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:
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).
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.
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).