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Comparing Overalls and Coveralls: Style, Function, and More

Comparing Overalls and Coveralls: Style, Function, and More

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From the versatility of 90s fashion to the practicality of work attire, overalls and coveralls have found their place in our wardrobes. Whether you want to make a fashion statement or need a durable garment for hard work, Garment Printing offers custom designs for these iconic pieces.

Let us help you express your unique style or brand – start your custom design journey with Garment Printing today.

Diving into the world of overalls and coveralls, one might question these garments’ use and differences. These questions aren’t just for fashion enthusiasts but also those looking for functional attire. So, let’s take an in-depth look at these two iconic clothing pieces.


Overalls (bib-and-brace overalls) are a one-piece garment composed of trousers, a bib, and shoulder harnesses extending over the shoulders. They are typically made of a lighter, more breathable material and are designed to be worn over regular apparel.

Overall encompass the wearer’s legs and most of their torso, excluding the shoulders covered by the straps. Trousers are intended to be worn over other garments, typically a pair of workear trousers and a t-shirt at minimum.

Historically, various skilled labourers have worn overall, which has become synonymous with blue-collar employment. They come in multiple sizes and styles and are cost-effective to keep workers safe and clean where they require protection from dirt, grime and other potential hazards.


Overalls are made of a lighter, more breathable material than coveralls, making them more comfortable for employees to wear for extended periods. This can reduce fatigue and increase workplace productivity.

Additional benefits overall include:

  • They come in various sizes and designs, allowing workers to select the option that best meets their requirements.
  • They are comparatively inexpensive, making them a cost-effective method of worker protection.
  • Overalls offer many of the same benefits as coveralls but are constructed from a lighter, more breathable material, making them more pleasant to wear for extended periods. This can be an essential consideration for workers who wear protective clothing regularly.

Age and Overalls: A Style Perspective

Fashion is all about personal expression, and there are no age restrictions. Overalls can be a chic and comfortable part of anyone’s wardrobe, regardless of age. Remember, confidence is the crucial ingredient in any style.

Overall and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In PPE, overalls protect against hazards at work, especially in industries like construction, painting, and manufacturing. Made from materials resistant to cuts, chemicals, heat, and cold, they offer a shield for the body against workplace accidents.

Suggested Read: Workwear for Tradies: A Guide to Industrial Safety

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Overall and Coverall


As implied by their name, coveralls literally “cover all” of the body except for the head, hands, and feet. Coveralls, unlike overall, wrap around and cover the shoulders of the wearer, forming a one-piece jumpsuit designed to be worn over regular apparel.

They are available with both long and short sleeves. In the United Kingdom, boiler suits are commonly referred to as boiler suits because they were initially worn by labourers operating coil boilers to keep their clothes clean and free of soot.

During World War II, coveralls were widely utilised by aviators. The one-piece Nomex flight suit was the solution to the need for warm, durable, and functional apparel for pilots in aircraft cockpits. Coveralls are still worn in the military and public sectors but have gained popularity among fabricators, factory employees, mechanics, and medical professionals.


Utilising garments in industries that require protection from hazardous materials or substances has several benefits. Some of the principal benefits include:

  • Coveralls provide an additional layer of body and garment protection. They are designed to be worn over regular apparel and are constructed from durable, water-repellent materials that protect against various hazards.
  • They can aid in preventing the dissemination of hazardous substances or materials. They provide an effective barrier between the worker and the hazard, reducing the risk of contamination because they are designed to be worn over regular apparel.
  • They are simple to don and remove, making them advantageous for use on the job. They are also designed to be comfortable, allowing employees to wear them for extended periods without feeling constricted or uneasy.
  • They come in various sizes and designs, allowing workers to select the option that best meets their requirements. In addition, they are comparatively inexpensive, making them a cost-effective means of protecting workers from hazards.

Industrial Usage

Coveralls are commonly worn in numerous industries, including construction, manufacturing, sanitation, and healthcare. Individuals working with hazardous materials in laboratories and other controlled environments also use them.

In these environments, coveralls protect against various hazards, such as soil, grime, chemicals, and other potentially hazardous substances. Coveralls are essential for employees in these industries, as they keep them safe and clean.

Coveralls and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Like overalls, coveralls serve a protective purpose and are often part of PPE in various industries. The primary difference between coveralls and overalls lies in the design: overalls are bib-style pants held up by suspenders. In contrast, coveralls are one-piece garments covering the entire body, including arms and legs.

Related Read: Personal Protective Equipment: How to Choose the Quality PPE

The key measurements when sizing coveralls include chest size, waist size, and inseam length. Remember, a well-fitting coverall provides the best protection and comfort.

Coveralls vs. Bibs

Coveralls and bibs are similar in purpose but differ in design. Coveralls are a one-piece garment covering the entire body, while bibs, akin to overalls without the integrated top, only extend from the waist down and are held up by suspenders.


In conclusion, overalls and coveralls are practical and fashionable, with each garment having unique characteristics and uses. Whether you choose between them for work or fashion, the decision should ultimately depend on your needs and personal style. Both garments have a place in professional and casual wardrobes. Overalls and coveralls protect work environments, particularly where manual labour is involved.

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  • Lisa John

    Meet Lisa John, a dynamic Content Manager and Marketing Professional at Garment Printing Group. With three years of industry experience, Lisa excels in crafting compelling narratives that not only illuminate the vibrant world of garment printing but also drive engagement and growth.

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