I have a wardrobe at home solely dedicated to my collection of All-In-Ones. I love Boiler Suits, Jumpsuits and Onesies because you only have to get dressed in one thing, your whole outfit is planned and that is the greatest thing ever. For some time now I wanted to write a blog post about my collection, in detail with some explanation and analysis of each one. I feel like in fashion terms we are at peak Boiler Suit and I sort of hate it when something I have liked for ages becomes trendy. Most of my collection has come from eBay and is a wide range of quality, colour, fabric, and purpose, some are from fashion retailers like Asos and others are Army surplus. Boiler suits make you look like you have the intention of doing something and I really like that attitude. They are confusing in a fashion sense to other people as they are part uniform and part fashion item. I love this duplicity.
1. Marks and Spencer All-In-One 51% modal, 41% cotton, 8% elastane
This one piece undergarment is made from incredibly soft fabric and feels amazing to wear, it looks like something from Edwardian times and is made beautifully. I also like the fact that it is from somewhere as conservative as M&S and it really doesn’t look like the sort of garment they come out with albeit from their Autograph range.
2. Topman Black Boiler Suit 100% cotton
This Boiler Suit is made from a medium/light weight cotton and the fit is great. I normally dislike wearing black head to toe but I don’t feel weird when I wear this one. It is detailed nicely and underplayed with matt black buttons and large patch pockets on the front. It was heavily discounted at 40% when I bought it but even at full price I would say it represents very good value.
3. (Ingram Motors)Red Boiler Suit 67% polyster 33% cotton
I have probably worn this boiler suit more than any other. I wore it whilst making my book Ordinary Made Extraordinary and in every episode of the BBC’s School of Art. It was my least expensive purchase in my collection at £8 from eBay. One feature worth mentioning is that I skinnified the legs to make the cut better. The colour is really bright and stands out and really a perfect red. The detail shows a small elasticated cinch at the hip on each side.
4. OnePiece Jumpsuit 80% cotton 20% polyester
I have had this jumpsuit for almost 6 years now, OnePiece are a Scandinavian startup, started in Oslo who are now making a wider range of garments but originally just concentrated on making jumpsuits. Although this is their basic and original model, it feels very well made and good quality materials have been used. I have never worn it outside, but my house is cold so I wear it a lot at home.
5. French Double zip ‘Combinaison’ 65% polyester 35% cotton
This was the first overalls I bought about 10 years ago. The unique feature is definitely the zips. They are made from huge chunky white plastic and work very easily. They make getting in and out very easy and this model has replaced the traditional French Bleu as the modern go-to work wear as this style seems to be very common in French work wear stores.
6. G-Star Denim Coverall 100% cotton
There are lots of very considered details on these coveralls from rubberised buttons to hidden key chains. The wash and stitching is adds character and the weight of the denim means that it feels very structured and tough. The real issue is the cut on the upper part of the body, it is cut incredibly narrow making it impossible to fasten over the chest.
7. Calvin Klein 1980s Beige Safari All-in-one 100% cotton
Did you hear my yelp when I found this in Chicago in November 2012 from all the way across the Atlantic? This really is a great piece in my collection, I am not saying it’s my favourite, but when I wear it I do feel like a character in a film or a documentary about Studio 54. It has shoulder pads, I am going to say that again….it has shoulder pads! And whilst the cut is figure hugging it is a little long for today’s eyes, so looks better with the short arm cuffs and shorts legs rolled up a notch. The 2-way gold zip detail compliments perfectly.
8. White Knight Blue checked 99% polyester 1% carbon yarn
The most significant feature about these overalls is that they have carbon fibre running vertically and horizontally through the fabric. I guess this is to stop them ripping or tearing. They are super lightweight and the fit is good. A really nice detail is at the cuffs which allows for 3 different fits around the wrists and ankles.
9. Asos Light Khaki Boiler Suit 100% cotton
This boiler suit is made of heavyweight cotton and feels very good quality. It has a slightly lowered crotch but generally the cut is classic and the heavyweight cotton gives plenty of structure to the garment. It has internal drawstrings which add to the cut but also serve a practical use if the garment is to be worn tied around the waist.
10. White Asymetric Jumpsuit 67% polyester 33% cotton
This is definitely a utility garment, It is quite roomy and billowy, its unusual feature is the asymmetric zip and neck detail which is more like a leather biker jacket in terms of how it fastens. I have a feeling it might be a butchers coverall used in abatoirs The last detail is at the neck and is a buttonable loop, I have no idea why.
11. Lee Overdyed Coveralls 100% cotton
These coveralls are probably the oldest ones I have (by which I mean most vintage) They have been overdyed and originally were blue and white stripes, they are from the workwear division of the Denim label Lee. The fit is unusual becuae the waistline is very high and narrow so that when I wear them I feel like I have old fashioned body proportions from the 1950s.
