The History of Overalls: A Photo Diary

You either love or hate overalls, it seems, but regardless of the feelings you ascribe to the oh-so-polarizing denim coveralls, they’ve been around for a long time and aren’t showing any signs of going away. That being said, if you fall into the latter category of dungaree distaste, perhaps a brief recap of the wardrobe staples influence may sway you in the opposite direction. Scroll down for a history of overalls, as told by us.

best overalls


Hans Wild/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Fun fact: Though traditionally farmers wore overalls in blue denim, house painters and carpenters wore them in white. This archival photo from 1945 shows a female farmer wearing her overalls with a straw hat and T-shirt.



Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

By the time the late '60s hit, overalls were a popular style choice and worn in different fabrics and cuts. This snapshot of a Southern California high school student is pretty groovy, if you ask us.



Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

British actress Julie Christie's airport overalls look is seriously inspiring.



Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

If Sarah Jessica Parker in a daisy-embellished hat, strong-shouldered blazer, and pinstripe overalls doesn't make you miss the '80s just a little, well, then we don't know what will.



Jim Smeal/WireImage

Ah, TLC. For a more thorough breakdown of '90s hip-hop fashion, check out our coverage on the new documentary Fresh Dressed.



Rob Loud/WireImage for DeLeon Tequila

Thanks to daring style insiders like Alexa Chung, wearing overalls is cool again.



Raymond Hall/GC Images

Kate Bosworth—and the recent revival of '70s-inspired clothes—proves that overalls' staying power is strong.

Keep going to shop our favorite overalls right now!

Topshop Moto Slim Leg Denim Dungarees ($90)

Do you love overalls? Tell us your thoughts in the comments; we want to know!

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