Babies and toddlers have been wearing them for as long as we know. Diane Von Furstenberg’s approval of the outfit created a worldwide trend despite challenges faced by the girls wearing them. Gentlemen, summer is coming. It is time to get into some rompers.
Where it All Started
It takes very little for the online community to start a global trend. This was the post that sparked a worldwide frenzy. Cam Newton, quarterback with the American football team the Carolina Panthers, was spotted in this getup at Coachella 2017. A quick glance and an overreaction later, the whole world was looking for men’s rompers. Even though a closer look would reveal that Cam was not actually wearing a romper—it was a two-piece set—it was already too late. Countless comments came hard and fast from multiple social media platforms as the internet struggled to deal with the sudden flood of emotions.
While most of the chatter on the Internet was meaningless, a group of business-school friends put their money—or more accurately, a crowd’s money—where their mouth is. Alex, Chip, Elaine and Daniel of ACED Design took to Kickstarter to bring to life the definitive romper for men: the RompHim. The project kicked off with a bang, hitting their set goal of US$10,000 in mere hours. As of the time of writing, the project has raised more than US$350,000, and four days remain on the project. It is still not too late to get yourself one or more.
Just for You
RompHim™ started out as an independent study project for a course in “new venture development”. The idea came about as the four friends were discussing men’s clothing options. It seemed that there was only one obvious choice for apparel that is stylish and fun, but does not compromise on comfort, fit and versatility: the romper. Working together with one of Chicago’s top fashion design consultancies, team ACED designed the romper tailored just for men. It comes with deep front pockets, zippered back pockets, front shirt pocket, adjustable waist tabs and most importantly, a zipper fly.
Rise of the Men’s Rompers
Amid all the hype and excitement, a glaring factor was overlooked: rompers have been a part of men’s fashion for quite some time. In the 1930s, men’s bathing suits were essentially waterproof rompers. James Bond, played by Sean Connery, appeared in a scene of 1964’s Goldfinger in a baby-blue terrycloth romper. A number of fashion shows in 2012 featured one-piece outfits on male models, popularly known as “onesies”. While we were not ready for them back then, the timing might be just right this time round.
Reactions to the new trend have been largely divided. They do share the common trait of being very strong and vehement. Some fashion magazines decried even the existence of rompers for men. Fashion experts and editors pointed out issues ranging from rompers infantilising grown men, to being a sign of “male fragility”. Parodies and memes continue to fill social media timelines. Then there are those who are eagerly waiting for the latest addition to their wardrobe, gearing up to be at the forefront of the next fashion revolution.
At the end of the day, whose opinions truly matter the most? Get a romper for yourself, and not merely for the sake of being trendy and fashionable. Paired with a dash of confidence, a sprinkle of humility, some killer shades, and you are all set to take on all that summer has to throw at you.