It is finally time to talk about my favorite of all wardrobe staples: The black jumpsuit. The black jumpsuit is the “Little Black Dress” (i.e. LBD) of the every-day woman’s world. You can wear a properly tailored black jumpsuit so many different ways, which places it firmly in the ‘must-own’ column, and can justify a higher price, along with a place of honor, in your closet. My first piece of advice for finding the perfect black jumpsuit is to take on the assumption that you will not find the perfect fit right off the rack. Assume you will need to have this piece of clothing tailored. This actually makes finding this essential piece of clothing a lot easier since you can focus on style and fabric now, and worry about how it fits later.
In my quest for my perfect black jumpsuit I had a few criteria in mind that I new would make this piece work for my body type (i.e. short + curvy!). I had this list of ‘musts’ firmly in my mind before even beginning my search. Having an idea of what you want before your start shopping cuts down on so much wasted time and frustration.
- Wide leg
- Wrap style bodice with a v-neckline
- Flowing fabric (jersey blend, preferably)
Thankfully, jumpsuits can be found in almost any department store, flattering to any body shape, and at many price points. My favorite places to shop for reasonably priced staples are Macy’s, Dillard’s and Nordstrom. If you choose a wide leg style jumpsuit with a relaxed fit you will most likely only need to have the bodice tailored. I suggest a style fitted to the waist, with a looser fit about the hips and thighs that either tapers nicely at the ankles, or continues in a wide, straight line from the waist. Search images with keywords describing your body type + the word “jumpsuit” on Pinterest or Google. This will give you an idea of how women with similar body types have styled a jumpsuit and help narrow down the cut/style that will look most flattering on you.
I also suggest choosing a sleeveless jumpsuit for versatility reasons. You can always add a blouse underneath, but more of your blazers, dusters and sweaters will fit smoothly without sleeves. Bulky sleeve, ruffles, lace or trimmings on a jumpsuit can really narrow down the options for wearing it. So many more outfits can be created with a simple, sleeveless style.
Just like your LBD, your jumpsuit should be something you can pull out of your closet and wear at a moment’s notice while knowing you will look fabulous! It should be your ‘power piece,’ your ‘secret weapon’; Something that gives you that little boost of confidence because it fits impeccably and makes you stand a little taller. I love to pair shoes with a bit of a point on them with my jumpsuit because it elongates my 5’2″ to its fullest extent! I always wear 4″ heels because I’ve learned they look best on me, without hindering my ability to walk for at least 8 hours! Since almost all of my favorite office pumps are 4″ I made my best black jumpsuit with the hem to break perfectly over those shoes, which makes it easy to just pop on the jumpsuit and heels and GO! Yes, I did make the jumpsuit you see me wearing above! However, that’s absolutely not necessary and I would not suggesting doing so unless you’ve been sewing 10+ years (like I have!). Jersey fabric is extremely challenging to work with, as are fitting pants! I tried on a dozen jumpsuits that I loved and combined my favorite elements into my own design. A tailor cut out the pattern pieces for me based on my sketches and body measurements, then I sewed everything together and fitted it on my personalized dress form at home.
Below are several jumpsuits I’ve tried on and LOVED, that I would 100% recommend considering:
If you like the way I styled the jumpsuit in my photos here are budget conscience dupes for the accessories I’m wearing:
Because I want to illustrate how great a black jumpsuit looks for all day at the office I took the photos in this post AFTER a 10 hour work day, as soon as I got home!
So now you know the truth! I’m a real woman who takes her own fashion advice, which is why I’m confident in passing it on to you! No, I didn’t buy this outfit with the intent on only wearing it once for a photo shoot, then do my hair and makeup, just to take photos of this look (no shade to bloggers who do that! Sometimes it’s not feasible to wear an outfit all day, then take photos of it!), so you know I’m serious!
What bloggers say: “Scouted a gorgeous, retro, architectural space to shoot this look with my crew!”
What they’re really doing: Setting up a tripod, iPhone (w/ the timer set to 10 seconds), ring light, in their mid-90s house in the suburbs, hoping the UPS guy doesn’t deliver their latest Nordstrom Friends & Family sale parcels while they pose in front of the stairway door, attempting to catch the last rays of sunshine between 5:30 and 5:40pm, after racing home from their 9-5 😂
What do you think? Is a black jumpsuit something you agree is needed for a well-rounded wardrobe?