At this point, I’m pretty sure that you didn’t need another reminder that the 1990s are officially back in style (but you just got one anyway). So far this fashion season, we’ve seen a re-emergence of platform sandals, slip dresses, checked shirts, denim Bermuda shorts, and t-shirts layered under spaghetti strap dresses. Now, there’s one more 90s staple that you can add to your list for summer; the denim dungaree.
While comfortable and fairly easy to wear, dungarees are probably one of the most difficult things to pull-off. It’s not that they’re actually difficult to wear – its actually one of the easiest things to pull-on in a hurry. But a pair of dungarees does have to fit just so in order to achieve that perfectly-pitched casual-cool vibe, and not just look like you wandered away from the farm in the middle of hay-baling day.
Need a few tips and tricks to keep you on the right side of a dungaree wardrobe malfunction? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve scoured the net and found a few helpful hints that will hopefully make wading-through all of the different permutations of the humble dungaree a little bit easier.
Fit Tip: Your dungarees should have some ease to them, but not be outright baggy
If you wear a pair of dungarees in a size or two too big, it will not do your figure any favors at all. While you want some drape own the fabric, don’t go crazy and buy a pair that you might be able to fit a second person in (unless that’s your thing – then, no judgement). The waistband of your dungarees should sit low on the hips and not gap at the sides or back, and the top panel should have a bit of ease as to not be pulled so tightly that it wedges your trousers up your bum every time you sit down (not a good look). Lastly, the trouser part of the dungaree should fit like a boyfriend jean; there should be a suggestion of masculinity and a bit of ease, but it should fit well and hit a perfect balance between loose and tight.
Design Tip: Try some different lengths
Personally, when it comes to dungarees, I feel that longer lengths work better and are generally more flattering, but that’s not to say that you can’t rock a shorts or culotte (as above) version if you see a pair that really speaks to you. Most people roll the pant leg of a pair of dungarees, so it’s not so far of a reach to try a pair (of calf-length culotte dungarees. Pair them with the season’s platform sandals or (as above) metallic slides if you want to give your look a modern spin on the popular 90s vibe.
Fabric Tip: You simply can’t go wrong with distressed denim
If it were up to me, I would insist that all dungarees that are made and sold in the universe be crafted from distressed denim. A pair that looks like it’s been well-loved but still fits you in exactly the right way (see above Tip) is the ultimate summer accessory to really turn-up the cool, and you can make some really fun high-low mixes with your dungarees as the foundation of the look.
However, if you simply cannot help yourself and must try a pair in a print or fabric that is not distressed denim (sign), I have a couple of recommendations. Try a pair in a dark color like black or olive with a tiny (often referred to as “ditsy”) print, and pair it with an equally neutral tank of tee underneath. The dark edginess of the colors works well against the backdrop of a tiny, feminine print, and it will make for a good layering piece as well. Avoid larger scale prints in a pair of dungarees. They tend to make the wearer look wider – something we all want to avoid.
Style Tip: Definitely pair it with a nautical stripe tee
There is nothing that says classic summer like a nautical stripe tee. Pair yours with your dungarees for a crisp yet casual summertime look. Flat sandals in tan or gold, or a pair of white canvas skimmers will finish off this look which will probably become your summer go-to for hopping-about town. Finish it off with a pair of statement shades that will keep your eyes protected, and keep you looking cool.
Experimenting Tip: Try your dungarees with a crop top
If you’ve been wanting to experiment with a crop top but haven’t quite gotten up the nerve, now’s your chance. Layer your crop top under your dungarees when the temperature rises; you’ll not only keep cool, but that little bit of extra coverage in the front and back will give you a bit of extra confidence that will allow you to rock a crop top without the worry of overexposure.