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Red Boiler Suit from the film ‘Us’

May 11, 2021

A few years ago I was commissioned to make some dressing up outfits for a museum, and one of my designs was a boiler suit. These were supposed to be proper overalls for working in, and I was asked to make them in red.

I don’t know if any of you have seen the horror film ‘Us’ (2019) directed by Jordan Peele, but the premise of that film, in a nutshell, is that every person (in the US, at least) has a doppelganger, living in an underground network of tunnels, and ‘tethered’ to their above-ground counterpart by a mysterious psychological connection. When ‘the tethered’ come up above ground as part of a co-ordinated uprising, they are all wearing red boiler suits.

For Halloween 2020, I used the same pattern as I had for the commission with a few minor length adjustments, and actually ordered some of the same fabric too: a heavy red twill from Minerva. The non-fitted, unisex style of the boiler meant that the finished garment actually fitted both of us (but not at the same time, haha).

On the night of Halloween, all my husband needed was a pair of sandals and a large pair of gold scissors, but we forgot about the scissors and had to make do with a less scary-looking pair!

The boiler suit is now tucked away in the loft with other dressing-up items. I did consider just wearing it on a day-to-basis after Halloween, but thought better of it in the end!

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