Time to jump to attention

By Jan Shure, August 4, 2010
Spotty playsuit, £13, Primark

Spotty playsuit, £13, Primark

Ahem, jumpsuits. You will have been reading about them intermittently since April in the glossies and the fashion pages — including this one — but have you yet seen a woman over the age of 17 (celebs in Grazia and Hello apart) actually wearing one?

No, nor me — which is a pity, because the jumpsuit is a stylish, quite grown-up option if you find the right one.

In terms of wearability, the jumpsuit has much of the effortless simplicity of a dress. You just climb into it and, voila, you look instantly pulled together. No worrying about matching top and bottom halves, or proportions.

And a well-cut one gives the illusion of a longer, leaner body.

Stylistically, they can be trickier. The perfect example of getting one wrong was demonstrated by Danielle Lineker. In bright red with a plunge neck, it had overtones of racing-driver while also registering a high score on the Tart-o-meter. Much better is black, or those in the very limited spectrum of nude to khaki, done by Chloe, Acne, Sass & Bide, MaxMara, Comptoir des Cotonniers and Zara .

Playsuits, the “mini” version, are a trend best left to the very young. There are lots left in the sales (A|Wear, Primark and Accessorize all have them) and if you have the coltish legs to wear one, they are perfect for holidays.

With most of August and all of September left, a jumpsuit bought now in a sale could prove a canny investment.

The spring/summer 2011 collections won’t be unveiled for about six weeks, but I’m betting that — like the maxi which emerged in 2009 but had its moment this summer — the jumpsuit will be the “sleeper” which will reawake for a real moment next summer. That way, you get to own something effortless and edgy just at the point in summer when you are tiring of all those tees, tea-dresses and difficult trousers, and you can be confident it can be brought out next spring.

And they are staying around for autumn, seen all the way from Browns and Net-a-Porter through brands like Comptoir des Cotonniers to high street chains including Sainsbury’s Tu, whose silky, black, 70s-style drop shoulder one with brass eyelets punches way above its price tag at £30. In autumn, wear one under a washed leather biker jacket or a chunky knit, and then in winter, under a fur-lined flying jacket or shearling coat.

Last updated: 2:52pm, August 4 2010