  2. Shorts Overalls: They are not suitable for winters but they are great for spring and summer. You can pair them with a white tee and sneakers for a casual, stylish look.
  3. Dress Overalls: These are the cutest style available and they are arguably the best option if you want to style an overall in a feminine way.
  4. Denim Overalls: These are some of the most popular styles of overalls. They are suitable for everyday wearing.

Are Overalls in Style?

Yes. Overalls have always been in style and there are many reasons why they don’t go out of fashion. They are very easy to wear as they fit perfectly on your body without any loose threads or gaps.

They can also be worn in virtually any kind of weather with just about anything you have in your wardrobe. You can pair an overall with heels, flats, or even wear it down with some flip flops when the weather is warm.

Overalls add an extra touch of style and class to any attire. The different types of overalls trending nowadays include the classic denim overalls, overalls with pockets, and zippers.

When Were Short Overalls Popular?

Just like many other styles of overalls, short overalls were a huge hit in the early 1990s. They were trending among teenagers and even became a must-have fashion trend for adults. In the 90s, there was no wrong way to wear an overall. Plain and patterned short overalls were quite popular for everyday wear.


Revolt by Palomares Women's Juniors Vintage Classic Twill/Denim Short Overalls (L, Dark Stone)


The shorter versions of overalls were commonly seen during the summer months. In the winter season, most people wore traditional, farmer-like styles. And for an added touch of style, some individuals would leave one strap hanging.

Are Overalls Good for Winter?

While it may seem that overalls are more of a summer staple, they can actually hold their own in the winter season as well. However, when wearing an overall in winters, you may need to take certain things into consideration.


BALEAF Women's Insulated Waterproof Ski Bib Overalls Snow Windproof Snowboarding Pant Ocean Blue Size L


For instance, you will need to pile on the outerwear – whether it’s a faux-fur coat or a leather jacket – and use ankle-hugging sock boots or hosiery to make the attire seasonally appropriate. It’s also recommended that you buy overalls that feature heavier fabrics, e.g. velvet or leather.

You can dress them up with fancy knits or silk blouses. In short, overalls are good for winter as long as you do a little thoughtful layering.

Are Overalls Good for Summer?

Overalls are a favorite summer staple of many people. These statement pieces are versatile and you can use them for virtually every occasion.

  • Hot weather overalls provide good protection from the sun’s harmful rays while also helping you stay in style no matter the occasion.
  • In the summer season, consider pairing your overall with a blouse underneath along with heels to make the attire sleeker.


Vetinee Women's Light Blue Classic Adjustable Straps Cuffed Hem Denim Bib Overall Shorts X-Large


If you have an overall with more coverage on top, then wear statement boots or heels with it to keep it high-fashion. For denim overalls, mixing and matching prints are recommended.

In summary, Overalls are one of the oldest styles of clothing, but modern-day versions have taken on a very different look.

What started as a functional piece of workwear has evolved into a fashion and even emerged as a tool for building your personal style.

Overalls, which are also known as dungarees, have come a long way since then. Nowadays they are commonly worn as part of a uniform by people who work in the building trade, such as carpenters or electricians.

They are often used as protective clothing because they are durable and provide good all-around protection for the body against scrapes and cuts.

In the past, overalls were also popular among miners because they provided better protection than a simple pair of trousers. The fabric was more durable and could withstand the grime that came from being underground all day. Miners who worked in wet conditions also wore overalls because they dried a lot quicker than trousers would do so.

You may also be interested in… What to Wear with Overalls? and Is It Dungarees or Overalls?