When you hear the word jumpsuit, you may think of what you wore when you were 5 years old and played in sandboxes, or you may be reminded of that little khaki number the plumber wears when he unclogs your kitchen sink. But it's time to rethink. Jumpsuits are now in, in a big way for women, as a choice for comfortable, elegant dressing.
"The jumpsuit is very big for holiday, day or evening wear," attests Maureen Norton, general manager of Jona in Studio City. "They're very flowing, and yet tailored, with a good shoulder pad, long sleeves and a trench look on top. The pant is wider and softer."
But with all the choices for fall, why would a woman want to jump into a jumpsuit? "We find people are doing much more at-home entertaining," says Norton, who shows jumpsuits in silk crepes and some rayons from $248 up to $700. "Woman want to be relaxed and comfortable, yet still look elegant. They want something not up-tight. They don't want to be tugging on the belt, fixing the collar--the jumpsuit is so simple, they don't have to."
Sharon Silver, fashion coordinator at Raffles in Encino, says sales on the jumpsuits she carries, from $100 to $500, in dressy satins and wool crepes for evening, nubby cotton for day, are jumping. "Jumpsuits used to be thought of as just playwear, but that's not true anymore. We have one in solid black and one that's strapless that are both very dramatic."
Silver suggests dressing up an evening jumpsuit with a very high heel. Day-wear jumpsuits can be worn with boots or something as simple as socks and tennis shoes. And as Norton at Jona says: "Accessories are the key. To change the look, you just change the accessories."
Still, some customers get overwhelmed by a jumpsuit on the rack. "They'll say, 'Oh! I can't wear that! It's going to be too full!' Or they'll say, 'I can't carry it off. . . . I'm too short,' " says Silver, with a laugh. "But then they try it on, and they realize it's very slimming, it gives a very long, total look."