12. G-Star Khaki Flight Suit 100% cotton
Again with G-Star the quality and the attention to detail is right there. This is a collaboration with the designer Marc Newson who is their regular collaborator. This flight suit has features like rubberized pockets, drawstring in the legs, special zip fastenings and elbow reinforcement. The monogram stitched on the chest really beautifully offsets the otherwise very industrial nature of this garment with almost handwritten embroidery. The khaki cotton twill is light but dense and feels like it is quality made.
13. Burton Denim wash Onesie 65% cotton 35% polyster
I hadn’t shopped at Burton since…let me think…no never! But a couple of years ago I did drive 80 miles to one store that had this wonderful onesie still in stock. The denim wash on the jersey is really good and has a slightly aged look to it. The fit is comfy generous and gives you room to move. I really like the heavyweight drawstrings for the hood made from unbleached cotton. Their design team did really well here fusing two genres of garment together.
14. Adidas Safety Tracksuit All-in-one 100% cotton
This Adidas hybrid tracksuit-sum-overalls had plenty of imaginative details like underarm vents and pockets for every kind of imaginable everything. It also has this rad colorway styling of beige and fluro red which makes it king of interesting. I really like the classic Adidas tracksuit cuffs and neck ribbing, but I think it needs to come closer to tracksuit and further away from overalls to be more successful mainly because the main fabric they have used doesn’t have enough structure.
15. Lidl Blue Boiler Suit 100% cotton
This is really a classic boiler suit. It has pockets but also openings so that you can access your trousers for ahem loose change if you’re wearing this to cover all. The cut is good and works well with the weight of the fabric, it is constructed reasonable given that it was so cheap, but no expense had been spared on the best detail of all, the zip which is made of pure gold….well it looks gold.
16. Topman Grey Jumpsuit 75% polyester 23% viscose 2% elastane
There are some good things about this jumpsuit like the fit, but generally it feels a bit limp when you wear it, for some reason it is very heavy VERY HEAVY and so the weight of the fabric mans that it drapes over your body but being so weighty pulls you down with it. It is sort of like suit fabric but not entirely. I like the tone of it because it doesn’t feel like you are wearing black and I think it looks quite good on, it just doesn’t feel that great. Topman are good at doing boiler suits most seasons and I think this was probably an early iteration from which they have learned and improved a lot.
17.Army SurplusQuilted Khaki 100% Polyamide
This garment looks really fantastic. It is made of a quilted construction, with jersey cuffs and neck. It has a zip up pocket which is angled to make access easy. I think it is intended as an undergarment layer. It always feels really hot and sweaty immediately I wear it, I think the fabric is not very breathable. The colour is a really rich khaki.
18. Self Made Charcoal pool and polyester blend
I made this one myself from a pattern that I customized. I used suit fabric . It has a cinch back and I used giant copper poppers. It was an exercise in trying to make something more than anything. I didn’t get the cut right around the waist and thighs, I think this is the most complex bit of the fit with any one piece is the area where the bottom half joins the top half.
19. Topman Chambray Boiler Suit 100% cotton
I want to like this boiler suit more than I actually do. I think the issue is probably the details. The stitching is cream coloured which contrasts too much with the delicate chambray and draws too much attention to it. Also the buttons are quite cheap, I remember buying replacement buttons at the time which I still haven’t replaced. The colour is good and the fit is fine also.
20. All Saints Black jumpsuit (no fabric label)
This flight suit inspired jumpsuit had sooooo many pockets on it I had to remove some. Apart from the fact that I don’t need all those pockets and the fussy detailing it also added weight to the very light drapey fabric pulling it down unnecessarily. Each zip also has a string attached which you are very aware of whilst you wear it. One nice feature the waist adjusters which fasten to the front rather than to the back of the garment.
21. Japanese Lavender Mechanics Overalls 100% cotton
I feel a bit medical when I wear these, like a dentist, but not a dentist, like I am taking part in some experimental surgery technology. It’s definitely the colour which does this. Only in Japan would you be able to find lavender mechanics overalls and for that reason I love these. They do probably have too much detailing for my preferences like too much stitching on the pockets and a strange accordion like stretchy vent thing in the small of the back…..but still, LAVENDER!!!!
22. Opening Ceremony x Levis Overalls 100% cotton
These are for people who do not like wearing overalls….designed to look like you are wearing separates by using two types of chambray. The quality of construction (especially on the top half) is beautiful, the buttons are made of something that looks like bone. I guess this is quite an ironic garment and it feels quite unusual to wear as it looks but not feels like it is in two halves. The cut is very generous in the lower half so that it also feels different to the upper half. You are definitely very self conscious when you wear this one.
