Show Me a Good Jumpsuit and I’ll Show You a Good Cocktail

There are several options for what just happened here and what is possibly about to happen. Such were the 1970s.

A couple of years ago I saw a wine called “Mommy’s Little Helper” in a grocery store in the middle of the country (apparently there are subtle cracks in the facade of family values in America’s heartland). I instantly imagined a 1970s housewife, high on Quaaludes, vacuuming, martini in hand. Somehow white wine translated to martini in my brain.

As I’ve been bopping around town, shopping for my summer ensembles, I keep coming across the indomitable form of the jumpsuit. You might also know its shorts version as the “onesie,” or romper. I wrote a post last summer all about onesies, but it was mainly about how they’re generally comfortable (until you have to pee). My current fascination with the jumpsuit (a 1970s standard) is a more honed version of last summer’s initial amusement with comfort (until you have to pee). Yes, they’re comfortable, but MORE than that, they would look awesome when you greet someone at your door during the cocktail hour, martini in hand!

As everyone knows, the jumpsuit saw its heyday in the 1970s, when men and women were wearing the same clothes and hairstyles.

I bet these straight people were so good at the sex. They have matching "ready for anything" jumpsuits!

These women were no doubt on a variety of barbiturates. Jumpsuits!

Ok, so here we go. At the door with a martini. For certain.

Wow! Everyone in the 70s was having the best time! Maybe the 70s are the perfect time to which all of the neo-cons would like to return. Everyone! Stop moving forward! We need to go back to the 1970s, when children could play outside well into the evening because things were just great!

Shit. Revolts against an oppressive patriarchy.


Maybe the 60s were better…

Oh fuck! Race Riots across various Northern states! Nothing says patriotism like stabbing a fellow citizen with the flag.

Hm. I’ll have to figure out the awesome time to which we need to return some other time. Meanwhile, back to Jumpsuits and cocktails!

Jumpsuit #1, to be paired with a martini:

But imagine messier hair, cause you've just been vacuuming.

The Classic Martini:

75ml (or approx 2+ 1/2 oz) Gin
15ml (or approx 1/4 oz) Dry Vermouth
1 green olive OR a twist of lemon peel
6 ice cubes

Into a mixing glass, toss a handful of ice cubes (about half a dozen), then pour in the Gin and the Vermouth. Stir well. Some may prefer shaken! Strain and pour into a martini glass. To finish, either drop a green olive into the bottom of the martini glass OR arrange a twist of lemon peel on the edge of the martini glass.

This just in! Martinis are for men! You know, because humans like to assign a gender to everything, even inanimate objects and arbitrary activities. The Art of Manliness has a great in-depth approach to the perfect martini.

Jumpsuit #2, to be paired with something vodka-based:

This is an Origami jumpsuit. ORIGAMI!

La Chic Martinique:

1 ounce vodka
1 ounce Rhum Clement VSOP Rum
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup or 1/2 packet Equal
soda water to taste
twist of lime peel
chilled martini glass

Shake the first four ingredients vigorously over ice. Add a splash of soda and shake gently until it foams. Pour into martini glass. Float the twist of lime peel on the surface.

Rhum agricole is made from cane sugar rather than molasses, and hails from the French West Indies. The more you know….

Jumpsuit #3, to be paired with a fruit-based cocktail:

Why do tall girls always make their knees limp for photos? Being tall must be exhausting.

Pimm’s Cup:

2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Ginger ale
Ice cubes
Tools: barspoon
Glass: highball
Garnish: cucumber

Pour Pimm’s and lemon juice into an ice-filled glass, top with ginger ale, stir and garnish.

Jumpsuit (romper) #4, to be paired with an aquavit-based cocktail:

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Look at her BANGS!

Aquavit Bloody Mary:

1 cup Aquavit
4 cups tomato juice
2 tablespoons horseradish
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 small celery ribs and lemon slices for garnish

What the hell is Aquavit, you ask? It’s a Scandinavian spirit similar to vodka, but after it’s distilled, it’s flavored with herbs and spices–like caraway, cardamom, cumin, anise, and fennel. Sometimes they throw in some orange peel and lemon. Those models’ bangs look Scandinavian, somehow. That’s the connection.

Jumpsuit #5, to be paired with cachaça:

This is from Etro's 2009 line, but you can still find all of these elements everywhere you go because the jumpsuit came back and intends on staying.


1 lime
2 ounces of cachaça
sugar to taste
ice cubes

Wash the lime and roll it on the board to loosen the juices. Cut the lime into pieces and place them in a glass. Sprinkle with the sugar and crush the pieces (pulp side up) with a pestle.  Just enough to release the juice, otherwise it’ll get bitter. Add the cachaça and stir to mix. Add the ice and stir again. Become the most powerful.

I’m not entirely certain that the jumpsuit is a great idea for much other than the cocktail hour. There’s something so appealing about languidly greeting someone at your door with a cool, freshly prepared glass of happy on a warm summer evening. But having worn a romper around the Russian River Valley all day one weekend last year, I can say that the peeing thing is really a major drawback.

I’d also like to note, that the images of the above cocktails themselves are just as beautiful as the clothes that they compliment. For those who might be interested, here’s some ephemera for this post:


aquavit bloody mary

pimm's cup

la chic martinique

classic martini


About Michael von Braithwaite

Does it look like I'd wear it on a boat, at an eccentric person's estate or accompanied by a peacock on a chain? Yeah, I'll probably buy that.


  1. carrieleilamlove

    I’ll take Jumpsuit and Cocktail number 5, please! Love this post! My favorite thing about us here at IBC is that we can just as easily break down why the neo-cons are illogical as why a jumpsuit is superior attire. And you’ve done it so well! And pairing outfits with cocktails… best idea since combat boots with chiffon! xo.

  2. Joyce

    Can you tell me where I can find the first jumpsuit featured in this article or the name of the designer? It’s the black jumpsuit with the bow in the back.

  3. Joyce


    I would love to have the Black Evening Jumpsuit showed in the article “Show Me A Good Jumpsuit and I’ll Show You a Good Cocktail”. It was posted by you on May 16, 2011. Please advise who designed this Jumpsuit. Thank you

    • Michael von Braithwaite

      Hi Joyce! I don’t actually remember who designed that jumpsuit specifically, but if you look up “black halo jumpsuit” you’ll find that design all over the place. Sorry I couldn’t give you the name of the designer! I was looking for jumpsuit “types” rather than designer names.

IBC LOVES your brain, and we encourage thoughtful, lively discussion. We will, however, moderate comments that are abusive or disrespectful. Stay classy!

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