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Chic and playful

How can I wear dungarees or overalls without looking childish?

When you are dressed in dungarees or overalls, there is always a risk that you might end up looking like a five-year-old, a farmhand or the long-lost cousin of Nintendo video-game character Mario.

But with the right matching pieces and accessories, these outfits, historically worn as working clothes, can look both chic and playful and even fashion-forward.

Picking the right cut is also important. Fitted dungarees that are rolled up or cropped at the ankle are the most flattering style for most body shapes.

Make sure the bib - the top part of the overalls that is held up by straps over the shoulders - is not too narrow at the chest as this can make the body look wide.

Those with boyish or slim figures can try overalls with a baggier or more relaxed fit.

Here are some looks to try

Pair with a long cardigan or kaftan

The length of the kaftan will help to balance your proportions and add a relaxed, bohemian vibe to the outfit.

Slim-leg dungarees, $116, from Topshop

Embroidered bead kaftan, $199, from Mango

Cotton V-neck camisole, $19.90, from Uniqlo

Frayed fringed espadrilles, $53.90, from Charles & Keith

Keep it monochrome

A simple black-and-white palette will make the outfit look more mature and sharp. A top which drapes well on the body will also help to create a smart silhouette.

V-neck blouse, $74.95, from H&M

Superga x Alexa Chung - 2294 in off-white, $119.90, from Superga

Millice pinafore jumpsuit, $49, from Pomelo

Pair with lace or chiffon

A fitted lace top matched with a slight heel will help to make the outfit look sophisticated and feminine yet still playful.

Denim dungarees, $69.90, from Pull & Bear

Top with cut-work embroidery, $55.90, from Zara


Jonee wraparound block heel, $69, from Dune, available at Robinsons

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2018, with the headline 'Chic and playful'. Print Edition | Subscribe