Jumpsuit Styling Tips You Need to Know

If you want to look current and casual, then why not try a jumpsuit?

Now, before you put the brakes on and tell me, ” I wore a jumpsuit in the 80’s, but would look hideous in one today,” please keep an open mind.

Here are a few tips for styling a jumpsuit that will give you the confidence to wear one.


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1. Highlight Your Waist

It’s all about having shape, right? You worry you are going to look like a giant blob in a jumpsuit. The trick is to get a jumpsuit that defines your waist. You want to make sure you jumpsuit nips in at your waist with tailoring, a belt, sash, some elastic..something, so you don’t look like a big tree trunk.

Sue Donnelly - how to wear a jumpsuit casually

Image consultant Sue Donnelly looking Fab in a Jumpsuit!

2. Proportion is Key

Proportion is especially important when it comes to looking fabulous in a jumpsuit. If you have medium to long legs, then you can wear a jumpsuit with wide, flowing pant legs. If you petite or have short legs, you’ll be swallowed up by a ton of material, so go for a slimmer leg and watch that the length of the jumpsuit doesn’t overwhelm your small frame.

Big busted or very wide shoulders? Then You’ll  want to go wider on the bottom to balance out your bottom half. Skinny leg jumpsuits will make you look like an ice cream cone about to topple over.

Small chest/narrow shoulders, and wide hips? Then for your pear shape you need to choose a jumpsuit that is more blousy up top, or has more shoulder detail. This will make you look wider up top and balance out your lower half, so you don’t look like you are all hips.

3. Wear a Jacket

Some of us avoid jumpsuits because there are many styles that are a little bare up top- i.e., halter or strapless. The solution is to wear a jacket with your jumpsuit. It will keep you warm, hide your arms and looks very sporty, and chic. For example, a black strapless jumpsuit with a bright coral jacket would look striking. Make sure to hike up ” the girls” with a good bra, and great shapewear works wonders too.

4. Think about  Color 

All one color is more slimming than one color on top and a different color on the bottom. Keep a print in proportion to your frame. Larger gals can wear larger prints, but don’t go huge or you will look like a circus clown.

5. Choose the Right Shoes

With a casual jumpsuit, you can wear flats such as a gladiator or sandal but a pump or strappy high heel gives you that long lean look we all crave. The right shoe can make all the difference to looking fabulous in a jumpsuit. Don’t wear anything clunky or masculine. Keep your heels feminine, pretty and fun.

Here are some great jumpsuits in stores now!

If you prefer a dressier jumpsuit or a solid colored one, then have a look at my other post on Evening Jumpsuits.

More From Fabulous After 40

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  1. A great article. Since this year I’ve worn a jumpsuit again. A long time ago I have had one, but now I’m 55 and I like the new generation of jumpsuits so much. Nice Pictures! I love your blog and my customers do too.
    Greetings from Munich/Bavaria – Martina

  2. Great article. I am 46yrs old and I just love the jumpsuit trend!

  3. Jump suit, pant suit. Nearly the same, but one is looser, more casual and grown up than a onesie. I had one in ’93, floral, spaghetti straps, wide legs I wore with sandals. It was a pain to pee! I would wear a more sophisticated style today with platforms, maybe. This is a style that could suit any woman even une grande dame d’un age.

  4. Sharon Marquiss says:

    I am the opposite of most people here in that I would not wear one and don’t think they are flattering. They remind me of when my dad did a short stint in a factory and had to wear what he called a “boiler suit”! Very similar to a jumpsuit . He would also wear it to do jobs around the house like painting, electrical work etc., so I don’t have good associations, lol! Also mentioned by others is the bathroom factor, and also the fact that many of us are no longer as slim as we were, and may be pear-shaped! Having said all this, I do admit that I think Lindsay looks really great in hers! (I definitely don’t like the jazzy striped one, it really does look “eighties” to me!)

  5. I love how you styled the black & white jumpsuits – I bought one on sale @ Target & your tip about wearing a belt will make all the difference. I really enjoy your tips – I’m way over 40 btw.

