Whether you’re searching for a polished workwear solution, want something lounge-worthy for a casual getaway or need a head-turning outfit to wear to a wedding, there’s one item that deserves a second look: the jumpsuit. By joining ease of wear with elevated cool, this one-piece wonder does it all. “It’s one outfit, so it requires less thought. And I really love the line of a jumpsuit, the perfection of an all-in-one look,” says Nicole Manek, stylist and costume designer for TV shows Baroness von Sketch Show, TallBoyz and New Eden. If you’ve yet to experience this specific sartorial high, the time is now—the once hard-to-find item has grown to a robust standalone category among many retailers.
The jumpsuit challenge
More options means there’s more of a chance something will catch your eye, but finding a jumpsuit that fits perfectly can still take some time. “Jumpsuit styles are one cut, proportionately, on the top and the bottom half, but our bodies come in different shapes and sizes. This can make jumpsuit shopping challenging, you just need to know what to look for,” says Angie Park, vice president of ladies design and merchandising at Le Château, which carries a selection of jumpsuits from XXS to 3X.
“This summer, you will see a lot of prints, especially ones that are tropical inspired, as well as new, unexpected colours, such as mango and sage green,” says Park. A solid bold colour, like red, also makes a statement. Love living in neutrals? Nothing wrong with that—a simple black or navy jumpsuit remains unquestionably chic.
Find the perfect fit
Taking a closer look at a jumpsuit will help determine if it will work for you.
Best jumpsuit for larger busts
Manek is a fan of a cinched waist, and Park also likes a tailored fit. “Find styles that accentuate your bust, not that hang or tent off your chest. Look for princess seams [vertical seams that add shape near the chest], or darts, which are a fit technique that helps to form fabric over your body,” Park says. Approach bulky flap pockets or buttons over the top half with caution.
Best jumpsuit for a curvy butt and hips
Manek favours a jumpsuit with definition at the waistline, while Park suggests a stretch or knit textile, and likes wide-leg silhouettes. Pay attention to the top half, too. A V-neckline or wrap style will elongate your figure, says Park.
Best jumpsuit for a long torso
Park suggests a high-waisted or belted style: “That creates a waist and elongates your legs.” Colour-block jumpsuits will also help to visually balance proportions.
Best jumpsuit if you’re short
If you’re petite avoid anything too oversized, says Manek. Park starts the search among cropped or culotte-style jumpsuits. “This allows for you to wear the jumpsuit straight out of the box or off the rack! Culottes are not only very on trend, there’s no hemming and shortening necessary,” says Park.
Warning signs and problem solving
A try-on will quickly reveal if a jumpsuit is meant to be—or not. “Clear signs of an improper fit is pulling in any way,” says Manek. Pay attention to the following zones: If it pulls up in the rise of the pant, or crotch, this suggest that the upper half of the jumpsuit is cut too short for your body type, says Park, while a downward pull, or loose fit at the shoulders, indicates that the proportions of the torso is too long or short for you. When trying on a romper (i.e. the shorts version of a jumpsuit) take a minute to sit, squat and bend over in the change room to assess your desired level of coverage.
If pulling isn’t an issue, but a jumpsuit is too boxy or long, there’s still wiggle room for creative problem-solving. “If you’re having a problem, think about alterations. The first thing to look for is that it fits in the torso, with a lot of vintage styles that’s the toughest part. If you are an hourglass shape find something that fits you in the bust and hips, and have it taken in at the waist,” says Manek, “Any body shape can, and should, wear a jumpsuit. It’s really just about trying on a bunch of different styles, and being open to altering the piece if it needs to come in or up.”