Arabella On: What To Wear Under Dungarees

Arabella On: What To Wear Under Dungarees

Dungarees. Love them or hate them, they're a trend that's not going anywhere right now. But how can you wear them and not look like a kids TV presenter (or that you are permanently at a festival)? This childhood staple has been resurrected in multiple styles for this season, and InStyle's Arabella Greenhill is a fan...

My first memory of wearing dungarees is on my non-school uniform day, aged 11. They were a green OshKosh pair, and I wore them with a camel skinny rib polo neck and Dunlop green flash trainers. I was cool.

I've since managed to swerve them, even during their All Saints and Eternal heyday in the 90s, and also as the standard maternity wear for both pregnancies.

Some years later (let's not count how many) and I'm wearing them again. I'm probably old enough to know better than to wear anything my daughter likes too, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, I decided I would just give the whole look a bit more thought – no one wants to look like an ageing extra from Play School – and keep it cool and chic. No mutton here.

A couple of summers ago while shopping in the kids department of H&M (with said daughter), I spotted a pair of dungarees in the teen department for £19.99. I thought it would be a good idea not to spend too much money on what could be, at this stage, a one-off wear, rather than invest in the very cool and much more expensive Frame pair I had spotted at Matches. What was great about the kids ones were that they were shorter in the leg and slimmer in the body, so gave an overall narrow silhouette - instantly smarter. So I purchased a blue pair for ages 12-13!

Once I remembered quite how comfortable they were, I wanted some more, but this time in black (I do work in fashion after all), and found the perfect pair in Topshop, which have since become a wardrobe staple. These soon became the office uniform, too, and at least three of us could be spotted each day in meetings, in matching dungarees - but all wearing them in different ways.

While my husband likes to sing the chorus of ‘Come on Eileen’ every time I pull them out of the wardrobe, I choose to ignore his limited fashion knowledge, although I do still consider what I am doing each day before I put them on. Any important meetings and I will definitely reconsider. Most of the time, it’s all about what your wear underneath. And on your feet.

So, after much personal trial and error, here are my favourite ways to to style up your dungarees this summer...

1. The Breton Stripe
First up is a classic Breton - a perennial favourite. Add a pop of colour with your accessories.

Shop The Look:

Dugarees: Topshop, £48
Top: Raey Stripped Crew-Neck Long-Sleeved T-shirt £85, Matches
Shoes: Aquazzura Leather Pom-Pom Sandals £610, Saks

2. The Statement Silk Shirt
A silky blouse makes a good alternative for the office. Make these dungarees werk for work.

Shop The Look:

Dugarees: Topshop, £48
Top: Rag & Bone Virginia Stripes Silk-Satin Shirt £295, Net-A-Porter
Shoes: Bally Boell Black Leather Shoes £375

3. The Perfect Print
Pop a print underneath with the piece of the season - the off the shoulder top.

Shop The Look:

Dugarees: Topshop, £48
Top: Tibi Amara Off-The-Shoulder Printed Silk-Twill Top £365, Net-A-Porter
Shoes: Bally Boell Black Leather Shoes £375

4. The Peasant Blouse
Take dungarees to the prairie with the perfect peasant blouse.

Shop The Look:

Dugarees: Topshop, £48
Top: Mes Demoiselles Eckart Blouse E175
Shoes: Marni Ankle Strap Sandals £520, Farfetch

5. The Statement Shirt
Navy and black is the colour combo right now. It's always a smart choice - but if you're feeling fancy, update the look with an espadrille.

Shop The Look:

Dugarees: Topshop, £48
Top: Claudie Pierlot Chou Shirt, £165
Shoes: Tabitha Simmons Sebille Suede & Linen Espadrilles £250, Browns

6. The Classic T-Shirt
A classic t-shirt is an obvious choice, but adding a scarf gives it a twist and a nod to next season.

Shop The Look:

Dugarees: Topshop, £48
Top: T By Alexander Wang Classic Jersey T-shirt £70, Net-A-Porter
Scarf: Rockins 'Plain; Super Skinny Emboridered Scarf, £85
Shoes: Adidas White & Navy Stan Smith Trainers £67, Shuh

Fancy something a little less formal? Find your perfect pair in our edit of the chicest dungarees to buy this season.

 
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