It's game on for the playsuit

By Sarah Tankel, March 20, 2008

Before you start to wonder if I am a) out of my mind, or b) absolutely clueless, there is an ’80s revival emerging and thankfully it is not perms.

Jumpsuits/playsuits/all-in-ones (they all fundamentally mean the same thing) made an intriguing return on a myriad of spring runways. So, simply disassociate them with dressing like a toddler and get yourself acquainted with this summer’s staple.

Today’s one-piece comes in several guises, from utilitarian and oversized at Mulberry, super-short and girly at Luella, to wide leg and belted à la Donna Karan — any way goes! What welcoming news to us regular girls who want to steer clear of anything bottom-skimming and leotard-like.

Fabrics include lightweight denim, thigh-slimming silk and comfy jersey — all of which work wonders at gliding over curves. Many feature captivating twists, such as one-shoulder frills or bright kooky prints. Fortunately, they now appeal to more than just the 6ft stick insect.

However, please bear in mind a few pointers before embarking on this trend: 1) Be aware of what you’re wearing underneath. There shall be no VPLs here, please.

2) Always wear your one-piece with a belt — thick or thin. It helps show off that silhouette as well as being the perfect way to accessorise.

3) Steer clear of anything too clingy or tight — you do not want to look like you belong in an exercise video. 4) Do not be afraid to dress them up or down. Have fun playing with heels, flats, jewellery and tights. 5) If they are not for you, then that is fine. Just try hard not to point and laugh at others.

For those most daunted by the all-in-one, Debenhams’ safari-style jumpsuit (right) is simple, easy-to-wear and flattering at the same time. Belted in at the middle, it accentuates that waist while its ¾ sleeves and cropped trouser detail help to avoid showing off too much flesh.

Style it up with tan platforms and oversized shades and you will wonder why you didn’t get one sooner.

To work the more laid-back approach, Dorothy Perkins’ (second left) balloon-shaped number is perfect to throw on for that “I-can-get-dressed-in-a-minute” look. Keep things in proportion here by belting in at the middle at all times.

If you are a fan of the shorter playsuit shapes, then why not opt for a classic version?

A cropped denim one-piece, such as Warehouse’s version (top, far left), is great for layering summer basics such as vests and ethnic scarves — perfect for making the look your own (and showing off those pins).

However, if you really want to make a style statement, opt for a printed playsuit.

River Island’s strapless one-piece (above) is the ideal splash of colour as well as being a tad on the adventurous side. So, what are you waiting for, ladies?

Last updated: 11:04am, September 25 2009