In 1919 jumpsuits were intended for professionals in aviation, sportsmen, racing drivers etc, until the first ‘all-in-ones’ were introduced to women by Coco Chanel in the 1920’s. The trend started as ‘lounging pyjamas’ and then transitioned into wide-leg trousers for ladies to wear while yachting, which then naturally became resort wear and ‘beach pyjamas’. Women wore these ‘jumpsuits’ over swimwear for strolling the promenade!
At first, only the most affluent women wore them on on holiday on the beaches of the Riviera, but by the 1930’s the style had become more widespread. Women in America adopted the trend after seeing their favourite screen stars wearing them on film, like actress Ann Southern (left).
During the 1940s women started wearing more practical jumpsuits or ‘overalls’ or ‘coveralls’ as they were then called, as they were drafted into do men’s work during WW11. At first they wore the men’s factory clothing, but it soon became clear that this was impractical, so the ‘overalls’ were adapted for women and designed to fit women’s bodies. Also known as ‘rosies’ they were made in denim or cotton twill. The ‘coveralls’ were also designed to offer more protection, with long or short sleeves, fitted at the waist with large pockets for tools etc. Many women at home also had them to jump into when a siren went off at night, when they were in their pyjamas, as they were comfortable and quick and easy to get into.