I am super sorry to report that for a good portion of the 1990s, I could be found sporting a pair of overalls. I would like to have said I was actually “rocking” them if, in fact, overalls could indeed be rocked.
Hard to say.
I wore them to the playground. I wore them to take the kids to preschool. I wore them to the grocery store. I wore them to cook Hamburger Helper for dinner (with ground turkey, I’ll have you know). I wore them to snuggle in bed with little bodies to read Tikki Tikki Tembo and Courduroy. And I wore them to sit on our back deck after I’d tucked everyone in at night, sipping a glass of Chardonnay and listening to a bullfrog croak in a nearby pond, and wonder if being a mom would ever get any easier.
And apparently, as I discovered while sifting through old photos this morning, I liked overalls so much, I even wore them to visit other people’s babies …
to family gatherings …
and to celebrate Christmas one year.
But I guess back then, fashion was the least of my concerns. I’d had three babies in five years by 1997 and with all the other things I needed to think about — like how many times a day it was okay to watch “Toy Story” and whether my daughter would be doomed to a life of crime after swiping a Beanie Baby from a local card store — I needed to eliminate as much decision making as possible.
Overalls made an excellent uniform for a mommy. They accommodated both turtlenecks and tshirts and could even be repurposed for warmer weather dressing should a hole appear in one knee.
As we all know by now, I fancy one-piece clothing. If you were to stop by, you’d find a couple of jumpsuits hanging in my closet (an affinity for all-things 80s) and the fleece onesie I wore all winter to keep my crumb-filled tummy warm still hanging from a hook on the back of my bathroom door. So overalls are a natural fit, pun intended.
I’d like to blame my many years in Catholic school for my daily struggle with dressing and ensuing affinity for the one-size-fits-all approach to it. Growing up wearing a uniform every day for almost 12 years made it tricky for me to get dressed in civilian clothing post high school. It was, like, an overwhelming task having so much to choose from.
And overalls are easy, which suits my lazy nature. They were not only good for handling errant spit up and Banana Burst Go-Gurt, they also were good for hiding a bevy of postpartum symptoms, like lactating breasts or that last five pounds. Cover it up in denim, I say (especially since there was no spray tanning back then).
Which leads me to a write up I saw in the Times Style Section today about the comeback of overalls this spring, which is both exhilarating and alarming news.
“Comfort is a good look,” notes the article, but at prices starting at $300, these new overalls are completely out of my shopping ballpark.
I’m sorry my daughters weren’t old enough, way back when, to tell me to hang up my coveralls. I might have needed them around to tell me enough was enough already. Nowadays, in moments of fashion fatigue and just looking for comfort, I have been trying to get away with wearing the jeans/sneakers combo, a look that horrifies my two girls.
“Mom!” one would shriek after spying me in my comfiest Old Navy jeans and sensible New Balance sneaks. “Take them off right now! You look ridiculous!”
And every time we’re in a store where I can try on a straw fedora, one will inevitably look over at me and say, “You look terrible.”
In all likelihood, they’d have similar reactions if I brought home a new pair of overalls. I’d never make it past my bedroom door. Apparently, I’m too old for many of these trends and while I’d still like to find a cute straw beach hat, I’m willing to bet no one wants to see some old broad like me dressed like a farmer.
So they can keep their fancy $300 overalls. I won’t be needing them this spring. I’m very happy sitting around in my pajamas all day, thank you very much.
I totally rock them.