Thursday, April 7, 2016

Romper Roundup

I've said before that I think rompers should not be worn (in public) by anyone out of preschool. They belong on toddlers. I could write essays on the subject; I oppose them for practical, feminist, psychological, aesthetic, and anthropological reasons. Or I can just be snarky on the subject.

The folks at Anthropologie feel differently; they think rompers are hip and adorable, like, you know, Lolita. They love what I loathe and I'll never persuade them. So I'll just show you rompers instead, and you can make up your own mind and feel free to comment. We need to get used to seeing them everywhere and keeping a straight face. All photos are from; I'm not including links because I refuse to encourage anyone to buy one.

This one illustrates almost everything that I think is wrong with rompers: it manages to be infantile and provocative at the same time, suggesting both a nursery and an upscale 19th-century bordello:

And in addition to all of that creepy juxtaposition, those molded cups and little-girl ruffled straps apparently offer zero support. But there is still something to love here: the model's dazed, deer-in-the-headlights expression. Let's read her thoughts: "I'm not here, this isn't happening, I'm not really wearing this, and, please, God, don't let anyone recognize me. I'm going back to work at Barney's."

This number on the other hand, is a Stealth Romper, masquerading as shorts and a top. Until it's time to hit the restroom in a hurry, that is:

This one is by Stella McCartney, and it is underwear:

Rompers as loungewear are acceptable. After all, we all wore something similar, called a teddy, in the 1920s, when we were flappers... remember? Those had convenient fasteners at the crotch; I don't know if this does. But I'm including it here because I predict that you'll see it worn in public because it costs $200 and some women think that's reason enough to wear lingerie as clothing.

Our next romper began its life as a mother-of-the-bride dress. And then it went rogue:

Don't let the pseudo-ethnic embroidery on this one fool you; it was inspired by either surgical scrubs or a one-size-fits-all hospital johnny. Can you identify the culprit?

If we check out the back, we have a definitive answer: it was a johnny! Complete with a choking tie at the neck and five orange cables that make me wonder if the poor child is undergoing cardiology tests:

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This aqua one was a high school gym uniform in its previous life, back in the 1960s. Rompers can certainly conjure some unpleasant memories, can't they?

Here's an LBR: Little Black Romper. For occasions when you want to look elegant and 4 years old at the same time.

I admit that this denim one is cute:

I like it because the shape reminds me of my own high school gym uniform. It was harvest-gold poly-knit with white elastic at the waist, and a half-zipper at the neck that I never zipped because I Was Cool. I slept in it through college and into my 20s. (And now I have no idea why.) And now you know: when I speak against rompers, I speak from experience.

I'm not sure this one even deserves to be called a romper. I think it is more of a onesie:

There's room for a diaper under it. Will that be the next trend, I wonder? Given the relevant difficulties that rompers create, it just might happen.


  1. A Stealth Romper? really? wow. All of these are horrid, I can't seem to figure out which one is worse. I think the Johnnie is winning.

  2. Thanks for the laugh! These are all horrible and your comments made them hilarious!


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