A halter jumpsuit is a one-piece garment. The top and bottom are sewn together to form one piece of clothing. The top is halter style, which indicates a type of top that is without a back or shoulder straps. Instead, strips of tapering fabric extend from the bust area into ties that wrap around the neck and secure in back. The bottom part of a halter jumpsuit is generally either long pants or shorts.
Closure for a halter jumpsuit is usually a zipper in the back of the pants or shorts, topped off with a button, snap, or hook. Some halter jumpsuits are made entirely or lycra or spandex, and those offer enough stretch so they can be slipped on without the use of a zipper. The ties around the neck frequently close by tying, but some close with a button or slotted hook. Sometimes the length of the ties is adjustable, in much the same way that bra straps adjust.
Typically, the type of fabric used in a halter jumpsuit depends on whether it is intended for formal or casual wear. In many cases, this also influences the overall design, as a formal halter jumpsuit is typically more form fitting than one that is intended for casual wear. Casual jumpsuits do not always have fitted waists, and are often designed to fit the body somewhat loosely.
Usually, a formal halter jumpsuit is made of high-end fabrics, such as blended silk, satin, or velvet. With the exception of silk, these fabrics are sometimes blended with spandex to give the fabric a bit of stretch. This generally allows for an easier all over fit. The halter portion of the piece is sometimes embellished with sequins or embroidery to make it more suitable for formal wear.
Cotton is a popular fabric for a casual halter jumpsuit, including denim and cotton knits. Some casual jumpsuits are intended for beachwear, and these are often made using fabrics with large tropical prints. Most of the time, this type of halter jumpsuit is short, or styled with wide loose pants. Pants in this style are usually referred to as “goucho” trousers.
Halter style jumpsuits became popular with women during World War II. Calendars were made up to send overseas to the troops that featured beautiful women wearing revealing clothing. The models for the calendars came to be known as “pin-up” girls or “calendar” girls. Some of the pictures depicted women wearing short halter jumpsuits.