Can Dungarees Ever Be Fashionable?

I’ve got to say, when me and my friends were sitting in the pub a couple of weeks ago and one of my best mates informed me she’d bought a pair of dungarees, the rest of us laughed. Cue jokes about farmers and Dexy’s Midnight Runners. My friend argued that they’re super comfortable and can be worn with pretty much any top you want, but I couldn’t help thinking she’d made a bit of a fashion mistake.

However, later that evening I decided to do a bit of research into dungarees and a quick Google search turned up pictures of none other than fashionista and all round style icon Alexa Chung wearing the quirky denim garment. And she didn’t just wear them once, there are loads of pictures of her sporting a variety of full-length dungarees, as well as short dungarees and dungaree dresses.

You’re probably sitting there thinking “great, Alexa Chung pulls off another weird fashion fad I could never wear”. But you might be surprised at how easy they are to style.

Patterned tops
The first thing you need to do when styling your dungarees is find a top to wear underneath. My favourite look is stripes. If you’re wearing denim, you can’t go far wrong with a striped top and it’s the same with dungarees, whether it’s full length dungarees or a cute denim dress. Floral tops also work really well, but I’d stay clear of peasant tops or anything with too much embroidery – you’ll look like you work on a farm.

Footwear
When it comes to footwear, you need to think about what suits you, what you can walk in and what you’re doing. Although trainers are comfy, I don’t really think they look that good with dungarees. They’re too casual and look a bit frumpy. Instead, I think you should experiment with girlier shoes to contrast the boyish denim. Ballet shoes work, as do shoes with a small, square heel and a bit of gold deatailing, which are really popular at the moment. Try rolling up the bottom of your dungarees so they look a bit smarter and show off your ankles.

If you’re wearing dungaree shorts, try a pair of summery espadrilles or even some casual wedge sandals to show off your legs and dress up your dungaree shorts a bit. This is a great look for an afternoon party or drinks if you put a pretty top underneath.

Dungaree dresses
If dungarees seem a bit scary, then ease yourself in gently with a dungaree dress. These are just like pinafore dresses, but made from denim and feature the traditional dungaree buckles for a bit of authentic detailing. Wear with Converse or ballet flats and a pretty white blouse, or even a white shirt for a more tomboy look.

Admittedly, dungarees are never going the most fashionable items on the shopping rails – peplum dresses they certainly are not – but if you’re looking for a comfy, casual outfit for a chilled out weekend they why not give them a try?

This guest blog was contributed by Stephanie Miller, a fashion writer who knows that dungarees aren’t just for the Mario Brothers, but absolutely a worthy womens fashion choice.