The History Of The Jumpsuit
With Jumpsuits being a key trend for summer 2019, let Tallulah Tennant talk you through the history of The Jumpsuit
The jumpsuit has gone from a 1980’s wardrobe outcast, to firm fashion favourite, and staple item in most of our wardrobes. As summer 2019 approaches, Trend Forecasters have predicted Jumpsuits and Boiler Suits will be a key trend this season, and will be flying off the shelves in High Street and Luxury retailers. So, with this look hot on the horizon, we decided to chart the rise of this ultimate all-in-one outfit…
An actual suit for jumping
A Florentine artist and designer who went by the name of Thayat, created the first ever Jumpsuit in 1919. It was designed to be a practical piece of clothing worn by Parachuters and Sky Divers. It was, quite literally, a suit for jumping! As well as this function, Race Car Drivers and Aviators also adopted the innovative garment. The original design may have been quite simple, but the Jumpsuit proved revolutionary and liberating, allowing ease of movement, comfort and not to mention practicality. Pilot Charles Lindbergh completed the world’s first solo transatlantic flight wearing a Jumpsuit and Neil Armstrong landed on the moon in his.
A wartime wonder
It was Elsa Schiaparelli who first put the Jumpsuit on the fashion map in the 1930’s, and turned the garment into stylish staple, rather than a practical piece. The revolutionary designer, who was Coco Chanel’s rival at the time, shook up the Paris couture scene with her innovative and daring designs. She even created an easy on and off air-raid suit, complete with matching gas mask, velvet turban and flask. Who said that woman can’t look fabulously fashionable and be practical too?… Let’s face it, probably a man.
Katharine Hepburn gave the jumpsuit a touch of Hollywood glamour in the 30’s, when she wore an elegant, black and white silk Jumpsuit in the 1937 film ‘Stage Door’. Five years later, Vera Maxwell, a pioneer at the time of American sportswear, designed the Jumpsuit worn by millions of ‘Riveting Rosies.’ This was the nickname given to American women who worked fearlessly in factories during World War II. The ‘You Can Do It!’ posters of Rosie the Riveter in her blue overall styled Jumpsuit and red polka dot headband, have become an iconic, world renowned, cultural reference; a strong symbol of empowered, respected, and unbreakable ordinary women.
From Factories to The Catwalk and Dancefloor
After a fall out of fashion in the 1950’s, when Dior’s controversial ‘New Look’ reintroduced traditional, romantic femininity and elegance back into the fashion scene in the form of long skirts and corsets , the Jumpsuit hit the catwalks again in the 1960. André Courrèges displayed his futuristic styles in Paris and YSL sent palazzo one-pieces down the runway in the 1970s. Cher, Abba and Elvis all adopted the Jumpsuit as their signature style, and it became the go-to look for Diana Ross, Liza Minelli and Bianca Jagger, who all danced to disco in 70’s designer: Halston’s famous designs. The Jumpsuit, along with Flares and Mini Skirts, really were the key, era defining garments of the 60’s and 70’s; nostalgic pieces that remind us of a vibrant time decades ago.
A comeback into fashion
After a hiatus, where the Jumpsuit was not on Trend Forecasters or our fashion radar, in the ’00s, the Jumpsuit very much began to be taken seriously as a fashionable item once again. Soon, the all-in-one was sparkling on the red carpet, making waves in the Fashion Industry, and cementing its image as a cool, effortless alternative to the usual glamorous event dress. Today, many of us consider the Jumpsuit a must-have for numerous occasions, be they glamorous or relaxed. For us here at Tallulah Tennant, it isn’t difficult to see why Jumpsuits are the ultimate outfit-in-one. We believe they are the perfect blend of ease, comfort and attitude; nothing is easier, or as flattering to wear than a Jumpsuit. Nipped in waists on Jumpsuits can help define your silhouette, plunging necklines can help add that little touch of seduction and sexiness, wide Culotte style legs ( we feel these will be very popular this summer) create a breezy, relaxed, casual feel, while blazer like Lapels emphasise smart, yet stylish power dressing.
Today and beyond
Today, High Street, Luxury and Haute Couture designers and retailers all love Jumpsuits, and they remain to be a frequently purchased item, returning to rails year after year in different variations, colours, patterns and style. We just can’t get enough.