There are items of clothing that have that enviable ability to survive. They keep returning generation after generation in new incarnations. Perhaps there are colour differences, tailoring modifications or material changes, but by hook or by crook they find another niche in modern fashion. Overcoats, waistcoats and pinafore dresses might qualify for this ability, but with the dungaree this return to favour seems to require very few adjustments if any.
The classic denim dungaree, with its metal buckles and abundance of pockets is liked and loved today just as it always was. It seems to be the perfect combination of practical usefulness while serving an ideal canvas to other items of clothing or accessories. Add a cool cotton t-shirt, a flowery blouse, a scarf or neck-tie and everyone can use the dungaree base to invent their own style.
The original practical use of dungarees by workman or labourers who found then both comfortable, easy to move around in and satisfying in terms of store options for tools is still appreciated today. Carpenters, electricians and decorators have all found their own versions, although few are constructed from denim now that we have more technical and durable fabric available. However the fashion designers still hark back to the original denim, which today comes in many new and higher quality weaves.
No discussion of dungarees can fail to mention Dexy and his Midnight Runners who brought the items to mainstream appreciation in the mid-eighties via Eileen and Geno. While the name of their band may have had dubious connotations their dress sense was loved and copied by a generation. Kevin Rowland would strut around sock-less with nothing but a sleeveless t-shirt under his dungarees exhibiting the kind of care-free freedom that many yearned for themselves. It wasn't a tidy look and with the rest of the band dressed similarly they did look like a kind of street gang, but audiences loved it.
Of course dungarees are not only practical for workmen and women, they are also ideally suited to children. The ease with which they can be put on and taken off is very useful to a flustered parent, plus they are flexible in sizing and the straps make small adjustments easy too. Who hasn't cooed at a toddler looking cute in a pair of beautiful dungarees, some of which carry baby-designer names and high street designer prices too.
Let's not forget that these are simply upwardly extended jeans, so while the material costs may by lower, cut and design is paramount. As with a pair of traditional jeans, there are jeans and then there are jeans. There are sub-tenner bargain versions available from every department store and online catalogue and then there are the highly prized luxury selvage versions from the likes of top designers and marks that have created their own niche in this fashion sector that uses high quality japanese denim. Dungarees can also benefit from the same differentiators, so make your choice carefully if you value quality and good fit.
are certainly one way of making an impression. Rosie spends her life in vintage clothing
stores talking to staff and helping buyers make selections. When it comes to dungarees though, she may find it hard to make a recommendation but if she does you’re onto a winner.