I’ve Finally Found A Jumpsuit I Love (Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Really A Jumpsuit)
May 31, 2019 | Filed in: Your Closet
How one writer went from being a jumpsuit skeptic to a true believer.
You could probably say that I’m lukewarm on jumpsuits. Sure, I think they can look great when styled right, but I wouldn’t go out and buy one. I know myself too well. Were I ever to get drunk on Chianti and buy a jumpsuit — the only circumstances under which I could possibly imagine it — my new one-piece would only collect dust in the back of my closet.
Though a jumpsuit may be easy in theory — since, as with a dress, it’s one-and-done — it comes with drawbacks. The most obvious is the bathroom situation. Only a Cirque du Soleil-level contortionist could manage to shimmy a jumpsuit down to her knees and use the restroom without her clothes touching the bathroom floor. The rest of us either have to go to the dry-cleaner after every wear or resign ourselves to living in harmony with germs, and considering that my local dry-cleaner still doesn’t recognize me, you can figure out which group I fall into.
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That’s where M.M.LaFleur’s new faux-jumpsuits set themselves apart. They aren’t technically jumpsuits so much as matching separates, which offer you the best of both worlds: the clean, minimalist look of a jumpsuit with a certain peace of mind when you go for your third coffee. So I figured I’d give them a try — the less mental work I have to put into getting dressed, the better.
I paired the Angelina top with the Chester pant, both in Sumac, a burnished-red shade that is even richer in person. I can’t say enough about the unique color — one of my colleagues mentioned how pretty it looked against my olive-ish skin. The fabric is stretch linen—which, like jumpsuits, I didn’t have much of an opinion on until I wore it. I’ve since discovered that stretch linen is light and breezy, minimizing the odds of unsightly sweat stains come summer.
The Angelina top doubles as a sleeveless tunic. The hemline fell well past my waist and the high neckline gives it extra polish, and it comes with a simple, matching belt. That’s a clever design element: Cinching it there keeps the outfit from looking like a set of scrubs, which is what I usually think of when I see matching tops and bottoms. Meanwhile, the Chester Pant is as comfortable as any pants can be. They’re even comfier than my trusty black joggers, which I used to consider the next best thing to sweatpants. The looser silhouette looks tailored and clean. I usually prefer a tighter fit on my pants—more flattering on my body type—and this upended my entire belief system.
One note: Because they’re stretch linen, the pieces did look a little wrinkled when I pulled them out of the box. Smoothing stretch linen is really a job for an iron, it seems, which I don’t own because I’m working with so little space that I keep a grill pan in my TV console. So I wore them as they were and frankly, they were fine.
I accessorized with a pair of tortoiseshell earrings and snakeskin-strap sandals—subconsciously creating a safari vibe, now that I think about it. Still, simple. The only riddle was in trying to figure out what to wear over it. A jumpsuit is best on its own—adding anything else takes away from its monochromatic appeal. But this was a day that started out feeling like February and ended up feeling like May, so I had no choice. I spent 10 minutes trying on jackets before opting for a soft cropped number in a neutral pattern that didn’t compete with the long hemline of the Angelina top. In a perfect world, I would have a personal shopper on call to fetch me a long jacket or lightweight coat, like the Dietrich jacket or Mercer parka, respectively. (In a perfect world, it would also be warmer than 45 degrees in mid-May.)
These days, I’m covering a woman on maternity leave, meaning I go to an office a few days a week, giving me the perfect opportunity to debut my jumpsuit. You know how pharmaceutical commercials always seem to show a pretty woman walking on the beach in white chinos, looking like she doesn’t have a care in the world? That was me, except waltzing down First Avenue, reveling in my unrestricted, sweat-free garments despite my speedy clip. The comfort level is like pajamas, but 10 times better, because you don’t have to sit through a meeting feeling self-conscious about deciding for some reason to wear PAJAMAS to work.
What sets this faux jumpsuit apart is that it’s so easy, I get all the comfort I need, plus the bonus of looking like the hardworking woman that I am. “I love it,” said one coworker, looking up as I slipped off my jacket. “It looks so professional,” said another. “And the color is so pretty.” I typically show up looking like someone dragged me out of my dorm room, so putting in a little effort has an outsized payoff.
I met my fiancé after work so we could walk home together. “You look so cute,” he said, doing an enviable job at hiding his shock that I showed up looking like an adult woman with a Roth IRA. “I love the jumpsuit vibe.” I felt so proud, both of him and my faux jumpsuit. He understood my outfit, which is a big deal when you consider that this is a man who once made his own pair of jorts by literally cutting up a pair of jeans.
As we were crossing the street, a girl in her 20s came up to me. “I love your outfit,” she said. I’ve gotten compliments on my sunglasses before, and a few times on my haircut. My outfit? Never. And a compliment from a complete stranger is a downright rarity in New York City, a place where people don’t talk to one another unless their subway car has caught on fire and they have to engage in conversation as a survival tactic.
I’d live in this all summer, both as a faux jumpsuit and as two separate pieces. Because yes, while the primary perk of a jumpsuit is that it allows you to look polished and elegant without requiring any sort of brain activity, there’s another advantage to these more user-friendly versions: You can pair them with other clothing. I would wear the top with dark jeans for a dinner with friends, and the pants with a white tee or a sleeveless blouse on the weekends. The sky’s the limit, really, and that’s the magic of these particular “jumpsuits”: You can truly make them your own.
Ready to create your own jumpsuit? Shop the linen separates from our new collection here.