  6. Heather Van Ryn says:

    I love jumpsuits. They are a flattering alternative to a dress. I wear solid jumpsuits with wider legs and a wedge since I am about 5’5″ and they proportion me out nicely. Also, with our very hot temps in Phoenix, jumpsuits are much cooler than pants, but still offer the same ease as pants. Two of mine are strapless and sometimes I wear a little bolero style loose weave sweater with them. I also have a black halter style which I tend to wear more in the evening. Today’s jumpsuits do not look anything like the stiff cotton things from the ’80’s with snaps up the front. Think coveralls The ones I wear are almost like resort wear. I think they are very chic and minimalist so I will keep wearing them

  7. Kathy f says:

    Okay, so I get maybe 3 months of wear out of these. Not worth it to me. Personally hope the trend disappears. Btw, in the photo included in the story, I would never wear a belt that hangs down into my crotch like that. The eyes follow……

  8. Pass. These would look horrible on an extreme pear shaped person like me. However they are nice and would not be surprised if ladies under 40, 30 and even 20s start to sport them i.e. for graduation, office parties, large seminar gatherings and business meetings etc.

  9. First time I’ve visited this site, and I’m really impressed with the info -keep up the good work!
    I love jumpsuits, but most of them are sleeveless though, which is not a good option for me, as my arms are definately not my best feature.
    To get round this, I made one last year and included sleeves and really love wearing it. The toilet issue is admittedly not great, plus I need to wear some industrial strength spanx, which again, adds to the battle in the bathroom!
    That said, I still enjoy wearing it and always receive compliments when wearing it usually by people who say they ‘would love to have the confidence to wear one’. I just say ‘get into the spanx and work the look, girlfriend!
    Have included a link to my photo, hopefully it works. I’m 45 btw


  10. Michelle Robinson Bey says:

    Hi Anne,

    You must of read my mind. I was recently in a store and saw a beautiful jumpsuit. My thought was no not on me.. being 56 and going through menopause my body has changed drastically . I think I’ll go back and try it on. Thank You

  11. Been there…done that! I hope I don’t ever have to wear one again! lol They are not flattering to me at all! Plus, Anne made a good point in her comment! teehee!

  12. Charlotte says:

    I also see the red jumpsuit as the only viable option for me–and for similar reasons, size 10=12 on bottom, 36 DDD on top (don’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor!) Anyway, where did you find these pretty jumpsuits?

  13. I absolutely would wear one!!!! I loved jumpsuits back in the day…both in the 70s and in the 80s. In fact, I recently was leafing through a catalog and my beau pointed out a great red jumpsuit and said you would look awesome in that! We have an annual black tie event I would wear one to and plus I can wear it on vacation next year in Spain, thanks for giving me a GREAT idea!! it’s like a great dress change the accessories and viola a brand new look!!!!!

  14. This article hit a home run for me! Jumpsuits make the most comfortable travel outfits. You can dress them up or down, heals or flats. I’m shopping for one today! Thanks!

  15. I think jumpsuits can be very elongating and flattering. Thanks for the tips!

  16. Awesome tips! I always cringe when women of any age say they are to “young” for styles that not too young at all! Confidence is always the best accessory. Anne makes a good point functionality first :)

  17. Wanda in Edmonton says:

    I like them all, but the red one is the only I could really ‘pull off’. I have a large bust and small bottom. (Read “H” cup; size 10 or 12 top and Size 2 bottom.) They don’t make strapless bras with enough power to hold me up, so I avoid strapless styles and those with spaghetti/skinny straps.

  18. All 4 of these jumpsuits are really pretty. Yes, I would wear one!

  19. I’ve never loved the jumpsuit, but you have shown some cute examples. And I kind of like the retro, ’70s sort of vibe. But there’s another issue that doesn’t exactly get better over 40. Shall we call it the “peeing problem?” Bathroom trips are inconvenient enough as it is! Forgive my bluntness, but this is the first thing that comes to mind……

    • Hi Anne,
      LOL… really good point. If you do decide to go with this fun trend, make sure you don’t wait until the last minute to visit the toilet. You are right, getting in and out of it can be tricky. Good to think about before investing in a jumpsuit!