How to style: The boiler suit

A boiler suit, the surprising item your wardrobe could be missing
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A trend that has undoubtedly taken over everywhere, from the catwalks – seen at Armani, Alexa Chung and Stella Mccartney to our high street favourites – Topshop, H&M and Mint Velvet but is still considered a tricky item to wear by many/ there is no doubt that when it comes to styling it can be a tricky item.

Originating as a male work wear garment for manual labour, during World War II, both women and men could be seen sporting a boiler suit during their work in the factories. “I think the heritage behind the boiler suit is why many women discount them as being too masculine, however in the right proportions they definitely don’t have to look ‘mensy.’” Says stylist Patricia Dowling.

So if you’re reading this and are still not convinced you could wear one, then think again. All in one dressing could be the easy ‘throw on and go’ piece that your wardrobe is missing.  The challenge is to find one that is both flattering and wearable. 


There are so many styles and colours available which can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled the main things to consider pre-purchase…


1 – If you are concerned about how one will flatter, look to belted styles which will synch you in at the waist creating shape to your look. Pair with white trainers for day and heels for evening to ensure you get extra versatility from the garment.

2 – Leg lengths matter, avoid wide leg styles and instead opt for slightly cropped or tapered to elongate the leg, which also ensures it works with boots, heels and trainers.

3 – Sleeves we feel are essential to create the ideal silhouette and add a cooler more relaxed edge.

4 – As opposed to brights stick to muted colours to allow the statement style to do the talking. Light or mid-wash denim, black and khaki work particularly well.


When you’ve found the right style for you, you’ll find the boiler suit will become one of the most hard working pieces in your wardrobe due to its transeasonal ability. To style, Dowling says: “Layer over a roll neck for AW or a vest in SS, pair with heels for an evening out or trainers for a relaxed weekend look.” Still not sure? Scroll below to see some boiler suits that will have you clicking ‘add to basket’ in no time…


Next Boiler suit, £52

Mint Velvet Boiler Suit,

Hush Penny Boiler Suit, £99