My “look” — if I even possess such a thing — is best described as equal parts “teenage dirtbag” and “someone who is allergic to pants”. My wardrobe is comprised of jeans, jeans that have been cut into shorts, T-shirts, flimsy dresses, and not much else. But a new garment has edged its way into my wardrobe — and heart — and it has changed my life for the better.
Real cool, stylish photo by Claire Lower.
I’m talking about my brand new bib overalls, which I purchased in the Carhartt company store after a fairly productive trip to IKEA. I didn’t go in the store with the intention of purchasing this gloriously utilitarian configuration of cloth. No, I went in there because my boyfriend wanted some long-sleeve tees. I only tried on a pair because I was bored — I did it almost as joke — but once I put them on I realised there was nothing funny about how badly I needed them in my life.
Honestly, I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a pair for a while now, but didn’t want to give in to nostalgia. As an alarming number of the trends of my youth come back in style, I’ve had to live in a state of constant vigilance, as I could very easily end up filling my studio apartment with scrunchies, jelly sandals and troll dolls.
Anyway. Much like Gillian Jacobs’ character in Love, I am now a person who only wears overalls, and I can’t apologise enough for how not sorry I am. They may not be the most stylish article of clothing I own, but they are the most freeing, and have awarded me freedom from the following things:
- Freedom from purses: You know what I like? Looking at pretty purses. You know what I do not like? Carrying pretty purses. In fact, I hate carrying most things, but the pocket situation on most lady garments is abysmal, even though women usually need to carry a lot of stuff, including random crap men don’t have room in their pockets for. The pocket situation on my overalls is the opposite of abysmal. There are pockets for days, my friends! This means my hands and shoulders are now free from the oppression of purses, and I am the better for it. I can fit my phone, keys, wallet, a lipstick and pocket knife in my Carhartts and still have empty pockets to carry anything else I happen to acquire throughout the day. There’s a reason people who build and make things wear bib overalls, and that reason is because they need their damn hands to do their job.
- Freedom from pants: No matter how well a pair of pants fit, they are going to pinch at times, and they are going to slide about. As someone who spends most of her time schlepping bags of groceries around, and then cooking said groceries, and then washing the dishes dirtied by said groceries, having to pause to pull up my pants when my hands are carrying groceries, or covered in duck fat, or covered in dish soap, is a pain. Overalls are not pants, however. True, they cover your legs as pants do, giving you the freedom to jump, climb, bend over and manspread if you wish, but without sliding down or pinching your flesh. They’re also nice and roomy, very well ventilated, and easy to don and doff.
- Freedom from the male gaze: Haha, just kidding. The male gaze cannot be escaped, but I care about it a little bit less when I’m wearing my Carhartts. I think they’re cute, and I actually don’t give a damn if anyone agrees. Aesthetically, overalls are very polarising, and knowing that they will offend the eyes of a certain percentage of the population no matter what is freeing in its own right. I wear my overalls for myself and myself alone.
Basically, these overalls are the most useful and comfortable item in my entire wardrobe, and I will continue to wear them until they fall off my body.