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Playsuits & Jumpsuits – The Vintage Must-Have

Cute, versatile and utterly gorgeous, anyone who's anyone is either talking about or wearing one of the coolest fashion trends of the last decade in the form of the jumpsuit or playsuit. This fabulous trend started when top designers such as Alexander McQueen showed jumpsuits on the worlds finest catwalks. McQueen presented both these glamour girl body-con jumpsuits designed with crystallised fabric – the jumpsuit material has been embedded with luxury crystal pieces that glimmer in a way that only top notch Austrian crystal can. The result took the jumpsuit into the realm of exotic, sexy and stylish evening wear. Us mere mortals may favour something more down to earth, but each one of us can admire the figure-defining cut of these jumpsuits which are most reminiscent of knitted lace jumpsuits of the seventies.

Alexander McQueen Runway 2009

Following this massive seal of approval, there is now a wide array of playsuits and jumpsuits available on the high street but each and every one takes it's inspiration, shape, colour or print from the vintage fashion of the past. So this is our plea to all you fashion conscious women out there – don't buy sub-standard remakes from high street stores, buy the original, well made and long lasting vintage clothing that preceded it!

We have some amazing original vintage jumpsuits and playsuits in stock and I have picked out some of my absolute favourites that are currently in stock at My Vintage...

Fashion students have always learnt how styles of previous generations are recreated and resurrected in a new form or style. We see this happening in many lines of modern day fashion and has prompted the resurgence in the sales of classic vintage dresses, vintage coats, vintage tops, vintage jeans, vintage skirts and vintage accessories. What we have seen in recent years is a major fashion trend for trousers to join up with tops, the result is the super retro jumpsuit, romper or playsuit.

But the all-in-one is certainly not a new invention, we have seen this going back to 1940s and 1950s swimwear and beach wear. Most of us think of the eighties when we see jumpsuits but the birth of the jumpsuit was actually in the late sixties. In art houses and chic rich haunts worldwide, the shorter playsuit and longer jumpsuit was making waves. It was classic and simple, think Coco Chanel black and white monochrome beneath a Studio 54 backdrop.

In the seventies we saw more loose and flowing trousers with more fitted tops and halternecks. Perfect with the long wavy flicked hair of the era. In the eighties the jumpsuit was so much more dramatic with big shoulder padding, bare backs, tapered trousers, candy colours, sequins, glitter and feathers. And of course as fashion progressed through the years, so did the array of prints and colours, vivid Pucci and jazzy op-art making the biggest impact of all. And of course we cannot forget the resurgence of the all-in-one in the warehouse filled nineties with boiler suit rave chic. This may have originally been all neon, zips and whistles but in the last few seasons it has been uber stylish and stripped back.

For now, narrow and tapered trouser legs have risen above the ankle. High waist bands and peg-top carrot shaping means what was lost at the ankle has been taken care of above waist. This season amid black, navy and grey styles you also need to find plain bold bright colours such as a santorini blue, ravishing red or tangerine orange. When shopping for vintage jumpsuits and vintage playsuits, look for satin, cotton, viscose and printed patterned fabrics, especially floral fabrics and ditsy or dotty prints.

Don't be put off jumpsuits when you see a shapeless mass on your coat-hanger. These are garments which need bodies to fill them, and heels to stride out, only then will the jumpsuit burst into life and seriously turn some heads! A fashionable jumpsuit has the advantage of meeting evening/cocktail/occasion wear half way, and may well be the solution for those moments when you have no idea what to wear. Like the vintage dress, vintage jumpsuits are an easy to wear all-in-one fashion, but if carefully chosen, have the advantage of being able to be glamorous whilst enabling the wearer to pursue more active pursuits and weather changes with discretion!

And don't forget if you are worried about your back view there are many long line cardigans and vintage trophy jackets that could ensure the viability of this look. Somewhere between the sophisticated 1970's wide leg flowing jumpsuit and the 1980s glitter filled retro jumpsuit, is the softer fashion playsuit. What we see here is a more fun version and which is cropped or designed as a shorts playsuit. Vintage playsuits are huge this summer. In a variety of colours, styles and prints, looking great with gladiator sandals and lace up pumps for the cute yet edgy indie look. Going through into autumn/winter we expect to see the very same beautiful and popular vintage playsuit teamed with luscious chunky opaque tights, brogues or biker boots and cropped denim or leather biker jackets.

Let's face it, the jumpsuit or playsuit may not currently be in your wardrobe but it offers the same versatility as a vintage dress. Sleek, long and glamorous for the evening cocktail look or cute, short and pretty for summer picnic days. Style and practicality add to comfort and chic so make sure you add a vintage playsuit, vintage romper or vintage jumpsuit to your wardrobe as soon as you can!

Until next time

Emma x

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