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How to wear the jean dungarees (from 30), by Alexa Chung

The jean bib is to Alexa Chung (United Kingdom, 1983) what the black turtleneck sweater is to Audrey Hepburn: she does not always wear it nor is it her best look – indeed, it is far from her more sophisticated aesthetic – but when you try to build her image in your head there are many (very many) chances that you will imagine her with that garment on. Designer, presenter and fashion icon for a generation confessed her love for Dickies in a recent interview in How To Spend It , the magazine lifestyle of the Financial Times Edited by the famous fashion journalist Jo Ellison: “The hallmark of my personal style is the denim, especially the dungarees; I feel safe with them. Whenever I wear them it is as if I lived up to my true personality ”. Alexa, who compares their aesthetics when she takes them to the mix of a builder and a child in equal parts, notes in this article that anyone who wears them looks immediately cool because of their understated and laid-back style. Her first pair, bought in the early 1990s, was a white one with patterned flowers – “probably from the Gap,” she adds. Those of Celine, in the railway style, and the one she designed for the first collection of her own eponymous clothing brand are among her favorites.

It is not the first time that Alexa confesses that the childish style is an intrinsic part of her desired style . The overalls she shared on her Instagram account last December 2020 – the last one was on March 26 – is a good example of that characteristic childish touch that she always brings to her looks and a whole lesson in style on how wear overalls in the middle of winter : with a long-sleeved sailor striped T-shirt, retro sneakers, a woolen hat and a duffle coat. The post was so successful that there were not a few publications that echoed it, putting the emphasis once again on this garment that, for many women (including ourselves), is complex to wear past 30 but which, of course, we have no intention of giving up. The key, like everything, is in styling.

A day before posting this famous look, Alexa shared the photo that had inspired her to put on her fetish garment once again: an image of a young Nastassja Kinski in denim overalls and a long coat that she had previously uploaded to her profile @simplicitycity , a famous inspirational account whose founder we already interviewed in 2019. The text with which Alexa “re-programmed it” left no room for doubt: “every day”. It has not been her only reference in relation to dungarees on this social network: the day before Halloween night in 2018, Alexa posted the image of Shelley Duvall in the role of Wendy Torrance in The Shining (1980) with her iconic look composed of a corduroy bib, a plaid shirt and a turtleneck underneath. “For me, the easiest costume in the world considering my current wardrobe and my emotional state,” he wrote about it with his particular touch of humor.

Taking into account its presence in the 2021 spring-summer shows – Isabel Marant, Louis Vuitton, Hermès … – and its ubiquity in the late 90s and early 2000s – a period that has inspired many of the current collections – it is not surprising that it is one of the great trends of the season. The ideal moment, without a doubt, to prepare your user manual with the hand of the one who knows the most about how to wear a denim overalls from the age of 30. Thank you, Alexa.

With a ‘perfect’ jacket and Converse
Mixing garments of opposite aesthetics in the same look is one of the most recurring, easy and inspiring style tricks that exist. This, translated into the world of bibs, implies combining them with pieces that are far from their naïve aesthetic, such as a perfect leather jacket . Although wearing it with a Converse is a classic, combining it with an embroidered blouse is not so classic.
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In a white shirt and Birkenstocks
Here is the perfect mix between children’s elements and sophisticated touches in the same look. The denim dungarees and Birkenstock sandals add much of the former, while the white shirt and fur bag add an elegant and neat touch to the ensemble. Without forgetting, of course, that other nod to the children’s aesthetic of the Chanel bead necklace that emulates the candy jewelry so typical of our childhood.
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With a long coat and ankle boots
A clear example of the versatility of a denim overall is its ability to combine with all the basics as if it were a pair of jeans but with a small and discreet twist that makes the look different. With a simple long coat, a basic T-shirt and classic ankle boots, she already manages to work her magic with little effort.
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With a lingerie top and high espadrilles
When we talk about denim overalls, we are not only referring to the long ones: the short versions, which are also an appetizing bet on hot days, have been part of Alexa Chung’s summer wardrobe in the past. The key is to style it as if it were a skirt or a dress. The designer combines them with espadrilles with a esparto wedge, a slip top, an XL necklace and a snakeskin-effect shoulder strap.
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With a romantic blouse and Converse
Combining a denim overalls with Converse sneakers makes all the sense in the world: both pieces, urban and relaxed, seem to be made for each other. Now, to elevate the look you need an extra element of elegance that is easy to achieve with a romantic blouse like hers: long sleeves, with lace fabric and a high neck.
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With a raincoat and handmade loafers
A simple way to add a more polished touch to a jean dungarees is with a garment as classic as a trench coat. A perfect look for halftime that can also be completed with handcrafted footwear such as embroidered loafers or slippers. The white collared shirt bobo, one of the most popular trends of recent seasons, is always a good idea.
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With a white t-shirt, flat leather sandals and … a luxury bag
Sometimes the only thing you need a look to succeed is a luxury bag, and this ensemble from Alexa Chung more than proves it. The presenter again resorted to the short version of the jean dungarees combining it with a simple white T-shirt and flat leather sandals but the master touch is provided by the Chanel 2.55 bag, a classic that elevates any garment.

 

Daniel Bishopp

Daniel Bishopp

Daniel U. Bishopp joined LA MODE in November 2020 to work on the features team covering fashion, culture, food and drink and technology in print and online. Before that, he worked for STYLE ME AFRICA.

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La Mode Magazine an award winning magazine is founded by Mrs. Sandra Odige, a Nigeria based monthly publication established in 2011.  A digital and print publication known for its innovative and creative initiatives and style of publishing.

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