3 Ways to Wear it: The Bodysuit
2016 has been the year of the throwback. First we had the bomber jacket – a wear-with-anything fash-pack fave, originally designed for aviators during the 1950s; then we had the pleated midi skirt – a 1950’s housewife go-to, given a contemporary make-over with fluid fabrics and a destructured shape; and now we’ve got the bodysuit – a figure-hugging, snap-crotch wardrobe mainstay, which seems to look great with just about ANYthing, including said bomber jacket and pleated skirt. And seeing how we’ve already shared three ways to wear the other two, we’re now doing the same for the latter.
So, where did the bodysuit come from?
Originally known as a maillot, the bodysuit was first popularised during the late 1800s by a French trapeze artist called Jules Leotard. Notice his surname? The ultimate one-piece was born. Following his death, the style was adopted by Parisian ballerinas and stage girls, before making its way across the pond during the 1930’s, where it became à la mode among American pool-party enthusiasts as the ultimate fashion-forward bathing suit.
Cut to the second half of the century, and style icons such as Bettie Page, Brigitte Bardot and Edie Sedgwick had reclaimed the bodysuit, having recognised how its ultra-flattering shape and streamline finish could totally work with shorts, leggings or a skirt, as a directional, after-hours alternative to a dress. It wasn’t long before fashion designers started taking note, and by the mid-eighties, Donna Karan included the bodysuit as one her ‘Seven Easy Pieces’; a campaign celebrating the wardrobe essentials every woman should own.
Thirty years on, and Donna’s advice still holds true. Thanks to the likes of Gigi, Kendall and Beyoncé, the bodysuit's back on ours backs, and this time it’s here to slay! So, to help you get the most out of this multi-tasking base layer, we’re sharing three completely different but equally effective ways to wear it!
Look 1 – Bodysuit, Culottes and a Kimono
While the kimono has been a fashion godsend over the holiday season, rolling up to practically nothing in the tote for an on-the-go throw-over for when the sun sets and the temperature drops, the Japanese inspired design stays just as strong for autumn. As for another oriental style steal, culottes are showing no signs of going anywhere anytime soon, either. So it's just as well that the two pieces work so incredibly well together.
Both channelling the shift towards a more relaxed silhouette, as favoured by the trend tribe this year, it's important to counterbalance the shapes in order to prevent a overall frumpy finish. Solution? No prizes for guessing a bodysuit... As for footwear, simply look to pair of slip-on sneakers for the perfect casj-chic finish.
Look 2 – Bodysuit, Skinny Jeans and a Bomber Jacket
For a nineties take on the trend, and one that def works day-to-day, wear your bodysuit under a pair of skinny jeans and throw a bomber jacket on top. Stick with desaturated tones (we’ve gone for washed-out black, pale nude and faded khaki) for a grunge-finish and dial up the contrast; start with an ultra-femme base layer – our double layer bodysuit, for instance – and then harden the look with boots, a snapback and perhaps a paperclip earing…or three.
Look 3 – Bodysuit, Joggers and Hoodie
Having taken up the mantle from sportsluxe, Athleisure is one of this season’s hottest trends when it comes to fitness fashion. It started out as a stylish approach to getting to and from yoga, but fashionistas have fallen head over heels (more commonly known as the downward dog) with its off-duty vibe.
To nail the look, style back your bodysuit with a pair of slouchy-fit joggers, and pop-on your go-to sneaks. Tie a hoodie round your waist for added Instagram points, and a gym tote over shoulder for that all-important touch of authenticity (even if there’s only a selfie stick and phone charger inside!).
How are you wearing your bodysuit this summer? Share your #NCstyle over on Instagram @NobodysChild, and if you need a few suggestions on WHERE to wear your bodysuit, check out our ‘what’s going on in London’ event guide!