Dungarees Vs Overalls: Similarities & Differences

You may have just gone to a nearby store to pick some outfits, perhaps you wanted to pick some dungarees and overalls and you got confused because you do not really know the difference between these two and what they are used for.

Dungarees Vs Overalls

It is important you buy these outfits for the right purpose that is why I am writing this article for you to know the exact difference between dungarees and overalls.

When you are aware of the major difference and similarities between dungarees and overalls, it will be easier for you to make a decision on which one to get, and you will also buy it for the right purpose.

In order for you to not mistake dungarees with Overalls, one thing that you need to know is that in America it is usually called dungarees, and in the United Kingdom it is called Overalls.

You should be aware of this because sometimes location could cause confusion. If you go to a clothing store in America, you should call it dungarees, if you go to a clothing store in London, you should call it overalls.

Before diving deep into what the similarities and differences of the dungarees and overalls are, it would make a lot of sense for me to, first of all, explain what a dungaree is and what an overall is.

What is a dungaree?

Dungarees Vs Overalls

A dungaree is a piece of clothing that usually looks like an overall that has straps that go over the shoulder.

You can also say that it is a type of clothing that usually consists of trousers with a bib which is usually held around the shoulder by straps. It is usually made with cotton, denim, or corduroy material.

It can be worn for either casual occasions or for work. Now that you know what a dungaree is, let me explain what an overall is.

What is an overall?

Dungarees Vs Overalls

An overall is loose-fitting clothing that is usually worn over normal clothing that is usually used for protection.

They are mostly known to be used as a protective covering while you are working. It is not usually worn as a casual outfit.

Take a look at the major similarities and differences between the dungarees and overalls.

Similarities between Dungarees and Overalls

  • They are both be used as protective clothing
  • They are both good for visibility
  • They are usually coated with special material
  • They can both be used as uniforms
  • They both help to keep the body warm

They are both be used as protective clothing

This is of the major similarities between the dungarees and the overall.

Most times when you go to workshops or to some places where manual work is usually done.

It could be work that could cause you to get stained or dirty, you will see that they usually put on dungarees or overalls majorly for protection against dirt.

You cannot go to any mechanical workshop without noticing any of the workers putting on an overall or dungarees.

This is usually because when you are working in a mechanical workshop, there is every possibility that there might be oil spillage or something of that nature and you would not like such type of oil to get your clothes stained.

Instead of it getting your clothes stained, it will stain the overall or dungarees. The good thing about the dungarees and overalls is that when it is stained you can wash them to get them back to their normal state.

They are usually made with material that makes it easy for stains to be removed. This is one way that dungarees and overalls are similar.

They are both good for visibility

I am pretty sure that while you were once on transit, you must have come across some road construction workers, most times you see them putting on overalls or dungarees, what do you notice?

You notice that as the light of your vehicle shines on the overalls it starts to reflect.

That feature that comes with the overalls and dungarees helps you put it on to get visible so as to let the commuters know that you are actually there to avoid any form of accident.

They are designed in such a way that they can be used in the dark or in low light. While it is being used at night or in low light, you will notice that once it is illuminated, it starts to reflect the light, making it very visible.

This feature is applicable to the Overalls and dungarees.  

They are usually coated with special material

Overalls and dungarees are not just built with ordinary cotton that is used in making clothes.

Overalls and dungarees are built to protect your body while you are doing tougher work than regular clothing cannot protect you from, that is why they are usually coated with special material such as water repellent and fireproof coating.

This is very important because as someone working in an engineering workshop or probably in a construction company, you may likely get exposed to different types of liquid such as engine oil, fire, etc.

Because of the protective water-repellant coating that the overalls and dungarees come with, it will make you resistant to any form of liquid that gets in contact with you.

Your overall will not get damaged as well because of the protective water repellant coating it comes with. You are going to find it both in overalls and dungarees.

They can both be used as uniforms

When you go to companies, for example, construction or engineering companies that make use of overalls a lot, you will notice one thing that a lot of their employees make use of with overalls as their uniform.

This is not only applicable to overalls, dungarees can also be used as uniforms, this is where they are both similar.

The fact that the overall and dungarees can be used as uniforms is actually a good thing because it makes it too easy for you to identify workers working in a particular company.

Or, it could help you recognize the department the person wearing the dungarees or overalls belongs to.

