Summer Fashion Alert
How I Learned to Stop Judging and Embrace the Bro Romper
The RompHim Debate
As I am sure you’ve seen by now, the RompHim has made its sartorial debut. You can thank the kids at ACED Designs out of Chicago. According to their Kickstarter page, they reached $100,000 in funding in four hours. YES. You read that right…four hours. With 22 days left to go on its Kickstarter project 3,097 backers and $359,253 later—it looks like the stuff of the Coachella set’s dreams has come true. Scheduled to come to market by mid-late summer 2017, the adventurous fashionisto will be coming to a town near you…spotted in pastels, chambrays, and American-inspired prints (even a 90’s inspired paint spatter print—probably already sold out). The look has raised eyebrows and sparked many a debate on the masculinity of such a garment—hey, to each his own I say—living a #BeautyFull life means doing whatever it is that makes you happy—preconceived gender roles were so last season!
The History of the Romper
But not so fast kids! Before the folks at ACED Design finish their celebratory Pabst Blue Ribbons on their incredible social media dominance, they were not the first to make the male romper a “thing”. The romper, later known as the playsuit then romper again, first appeared in the United States in the early 1900’s. As the go-to garment for children’s playwear fashion, the romper was ideal for ease of movement and encouraged play. This light and loose-fitting clothing were a welcomed change to the restrictive garments of the late Victorian Era. The first advertisement for the style could be found on the May 20th, 1904 edition of the New York Times. Major selling points were ease of fit and convenience of dressing. Funny how those are similar selling points in today’s market and on their site—we are predictable creatures, no?
In France, the romper was primarily worn by boys, and there were (of course, this is France!) dressier versions of the garment based on socio-economic class and for formal functions where a child would be in attendance. This was very different for the time and much chicer than the American take on the style. Mais oui, c’est vrai. The French sometimes do it better.
The Romper Revisited
The romper evolved into the “playsuit” for adults and hit its stride in the late 1940’s-1950’s. Still, the go to look in children’s playwear, but was now branching out to the women’s market and sold as beach or loungewear. The feminist movement of the 1960’s deemed this look as feeding into the patriarchy; made solely to attractthe male gaze—and was ditched—but not before Sean Connery, Mr. 007, sported a terry cloth version in Goldfinger—but even his swagger wasn’t enough to make it stick in the menswear market. For women, Emilio Pucci reinvented it in paisley perfection later in the decade, and Disco gave it some sass and legs in the 1970’s. The Grunge Movement of the Nineties brought it back again in longer, more skirted designs. During this time, the romper entirely edited out of the menswear landscape.
Then, after a nearly fifty-year hiatus, enter ACED Designs to revisit the possibility of what could be in the menswear market. The RompHim. I must admit, I was not completely on board with this look at first. I’m not a fan of fads or kitsch. But, it has grown on me. Men are apparently looking for a sartorial revolution—and this may be it. We can’t monopolize all the fun, ladies! What changed my mind on the look was that ultimately, fashion is about trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone. I think the look exudes confidence and will be best seen on guys that don’t skip leg day at the gym.
I will also have to give credit where credit is due. In just four short hours, ACED Design exceeded mark on Kickstarter and was featured on everything from CNN to Vogue…clearly, something to be said. You can’t knock the hustle.
(Though, I will recommend Pevonia®‘s Preserve Body Moisturizer for those legs! Time will tell if this trend takes hold, but I think that in fashion one should always take risks. Life is short—buy the RompHim.)
What’s your take? Let me know in the comments!
[Featured Image Courtesy Of ACED DESIGNS]