The One-piece Wonder

12 great fashion tips on how to pick, wear and style the jumpsuit to suit your body type and the occasion

Issue: Jan 2015

The onesie is a style that is both comfortable and versatile, yet can still be dressed up like this for a formal occasion
The onesie is a style that is both comfortable and versatile, yet can still be dressed up like this for a formal occasion

Once upon a time, they were only worn by babies, farmers and servicemen. Now, Hollywood mainstays from Rihanna to Brad Pitt have been spotted in them: onesies, jumpsuits, rompers, dungarees – the all-in-one outfit. The fashion-forward would have you think that it is the new LBD (the black dress); the wardrobe staple that is this year’s must-have.

But can anyone wear a onesie? Can the onesie take you everywhere? Can it accommodate more than one look? The answer is yes, yes and yes.

How to Pick a Onesie

1. Consider your height

Tall women can carry off longer jumpsuits like this Jumpsuit with Bow at the Back and Sleeveless Jumpsuit
Tall women can carry off longer jumpsuits like this Jumpsuit with Bow at the Back (S$139) and Sleeveless Jumpsuit (S$39.90) in woven fabric with a slight sheen and straight wide legs
Photo credit: ZARA and H&M

Leggy women can afford to wear full-length jumpsuits. They can even get away with pants with hems that sweep the floor (dubbed the ‘trouser gown’) and still look quite sophisticated.

For petite frames, pick jumpsuits that cut above-knee or even higher (typically called rompers). If full suits are preferred, opt for capri or tapered pants.

2. Consider your shape

Like most styles, jumpsuits can be worn by any body type if chosen wisely.

Belt it like this Bandeau Jumpsuit (S$69.90) to create a better defined waist
Belt it like this Bandeau Jumpsuit (S$69.90) to create a better defined waist
Photo credit: H&M

Hourglass and pear shapes should look out for jumpsuits that are cinched at the waist or belted to slim the waist, and slightly flared pants to balance the hips. Beware of loose-fitting bottoms, though. They tend to emphasise the derriere.

(Left) To hide heavier arms, jumpsuits with sleeves are recommended; (Right) The Glitter Leaf Wrap Jumpsuit (S$89.90)
(Left) To hide heavier arms, jumpsuits with sleeves are recommended; (Right) The Glitter Leaf Wrap Jumpsuit (S$89.90), with alluring spaghetti straps and a touch of shine, will add a feminine edge to androgynous figures
Photo credit: Topshop

To hide heavier arms, get something with sleeves. Fluid fabrics that skim the silhouette and solid dark colours also flatter.

Apple shapes can try roomier fits around the torso and slim-cut pants. To add curves and soften the androgynous figure, experiment with ruffles and sexy spaghetti straps.

Tall, slender women can pick wide-legged jumpsuits in bold prints. Layers, pleats and soft folds also add softness to the waist, chest and thighs.

(Left) Low necklines like this V-neck Jumpsuit (S$59.90); and (Right) the low waist of the Soft Jumpsuit (S$49.90) are great for petite figures
(Left) Low necklines like this V-neck Jumpsuit (S$59.90) that gently drapes with a wraparound top section; and (Right) the low waist of the Soft Jumpsuit (S$49.90) are great for petite figures
Photo credit: H&M & ZARA

Petite figures can get away with rompers and jumpsuits with plunging necklines that give the illusion of length to the body. Wearing a belt slightly lower than your natural waist will also add height.

3. Consider the fit

Whatever the length, fabric or print, a jumpsuit should never be form-fitting.

Jumpsuits should never be form-fitting; go for something looser and flowy like this Draped Front Jumpsuit (S$139)
Jumpsuits should never be form-fitting; go for something looser and flowy like this Draped Front Jumpsuit (S$139)
Photo credit: ZARA

Pick something looser and flowier that drapes your silhouette. Dressier jumpsuits should nip at the waist to give the illusion of a two-piece outfit with the comfort of onesie. Casual one-pieces should have a slouchier fit.

Since the onesie connects tops and bottom, do a sit test to check for comfort. The jumpsuit should not have extra material pooling in the middle.

4. Consider the fabric

The right choice of fabric - as with the Lace Jumpsuit (S$159) - can make the difference between a jumpsuit that fits well and one that does not
The right choice of fabric – as with the Lace Jumpsuit (S$159) - can make the difference between a jumpsuit that fits well and one that does not
Photo credit: ZARA

Avoid clingy materials like polyester, spandex or leather. Silk can also be unforgiving as they tend to cling to every bump. Cotton, linen, and soft-knitted jersey are best because they fall around the body nicely.

