My Favorite Overalls for DIY Home Improvement Projects

I shared a photo of me wearing my favorite overalls on Instagram Stories and got a flood of questions about them. So, here I am to tell you about what I like to wear when doing messy projects.

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There are many a different type of outfits for doing construction and home improvement projects. You’ve got your neck to ankle white painter’s jumpsuit, the classic baggy blue jean and plaid shirt, the denim or camel-colored overalls, khaki cargo shorts with pockets galore, workout clothes, and a personal favorite - pajamas.

I’ve done projects in old jeans, yoga pants, and pajamas, yet none of them were perfect for me. I like to be comfortable while lugging things around the house, crawling in the crawlspace, and bending underneath the cabinets. Yet I didn’t want to ruin my best yoga pants and my pajamas aren’t the best look for photographing myself on the internet or loading up lumber at the hardware store.

Here’s what I wanted in an outfit for getting stuff done around the house:

  1. Coverage - I don’t need full-on welding gear, but I want my legs covered and maybe even part of my arms. I also want my lower back covered and not have to hike up my pants each time after bending over.

  2. Flexibility - The last thing I want is to have my hands full holding a drill and a 20 pound something, and then need to adjust my pants so I can bend my leg. Something with some stretch and/or bagginess to move around is key.

  3. Airy - I somehow end up doing most of my projects in the summertime when it’s hot as hell. I need a fabric that breathes and isn’t constricting. I’m also didn’t want an excess of pockets and loops and buckles weighing me down.

  4. Versatile - Sometimes I’m sweltering in the sun and want to get a touch of a tan on my pasty white arms and sometimes I’m up late finishing a project when it cools off and want a jacket Having something that had a bit of versatility in coverage is nice.

  5. Decent looking - I take photos of myself doing projects and post them on the internet so I should look somewhat reasonable. Plus I’m often heading out to the hardware store so pajamas covered in paint isn’t really the lewk I want to present to the world.

So, I decided I needed overalls. I basically want to look like Steve Guttenberg in Three Men and a Baby. Maybe Ted and Tom will come paint with me. DREAMS.

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I went to a few second hand stores but didn’t find anything that fit (they all had 3x too much fabric). I went to a few of the retailers listed above but ultimately felt silly buying nice (read: pricey) overalls only to muck them up with paint.

I also learned that denim wasn’t the fabric of choice. The denim overalls were either too snug with stretch, or too loose without any stretch. I felt like I couldn’t do any of my best yoga moves in them, and therefore that’s a no-go for me. If I can’t even muster a reverse warrior without feeling like a seam will rip, then how can I accomplish any renovating in them?

ANYWAY. I’ll get to the overalls I ultimately bought. I know, you’ve been waiting. Sorry - I just wanted to tell the whole story okay?! Jeez.

I bought these and I love them.

They are a cotton-poly blend and they’re super lightweight and breezy. They did shrink the first time I washed them, so if you’re in between sizes, I’d go up a size if you want that super baggy look. The name of the overalls says “plus-size” but the sizing is accurate, I think it just has the name because it goes up to 4XL. They have two pockets in the front and two dumb fake pockets in the back.

I mix and match the shirt I wear underneath depending on what i’m up to. Long sleeve, short sleeve, hoodie, or sports bra.

I wear ‘em when painting with my mom (or by myself).

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I wear ‘em when weaseling myself under the deck or in the crawl space.

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I wear ‘em when stripping windows and sitting in my sink.

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All around, they’re great. They’re lightweight, not too bulky, flexible, and actually kinda cute (cute like hardware store chic not cute like Friday night clubbin’). When I wear them with my red shirt or green shirt (as pictured) I feel like Mario and Luigi. I think it’s very fashion forward.

To see the overalls in action, check out my week 4-5 process during the makeover of my master bedroom (below). Then, watch the other 4 videos in that room transformation series if you liked that vid.

If you missed it, here’s the link to my favorite overalls again.