The history of the humble dungaree
Reliable, hard-wearing and perfectly stylish, we all love a good pair of dungarees.
But do you know their history?
‘Dungaree’ came from 17th century India, where a local coarse cloth, Dungri, was used to make robust work clothing. It’s thought to have been named after Dongari Kapar, a harborside village near Mumbai.Image source: Getty / Frédéric Soltan
The name soon changed to Dungarees when it was exported to the UK and was used for manufacturing cheap, robust work clothes.
It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that the bib with shoulder straps and trousers were joined to create overalls. They soon became a popular choice amongst the working class, from miners to farmers, as the fabric was strong and tough enough to provide a protective layer whilst carrying out manual labor.Image source: The US National Archives
During the First World War, many women volunteered to fulfil the roles that were normally carried out by men, to help keep the economy running.
The women soon adopted the same overall uniform, and during the Second World War, in 1943, the iconic “We Can Do It” poster was created to boost and inspire female working morale.Image source: J. Howard Miller's "We Can Do It!"
After that, the transition from workwear to high street fashion soon evolved, and Hollywood stars, celebrities and even the Royals were photographed regularly in the iconic style.
Dungarees throughout the years
Doris - Getty images, Ronnie & Diana - REX FEATURES, N*SYNC - Buzzfeed
To date, and especially over the last 12 months, dungarees have become a bit of a lockdown uniform and wardrobe essential within our amazing community.
Whether it’s the Lewes, Clayton or Denim shortie (for the little ones – adult ones coming for sure in summer!), we’ve loved seeing how you’ve been styling your favorite pair of dungarees…Image source: Instagram