How to Style a Boiler Suit

3 Days, 3 Ways with
Emily McKay

Name: Emily McKay
Location: Kelowna BC Canada
Occupation: Business Owner, Stylist, Community Organizer for Remake

Style Advice

I think the best style advice I can give is to wear the clothes in your wardrobe often enough that you develop intimate relationships with them. Getting dressed becomes a ritual of sorts when we have specific memories, connections and energies consciously embedded in our clothes. In my eyes this works best with vintage and pre-loved clothing because it already has a past life and a story for us to build on. You can wear your values knowing your clothes aren’t contributing to the problems of over-production and wear pieces of history every day. It feels amazing.

In terms of specific styling advice I’ll say – layer unexpectedly, combine aesthetics, don’t be afraid to be loud but also don’t be afraid to be boring.

Style IconS

Collin & Brandon of James Veloria posing in their store, the drag queen Sasha Velour and a Celine ad from the Phoebe Philo era
Eclectic inspo from top left: Sasha Velour, Collin & Brandon from James Veloria, Celine circa the Phoebe Philo era

I find style inspiration in a few specific places: Drag (Sasha Velour & Raja are my go-to’s), brand archives (old Celine, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford era Gucci, etc), and most commonly, vintage sellers (Michael from Toots Vintage, Collin & Brandon from James Veloria, and my local vintage selling collaborators here in Kelowna: Barbara’s Closet, Athaza Vintage & twoblueprints vintage).

Emily McKay in her boiler suit in London

Why I picked this to style

I chose this LF Markey salmon pink boiler suit because it’s not a piece I have experimented with much and I thought it deserved to be re-imagined. I also chose it because it represents a specific time in my life when I had first moved to London, had no friends, and eventually found solace in the community of fashion. It just so happened that everyone in this community was obsessed with boiler suits in the fall of 2019. I can’t be sure that those folks across the pond are still wearing theirs, but I’m certainly still wearing mine, and with it all those life changing memories.

Look One

This look allows the boiler suit to shine in all it’s glory and allows it to be properly spring appropriate. I’ve paired it with a simple caramel leather sandal (pre-loved Sorrel from my shop Most Wanted Luxury Resale) and matching shoulder bag that’s been with me since high school and still brings me Quiet Luxury-esc joy.

Look Two

I had to find a way to style this piece in my go-to aesthetic of the moment; gothic romance. This incredible tulle maxi skirt from Toots Vintage paired with this pre-loved Alexander McQueen box bag satisfies this need and feels feminine paired with these retro kitten heels. I love the contrast between the stark collaring of the boiler suit and the unexpected softness of the skirt.

Look Three

Look number three shows the suits ability to be both girly and street-wear-esc. I love wearing this piece with sneakers and the shoulders shrugged off, model-off-duty style. But why not add a hyper feminine touch to all the coolness? I love this thrifted lace tank adorned with a vintage floral brooch.

See more of Emily McKay:

Instagram: @emeroomckay
Blog –
Store @mostwanted_luxuryresale

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