The best wetsuits for men
Jumpsuit, jumpsuit, jumpsuit or romper: whatever you call this type of garment – a one-piece top and pant combo with a collar – there is an almost endless list of uses for one. Maintaining your garden? Great. Playing with your adult toys (cars, furniture, even art)? Perfect. Are you tired of taking the time to find pants that match the shirt you want to wear? Incredible. Combinations can do it all. Never worry about whether your outfit looks put together again, because a jumpsuit literally covers all pedestals.
And that’s what it was invented for, first for factory workers and then for everyone else. It is a rather democratic outfit, generally unisex, often cheap and incredibly resistant. The first boiler suits – so called because workers tending to locomotive boilers wore them – were made of canvas or denim, came with large pockets for tools, and a cinched waist or belt so that the fabric ample does not catch anything or interfere with the wearer’s field of vision.
You see, jumpsuits are generally the same as jumpsuit, jumpsuit, or jumpsuit, but there are, I must add before you go looking for yours, subtle differences that only a trained eye will notice: jumpsuits are thinner and more form-fitting, which is why women’s one-piece garments usually go by this name. The boiler combination is simply an earlier nomenclature for the combination. They are one. Truly. And a onesie? Well, it’s something soft and comfortable – like a child would wear it – and you should avoid wearing one in public. (Save, perhaps, for pajama days at work or school.)
Modern renders range from old and true to the past to smart and economical. (Who needs two dozen shirts and pants when you could have four sets of jumpsuits?) Find the one that’s right for you below. But first, read our tips for removing them.
How to style jumpsuits
- Stick to darker colors. They hide extra fabric better, making your figure look slimmer.
- Avoid extra pockets or tool loops if you don’t really need them.
- Elasticated waistbands may look good, but they don’t. Get used to a freer and more fluid garment.
- Short sleeves are cool (literally) in the summer, but they just don’t look out of place in real work scenarios.
- It’s rare that you have to button up or fully zip up your wetsuit. Wear a t-shirt or thermal (but never a tank top) underneath.
- Going up a size may add extra bulk through the body and around the waist, but the piece makes for easy layering.
- Think extremes: Boots go best with rugged dark-colored overalls. Leather slip-on sandals or shoes work best with cream or white shoes.
- Embrace the imperfections. If you spill paint on your wetsuit, who cares? Only treat smelly stains.
- Negligent. Truly! If the job you’re doing requires you to get dirty, put on coveralls. They will protect your skin and hair from the shock of a stray brushstroke or spray.
The best wetsuits for men
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Alex Mill’s Field Jumpsuit takes the crown because it’s comfortable, cut from sustainable BCI-certified cotton (meaning it’s durable and of transparent origin) and comes in three colours, Olive (aka the green seen here), Navy and Vintage Khaki. It’s fitted with slack in all the right places and pockets only where needed. Where? Two large camp-style on the hips, two on the back and one that folds over the chest. Plus, there’s a hammer loop if you need one, making this not only the sleekest version on this list, but also the most versatile. If you’re doing a real dirty job can trust this option. If you’re just a fan of the style, well, this release won’t disappoint.
Limited Edition Jumpsuits
Have you searched the archives for this style? Were you impressed by what you saw? To slow down. Do not bid on antique jumpsuits on ebay. Instead, opt for the true-to-form iteration of limited-edition Dawson Denim. Each set is cut and finished by hand in Dawson Denim’s workshop in Brighton using 1950s sewing machines. It’s as close as you can get to the ones engineers wore to tend to the first trains , planes and automobiles: the vertical stripes, the very wide but flattering cut, the pair of pockets on the chest. It is so good and impressive of its time, considering it’s made from 11 oz, indigo dyed Japanese twill.
An affordable alternative
Action Twill Back Jumpsuit
A little research revealed that most people ordered this option as a blank canvas for a costume: Michael Meyers, a mechanic, stuntman, astronaut – you name it. Honestly, though, although they’ve largely been used once or twice for these users, the reviews are…really good. It’s a reliable, durable option from a brand that’s been making workwear since 1923. The back promises full range of mobility; the material itself is tear-resistant; and all hardware (brass zippers and snaps) is covered with tabs, which prevent unintentional scratches on delicate surfaces (like car paint).
Stay Loose Jumpsuits
Levi’s were originally work clothes. The brand started out as a retailer of dry goods and workwear and launched into the invention of jeans when its founder, a likeable tailor, filed a patent for rivet-reinforced stockings. If all of this had never happened, Levi’s would probably look a lot like these, which the brand calls Stay Loose Coveralls. It is made from a cotton and hemp blend in a slate gray colour, has pockets in the usual places (hips, chest) and a snap button closure that goes down to the neck.
Belted cotton and moleskin jumpsuit
Combination ? Sure, I guess, but not that much. Kingsman’s Moleskin jumpsuit looks more like a mermaid costume, a style (supposedly) invented by Winston Churchill. He wore it to all his important meetings, presenting it as the ideal combination when chaos erupts, that is to say when the sirens signal that an air raid is coming. I know, dark story. But much of what we wear today comes from military attire. Think of this option as the fancy alternative to the others, best saved for dirtier tasks.
“Spilled Milk” Jumpsuit
Sure, there are plenty of workwear brands trying their own iterations of the classic jumpsuit, but what about newer brands? Those that blur the boundaries between the sexes and reduce the gap between work and leisure? Al’s Big Deal is just that: a desert-based independent brand that manufactures its unisex wetsuit in California in a few classic colors. As such, the sizing is a bit different: it goes from 0 to 7, and the garment hasn’t been prewashed, meaning it will shrink a bit after that first cycle. Keep that in mind.
Pinstriped wool jumpsuit with patch pockets
Darker options will not only make others think you’re just wearing a matching set, but they hide rips and stains better. This woolen style from designer Oscar Jacobson blends traditional references with modern fashion elements, taking the vertical stripes of the past, for example, and pairing them with exposed, exposed buttons. Don’t throw this one in the wash. It will ruin it.
Flex Rugged Canvas Coverall
Of course, Carhartt made this list! The rugged Flex canvas coverall is a classic example of a workwear brand tweaking one of its mainstay styles for the taste of the modern wearer. Flex involves a bit of stretch across the body – 2% spandex to be exact – and the waistband is elasticated for easy movement all around. Plus, if you’re stressed about a stain, this one’s machine washable.
Basic Mixed Suit
Not to be outdone by Carhartt, Dickies also makes a combination. Theirs is available in a wide range of sizes – small and small up to XXXXL – but only one color, blue. This one is definitely made for the job. It’s fade and stain resistant, has a bi-fold back for mobility, plenty of pockets, and extras like a ruler sleeve and snap closures to protect the zipper.
Combination Nkululeko Rust Boiler
For its take on the jumpsuit, South African menswear brand ALC, designed by Amanda Laird Cherry, pairs a classic short-sleeved shirt with chinos. It’s clear: the top looks a lot like what you might wear on a summer day, and the pants look like a country chino, for example (which is evident by the pocket style). There are even belt loops if you decide to add one, hiding the fact that the two are actually fused together.
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