March 5, 2010

Jumpsuits & Rompers: A Mom-Friendly Fashion Trend?

Ella Moss Knit Jumpsuit - $132 As I wrote in my response to a reader comment earlier this week, I'm simultaneously repelled and intrigued by the jumpsuit/romper trend.  And while I recommended this fab Ella Moss knit jumpsuit (left) only to moms with 24-year-old bodies (because reviewers complained that the thin fabric shows every bump and dimple), I got to thinking: there's has to be a way for normal, healthy women to have fun with this trend.

I mean, what is a jumpsuit, really?  It's a sundress with shorts, crops or pants instead of a skirt.  So this style should be easier for moms to wear–not more difficult.  Example: what would you prefer to be wearing should the demands of your position require you to dash into traffic or tote your toddler kicking and screaming out of the toy section at Target?  I think the answer is obvious.  

So.  Yesterday I went to the mall on a jumpsuit reconnaissance mission.  I tried on the four jumpsuits I could find in under an hour (I'm not super-human–my mom dropped by to occupy the two boys wonder at the mall petri-ground so I could speed shop).  Without exception, even on my 15 lbs+ baby weight (or is it just weight now that I'm six months out?) frame, they were super flattering and hella comfy.  Even a two-toned polyester faux silk shorty romper.  Yes, you read that right.  

Why are jumpsuits so flattering?  Because where you (ubiquitously-speaking, of course) roll, the jumpsuit gathers and where you bulge, it blouses.  A few tips: 1.) try on two sizes–with blouse-ey stuff, you just never know; 2.) keep an eye on the fabric–it should be thick or textured enough to smooth out those medals of motherhood; 3.) especially if you're trying a jumpsuit in a less expensive version, stick to dark colors (you're already working an uber-trendy piece and the fabric will look more expensive); and 4.) when you look in the mirror, ask yourself if the jumpsuit you have on is too young for you (be honest)–sorry chicks, you've arrived at that point in your life. . . 

With all that said, it's official.  I'm a jumpsuit convert.  I think I'll wear them all spring and summer. Here's how:

Short Jumpsuits/Rompers
First up is the short jumpsuit or romper.  They look sooo short, and while they are shorter than skirts you'd see on most moms,for the most part, they're not any shorter than your average short.  They're just much cuter.  OK, so when is the last time you saw anything Dior you didn't love?  And when is the last time you bought Dior?  Right.  Not on a mom budget, or an average mom budget, anyway, but I'll bet you $50 that a darn good knock-off is in H&M by late spring.  Keep your eyes peeled.  Or, if you are the not-so-average mom, high-tail it to Saks for the Dior V-Neck Jumpsuit ($1,550.00), and don't forget the matching lurex socks ($155)–they're freakishly drool-worthy.  This would be a stunning date-night ensemble with detailed tights and bootie heels, or in a knock-off version, dress it down for day with a tank underneath, a brightly-colored flat gladiator and a chunky necklace.  Second from the left is Anthropologie's Warm Season Romper ($118).  I love this toned-down take on the romper–it's sexy without trying too hard–and I can't wait to style it with a pair of gold flat glads and either a chunky retro necklace or a more delicate gold and freshwater pearl necklace.  I'm slightly wary of Anthropologie's Coney Island Romper as it's being sold in the loungewear section, but if it's opaque enough, it's perfect for summer days at the beach and the farmers market (TOMATOES! just popped into my head).    

Dior V-Neck - $1550 Anthropologie Warm Season Romper - $118Anthropologie Coney Island Romper - $118

Crop Jumpsuits
Cropped jumpsuits are by far the most versatile spring/summer/fall jumpsuit option out there.  They're easier to pair with a jacket, sweater or blazer, will look great with flip flops, gladiators and wedges and can be accessorized up and down with belts, cuffs and funky necklaces.  My third jumpsuit purchase (in the interest of research, of course, was the Souffle Jumpsuit ($78), also from Anthropologie.  This type of breezy, crepe cotton is one of my favorite spring/summer textures because it's cool and comfortable and it never fails to disguise my thighs.  Look for "interpretations" of the Olivia + Alice cargo jumpsuit ($396), like The Limited's Strapless Jumpsuit ($69.50) in polyester–not a perfect match, but a similar effect for much less.  Another cute strapless is the Express Strapless Jumpsuit ($49.50), although strapless styles are super-nursing-friendly, proceed with caution as chubby hands do tend to turn their mommies into accidental exhibitionists–I've learned this the hard way. . . The Juicy Couture 5 Star Fleece Jumpsuit has the same great lines as the Ella Moss, but in a thicker, more forgiving (not to mention cozier!) fabric. 