23. Army Surplus all-in-one undergarment knitted wool and acrylic blend
This is an under-layer which fits very snugly to the body, it is knitted and has wool content so as a result it quite itchy. I think it would be best worn on top of long sleeves and leggings for extra warmth. When I wear this it makes me feel like I am in costume as a character in a children’s animation or wearing a human sock.
24. Primark Clouds and Rainbows Onesie 100% polyester
The reason I bought this was because of the adorable pattern of the cloud and rainbow printed on the fleece. That is all
25. Pointer Denim 100% cotton
Pointer are classic American made coveralls in very heavyweight denim. The cut is remarkable because it is high waisted with a narrow waist but with extremely wide roomy legs. This fit, like the Lee coveralls feels very much of another time period.
26. Mandarina Duck Orange no label
Mandarina Duck is an Italian brand that usually specializes in luggage and bags. This orange jumpsuit has a really rich and juicy colour but has several remarkable features. The most remarkable of which are the ruck sack-like straps on the inside which allow the wearer to wear the top half rather like a ruck sack rather than around the waist. I have never seen this before. The fabric is slightly padded and its texture feel like peach skin. The zips are very discreet and neat.
27. Asos Washed Black Denim Boiler Suit 99% cotton 1% elastane
The cut on this one is the same as the other Asos boiler suit, excellent. The wash is really very nice it has some subtle ageing details. It feels like you could wear this in a variety of different situations and it is subtle enough to be a very adaptable garment. The 1% elastane is a great choice also because it adds just enough stretch which is really important in an all in one. I would recommend this to any one who is perhaps a bit reticent about trying a boiler suit for the first time.
28. H&M Khaki Army Look Jumpsuit 100% cotton
The unusual element here is that this jumpsuit has long arms and shorts. The arms can be rolled up and secure with a buckle. There is a massive piece of elastic at the waistband which sometimes doesn’t feel like it is quite in the right place. The fabric is light weight and the cut is loose and billowy. It feels like it would be good to wear on a hot day, but perhaps there is too much excess material on the top half.
29. Replay Jeans Mechanics Overalls 100% cotton
The fabric here is a herringbone bone denim weave, there is some beautiful embroidery on the chest and beautiful cuff studs. Also on the back there is a big white painted logo. The quality of the denim is really nice but the distressing looks quite obviously applied by the manufacturer. The legs should also be longer for a size large.
30. Onepiece Knitted Jumpsuit 43% wool 30% nylon 27% viscose
This really is a beautifully crafted garment, it is lined with jersey so it feels soft and warm when you wear it, the ‘traditional’ knitted pattern is made up with their X logo inside and it looks like someone put a lot of effort into getting this to look so good. I now just need to go to Sweden at Christmas and feel that untranslatable word Hygge.
31. New Balance Shell Suit 100% polyester
There is a lot going on here, the colour, the detail, the material and the brand. I keep thinking about what I ought to be doing whilst wearing this. I think I am in Japan, I am in the countryside, it’s misty, I am exercising my exhibition French poodles, I am lightly jogging whilst listening to experimental J-pop on a 1988 Sony sports Walkman.
32. Asos Navy linen Jumpsuit 100% linen
What I really like about this jumpsuit is that it has some sporty details like cuffed arms and legs but is made from linen and I like that contrast. The cut is really good and it has belt holes and a sash-y belt-y thing that you tie. It is a really nice weight of fabric and it falls nicely. It definitely looks like a fashion garment more than the other two Asos boiler suits.
33. Tyvek White Disposable Dupont Tyvek
This coverall was given to my at PPG an aerospace paint manufacturer based in Newcastle whilst we were developing paint for my British Airways planes in 2012. Tyvek is a great lightweight paper like material which creases beautifully and feels amazing to wear.
34. Primark Strawberry Onesie 100% polyester
It’s a Strawberry onesie. I would love to be in meeting where this gets proposed and signed off. PS That’s a stalk in the hood yes!
35. Supreme Yellow Coverall 65% polyester 35% cotton
For ages I didn’t really get what all the fuss is about with Supreme. This coverall is by the New York based label. It is quite simply beautifully made. It is simple but detailed perfectly. The cut is perfect. The colour is slightly off from anything that is currently in the shops and matches perfectly to the zip. It was my most expensive boiler suit but I feel like the value is in he simplicity, the colour and the detail.
36. Badges (after Ashish Gupta) on Asos Black Boiler Suit 100% cotton
I applied this badge collection to as Asos boiler suit. It’s heavy it makes a huge noise. It looks amazing.