They both help to keep the body warm

This is where the dungarees and the overalls shine. The dungarees and Overalls are usually big, however, they are built in such a way that they retain heat radiated from the body.

Therefore, keeping the person wearing it warm in the cold weather. This is something you will find both in the dungarees and overalls.

While you wear them in cold weather, you do not really have to wear something else to keep you warm, the dungarees or overalls will do everything well for you.

Differences between a Dungaree and Overall

Just the same way you have seen that the dungarees and overalls are similar, it will also be good to know that these two also have differences.

Take a look at the major difference between the dungarees and the overalls.

Features Dungarees Overalls
Sleeves Dungarees are known to have straps and not sleeves Overalls can either come with long or short sleeves
Collars Dungarees have no collar at all, they have an open next strap Overalls do come with collar fitting
Protection Dungarees are used for protection but not as high level as overalls Overall offers a high level of protection
Versatility Dungarees are good to be worn on top of your clothing and cannot replace your personal clothing Overalls can replace personal clothing
Build material Dungarees are made with strong materials but not as tough as overalls Overalls are usually made of tougher materials for a high level of protection

Differences in the sleeves

This is the very first glaring difference between the dungarees and overalls. When you take a look at a dungaree you will notice that they do not have sleeves.

They usually have straps that go over the shoulder. With this kind of design, it is not possible for the dungarees to have straps and also have sleeves.

However, this is a different case entirely for overalls. Overalls are usually designed in such a way that they have sleeves.

Overalls are built for a high level of protection, that is why when you go to places like mechanic workshops or even when you see firefighters, you will notice that what they are putting on is overall and not dungarees.

The overalls can either have a shirt sleeve or a long sleeve. Whichever one it has, it is there to offer maximum protection against mechanical or chemical damage.

Differences in collars

This is another obvious difference between the dungarees and overalls. Since overalls have sleeves, either a short sleeve or a long sleeve, it is proper for the overall to have a collar.

The collar makes it look like a proper outfit. This collar is absent in the dungarees, since dungarees are usually made to come with straps that go around the shoulder, there will be no need for the collar at all.

It will look so awkward when the dungarees come with straps and collar at the same time, the best thing would be to ditch the collar, and that is what differentiates it from the overalls.

Overall has a higher level of protection

Between the dungarees and the overall, one is usually used for a high level of protection, and that is overall.

In places like a mechanic workshop, chemical laboratories, firefighting, etc, you will notice that what they put on is overalls and not dungarees, why?

This is because in places like this you need a high level of protection from chemicals, mechanical damage, also fire.

Some of the overalls used by firefighters are usually coated with a fireproof coating that prevents the overall from being consumed by fire.

This is a high level of protection that the dungarees cannot offer. This is one of the differences between the dungarees and the overalls.


One thing I like about overalls is how versatile they can be, what I mean by versatile is that they can be worn over your regular clothing and they can also replace your personal clothing.

When you wear overalls to replace your personal clothing, it will be difficult to tell because the sleeves and the overalls have already covered your whole body, but this is not possible with the dungarees.

With the dungarees, you have a large part of your skin showing when you wear them because of the absence of sleeves and the presence of straps.

Because of this, it will not be possible for you to replace it with your personal clothing. Dungarees are usually worn on top of your clothing.

Build material

Because of what overalls are designed for, they are usually made with a tougher material build.

Since they provide you with a high level of protection, it is crucial that the type of material it is built with should be so tough in order to withstand whatever thing it faces.

Overalls are usually made with tougher materials which aid in high-level protection. This does not mean that dungarees are not of strong build quality, you cannot just compare it to that of the overalls.


Dungarees and Overalls are not totally different from each other, they are similar in some ways and they are also different in some ways.

However, one thing that you should not forget is that in America it is usually referred to as dungarees while British people call it overalls.

This will be helpful in situations where you might be in a different location and you want to go get overalls or dungarees in a shop, it will help you not mistake one for the other.

Now that you know how the dungarees and overalls are similar and also different, it will be so easy for you to make a decision on the exact one that you want to get for yourself.

If you want a higher level of protection like in the chemical laboratory or in the mechanical workshop, you should go for the overall.

However, if you want a regular type of protection, perhaps for work in your garden, you can go for the dungarees.

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