Anthropologie Souffle Jumpsuit - $78 Alice + Olivia Cargo Jumpsuit - $396 The Limited Jumpsuit - $69.50 Express Strapless Ruffled Jumpsuit - $49.50 Juicy Couture Fleece Jumpsuit - $178

Wide Leg Jumpsuits
These wide leg options have a more evening/formal feel and can also take you through fall, in the right fabric, with the addition of a jacket or sweater.  If you go this route, have them hemmed to perfection–they seem to run really long–to avoid looking like a witch melting in a puddle.  If you're on the petite side, consider showing a little more skin up top to balance, pay double attention to hemming (take the exact shoes you would wear with the jumpsuit to the tailor) or go with a cropped/ankle-length jumpsuit and a light (gold/pewter/snakeskin/nude) shoe.  How do I love Stella McCartney's V-Neck Jumpsuit (~$1,00+)?  Sooo much.  Great for work, work/hub work parties, your fabulous holidays in Capri, etc., etc.  The Halston Heritage Halter Jumpsuit ($355), which I'm sure will be copied in more accessible versions soon, is perfect for date night, events and weddings.  In cut and overall effect, the Smocked Jumpsuit at Express ($49.50) is a worthy opponent for the Gypsy 05 Gara Silk Jumpsuit ($209). 

Stella McCartney Blue Jumpsuit - $1045 Halston Heritage Halter Jumpsuit - $355 Gypsy 05 'Gara' Silk Jumpsuit - $209Express Smocked Jumpsuit - $49.50 


Well mamas, who knows how long this jumpsuit craze will stick around, so jump on it and have some fun!

- M

13 Comments
  • Shana
    March 5, 2010

    I love, love, LOVE this post, M!! I’m totally sold. But, of course…your fav picks were also my favs. Are we dangerously close to walking around looking like the Juicy Couture designers in their matching clothes? ARGH! Thank goodness we dress the boys differently. (sarcasm)
    Just to keep us from looking like total twinsies, I might go the Forever21 route: http://www.forever21.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=FOREVER21&category%5Fname=BTMs&product%5Fid=2072429640&showBACK=OK

  • Shana
    March 5, 2010

    Forget the Forever21. I am still obsessing over the Juicy. xoxo

  • Veronica
    March 5, 2010

    I love the idea of a one piece outfit…and the modesty and functionality of the jumpsuit when a mom is required to bend, run, and contort her body while keeping up with a child.
    But,do you have to pull the whole thing down to use the restroom?

  • Tegan and Tage
    March 5, 2010

    Okay, after all the work you went to in researching that, I have to admit I’ll try one on. We’ll see what happens.

  • Molly Dynan
    March 5, 2010

    Oh, good question, Veronica.  Hadn’t thought about the logistics, but it seems like I only get to go to the bathroom between the hours of 7 PM and 7 AM and during nap time, anyway, so I think I’m probably in the clear.  Every jumpsuit I tried on would have to be pulled all the way down–no snaps, no flaps (which is probably an excellent design choice: ).  

  • Molly Dynan
    March 5, 2010

    Yaay, Tegan!  Another convert?

  • Molly Dynan
    March 5, 2010

    Are we reaching a point where we’re going to have to embrace the twins-ies, Shana?  Maybe we should just own it and *only* wear coordinating outfits. . .  

  • jayme
    March 5, 2010

    wow . . . flash back to the 80′s. i had this really cool one that was hot pink, i’ll try to find pics. at least the new ones are not florescent. i swear, if i see a florescent jumpsuit I will DIE on the spot. i also think this post needs to be updated with a pic of both you ladies in jumpsuits, maybe even matching!

  • S
    March 8, 2010

    And Jayme, we MUST see this pic.

  • Annie
    March 16, 2010

    I had my doubts about the “romper” look – isn’t that something baby girls wear in the summer? Seen it around Seattle on the skinny emo girls and didn’t even consider it. Of course, now I’m obsessed with the Juicy style and it’s sold out from everywhere. Did Ain’t No Mom Jeans create some sort of rush on it??

  • S
    March 17, 2010

    Annie – Yes. Yes we did. :) LOL

  • S
    March 24, 2010

    Forgot to mention earlier: The Ella Moss romper is fabulous, and so drapey that the thinness of the fabric really shouldn’t be showing too many bumps. However, it does have some oddly placed pockets (that the model hides with her hands). The pockets might make someone already a bit pear-shaped look even more so.

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