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80s Overalls

by Julie

Dressing as an 80s dad has been a popular trend in the Baby Boomer community for many years. Overalls were designed to be comfortable, easy to wear, and versatile.  Overalls are also known as “Work Clothes” because they are worn by farmers, construction workers, and other tradesmen who need to be able to withstand long hours of hard labor. Most men’s work pants and denim jeans have been replaced with slacks since the 1980s so why not dress up your existing wardrobe with this 80s style look? Keep reading to learn all about the overalls in the 80s!

What is it?

An overall (also known as coveralls) is a loose-fitting garment worn by people in high risk environments such as workers in factories, miners, and firefighters. The garment is usually made of denim or other tough cloth and manufactured with pockets to accommodate a hard hat and other protective clothing.

You can put on your jeans, shirt and shoes without removing your overalls. Men wore these for 3 reasons: they were comfortable; they looked cool; guys wore them to prom. Adam Levine said it best when he said:  “I’ll wear overalls till I die”

80s Bangs- Will You Try Them Today?
80s Bangs- Will You Try Them Today?

The 80’s was a time when men wanted to be tough. Back in the day, guys would wear their overalls to school and everyone would look at them and ask: “What are you? A farmer?” Overalls were worn by men who wanted to look tough. They weren’t really interested in being seen as farmers/cowboys so they wore overalls instead.

A Background

Overalls were originally known as “Corduroy Pants” because they are lined with a soft, fuzzy fabric called “cotton duck.” Corduroy pants were originally designed for farmers and construction workers who would wear them while working outside in all kinds of weather conditions. In 1873, the first overalls were patented by James Hogg from Scotland.  Hogg’s overalls were made of canvas and had a drawstring waist closure.  For some reason, his name was misspelled on the patent as “Hogg” which eventually became the abbreviation for “overalls.” Overalls are a classic item of clothing. The 80s was a time of big hair and even bigger fashion trends, but one thing was eternal: the overalls.

Overalls in Pop Culture

Overalls have been a staple of pop culture since they were first introduced. From movies like The Outsiders, to TV shows like Full House, and even music videos such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, overalls are an 80s and 90s classic! In Hollywood films like The Outsiders (1983) starring C. Thomas Howell as Ponyboy Curtis and Emilio Estevez as Johnny Cade, overalls were worn by the tough guys who had a reputation for being tough.  The overalls worn by the characters in The Outsiders were also called “Work Clothes” due to their popularity with construction workers and farmers.

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