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How to Wear a Bodysuit


how to wear a bodysuit
how to wear a bodysuit
Click to Buy: Racerback bodysuit in coffee, $11.25 
(I’m 5’3″, 116 pounds and wearing a medium)

For the longest time I thought bodysuits were reserved for warm weather, but recently, I learned how to wear a bodysuit when it’s cold out (a handy trick). You see, when I moved to San Francisco last year, one thing I needed to get used to (and still do) is the cold weather. Now, I know a lot of other people have to deal with much worse, but I was born and raised in San Jose where the average temperature is 71 degrees; the only other place I’ve lived, up until now, is LA (if you don’t count that short stint in Walnut Creek); and I’m Cambodian (which, granted, doesn’t have much to do with my weather intolerance, but does give you an idea of the kinds of temperatures that would elicit grumbling from my warm-weather-accustomed parents).

Aside from native San Franciscans, who think it’s normal to bundle up in down-filled ski jackets in June and are quick to call a 60 degree day “pleasant,” most Californians, myself included, are an insufferable lot when it comes to acceptable weather.

It might not have been such a big deal, except that I didn’t know what to wear. My first priority, above all else, was to stay warm. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months, and the entire time, I didn’t wear things that inspired me or made me feel good. I dressed for function: to keep my teeth from chattering and my lips from turning blue.

All of a sudden, I knew why everyone in San Francisco wore a Patagonia jacket. Who could bother with fashion when keeping your body temperature stable was more important?

I started wearing my black Patagonia jacket so much, James called it my tat (short for tattoo), a new adornment that had become a part of me. There’s nothing wrong with having a uniform (it worked out well for Steve Jobs and President Obama), but it is problematic when you start not liking how you look.

Around this time, I started looking for new ways to dress that kept me warm but didn’t make me feel so frumpy. One thing that helped was keeping proportions in mind, like mixing wide-leg bottoms with a slim-fit top. Bodysuits seemed like a good idea, but the ones I tried weren’t very comfortable.

On a whim, I got this one from Amazon because it was really affordable and comes in a variety of neutral colors (I have “coffee” and also want “dark rust”). And it’s now one of my favorite things to wear.

Shop My Favorite Bodysuit ($11.25)

How to Wear a Bodysuit When It’s Cold Out

  1. Balance with bigger bottoms—Bodysuits look best with something a bit more voluminous on the bottom. I like to wear mine with white wide-leg pants or slouchy jeans.
  2. Add a chunky sweater—Throw on a big knit cardigan on top and wear it open. This way, you can stay warm while still looking sleek.
  3. Swipe on a bright lip—If you still need a little something to punch up your look, complete your outfit with your favorite bright lipstick. This is mine.

Do you have any tips for dressing for the cold or favorite cold weather outfits? Please share!

Last modified: June 10, 2019