5. Consider the style

Prints in moderation can work for a onesie like this short Patterned Jumpsuit (S$49.90)
Prints in moderation can work for a onesie like this short Patterned Jumpsuit (S$49.90)
Photo credit: H&M

Remember the jumpsuit is a top-to-toe outfit. In order not to overwhelm, stay away from loud animal prints. Floral patterns may work if the prints are small. The safest options are those in solid colours or blocks of colours.

Where to Wear a Onesie

6. For a fun day out

This Patterned Jumpsuit (S$39.90) with double shoulder straps and ties at the back is a sweet selection for a casual day out
This Patterned Jumpsuit (S$39.90) with double shoulder straps and ties at the back is a sweet selection for a casual day out
Photo credit: H&M

Short to mid-thigh onesies with quirky details like hoods, zips or cargo pockets are playful and are ideal for casual outings. You can go for shorter sleeves, spaghetti straps or totally strapless. For patterns, gingham checks, polka dots, military print, flowers and plenty of colours are what you want. Denim works, too.

7. To the office

(Left) The woven fabric Jumpsuit (S$99.90) with a slight sheen and (right) the airy chiffon Textured Jumpsuit (S$119)
(Left) The woven fabric Jumpsuit (S$99.90) with a slight sheen and (right) the airy chiffon Textured Jumpsuit (S$119) are great for the office with their tailored fit and long sleeves
Photo credit: H&M

Jumpsuits can have their place in the office though they have to be of the tailored variety in muted tones like black, shades of grey, navy, cream and brown. Long sleeves are preferred – otherwise, throw on a blazer.

8. For a night out

The beaded and sequined embroidery at the neck, halter style, flowy fabric and wide legs of the Beaded Jumpsuit ($119) make it a glamourous pick for the night
The beaded and sequined embroidery at the neck, halter style, flowy fabric and wide legs of the Beaded Jumpsuit ($119) make it a glamourous pick for the night
Photo credit: H&M

Dial up the sexy for the night with halter necks, strapless tops, deeper necklines or bare backs. You can also test out more stylish jumpsuits like those with pants gathered at the ankles, harem pants or flowy legs. Chiffon, silk and satin with a little sparkle will add glamour to the outfit.

How to Style your Onesie

9. Layer It

Top your jumpsuit with this short Fake Fur Jacket (S$119) for a dinner date and the outfit immediately gets a style upgrade
Top your jumpsuit with this short Fake Fur Jacket (S$119) for a dinner date and the outfit immediately gets a style upgrade
Photo credit: H&M

If wearing one colour or print is too much, break it up visually with a vest, blazer or sweater. You can even dress it up with a fur jacket or sequined bolero for a dinner date.

10. Top It

For a day at the beach, top your playsuit with a whimsical straw hat and throw on a pair of sunglasses and sandals to complete the look.

11. Belt It

Lean body types can add a belt to their jumpsuits to create interesting details.

12. Accessorise It

A pair of killer heels is what you need to complete the sophisticated look of the Jumpsuit with Fringes (S$99.90)
A pair of killer heels is what you need to complete the sophisticated look of the Jumpsuit with Fringes (S$99.90)
Photo credit: H&M

The onesie is nothing if not versatile. Pair it with flats for a casual day out or a pair of heels for the night. Slip on a long necklace to accentuate the torso or a bit of bling on the ears.

Take these tips to heart and 2015 may be the year you add the wonder onesie to your wardrobe with great aplomb.

Shop with us:

H&M
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#B2-28
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 6509 8702
www.hm.com/sg
Topshop
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#B2 - 01
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 6509 8602
sg.topshop.com
Topshop
252 North Bridge Road
Raffles City Singapore
#02 - 39
Singapore179101
Tel: (65) 6334 2808
sg.topshop.com
Topshop
230 Victoria Street
Bugis Junction
#01-20/29
Singapore 188024
Tel: (65) 6238 7927
sg.topshop.com
Topshop
10 Tampines Central 1
Tampines Mall
#02 - 16
Singapore 529536
Tel: (65) 6587 0071
sg.topshop.com
ZARA
2 Orchard Turnv
ION Orchard
#B2-03 #B3-05
Singaore 238801
Tel: (65) 6509 8840
www.zara.com/sg
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