My first encounter with a 70s jumpsuit was when I watched the movie, Selena, a true story about Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the “Queen of Tejano music.” Selena (starred by Jennifer Lopez) enters the stage wearing her iconic purple jumpsuit with bell bottoms that twirled as she danced and sang songs by Donna Summers and Gloria Gaynor. This unforgettable outfit had enough pizzazz to stimulate my five-year-old fashion senses and create an obsession with this era of clothing.
Wearing a 70s jumpsuit is easy, one of the rare pieces that you can throw on without having to compromise comfort over style. Being that the jumpsuit is a nonchalance version of glamor, I would go as far as argue that it is a better alternative to a dress. The current rise in customer demand has online retailers like Topshop creating categories named “Jumpsuits & Playsuits” to shop from.
However, the jumpsuit did not always have the reputation that it does today, original models were actually worn by parachutists, skiers, and aviators. In the mid-1970s when fashion was going through an anti-conformist period, the jumpsuit became a liberating garment. It moved from sports to flamboyantly dancing through disco clubs and making onstage appearances with rock stars. Everyone from David Bowie’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust to Studio 54 goers was wearing them.
Fashion’s cyclical nature has us borrowing from the 70s right now and given designers’ fall collections this trend isn’t going anywhere. It is time to invest in some flared jeans, suede skirts, shearling jackets, patent leather boots, platforms, fringe purses, and rounded sunglasses. The attitude of the season is that with a bit of rock music everything is fine and when you get the chance… You are the Dancing Queen!