Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thoughts on Rompers

Despite my best efforts, this likely will never be me.
 "A romper suit is a one-piece garment worn by children and sometimes women. Somewhat similar to a coverall, it is loose fitting and usually has shorter legs that may be gathered at the end. Puffed pants are particularly associated with rompers. Rompers usually are meant as a combination of shorts and a shirt, though the term can include jumpers, one-piece bathing suits, and clubwear fashions to name a few"


For almost two years now I've had a smoldering fire burning in my loins for the fabric bastion of easy movement and carefree style known as The Romper.

I remember two rompers that my little sister had as a tot. She pretty much exclusively wore them (she had an OCD thing about clothes that warrants its own post at another time). Both had weird poofy cotton legs in a solid color and a patterned top half. At first I thought the Oompa Loompa pants flair was funny and made fun of the romper. Then, the more she wore them, the more I started to think that my 3-year-old sister had nailed some style points that, as a 6-year-old in my soft pink sweatsuit with an envelope design that opened on front (in case someone wanted to tuck a letter in my shirt. Guess what, no one did!), had missed out on.* Friends and family, I am somewhat embarrassed to tell you that I started trying to wear her rompers and my sad attempts at mastering that style were just as awkward then as they are today. After all, there's a reason that rompers are most often seen on children.

When rompers reappeared in stores and on runways a few years ago, they added a certain leggy drama to the emaciated teeny, tiny models wearing them. Then, when (relatively) more normal-sized celebs started wearing them with dabs of red lipstick, the nostalgic fifties flair kicked in and I knew I *must* own a Romper. Preferably one in black silk or with white polka dots.

Unfortunately, like many storied romances, The Romper did not favor me with its flattery and continues to shun my shape to this day, despite my repeated and ardent attempts to win it over. Two years ago, when I first attempted the romper, I was carrying an extra 15 pounds that resulted in an overall impression of two fat holiday turkey drumsticks poking plumply out of their fancy paper frills. I spent an entire summer wandering from store to store, trying on one romper after another until finally my mother and sister actually intervened and told me that rompers just weren't going to happen for me (ye of little faith!). And thus, while I didn't give the romper the cold shoulder altogether, my passion for it cooled and I began to pursue other more age-appropriate fashion trends, like high-waisted mom jeans, whose 12-inch-long zipper (or fupa-paneling, as I call it) gave me a shapely abdomen. Hell, it gave me a shapely torso; the waistline was practically supporting my boobs.

To this day, though, the moment I see a romper in a store, I squeal inside with hope because each romper is fresh opportunity, another chance to set free the romper-wearing Rita Hayworth inside me. Which brings us to today, March 5th in balmy 29 degree Rochester (or, more aptly, Crochester), Minnesota's Apache Mall. Express was apparently oblivious to the fact that Minnesota is in for another 2 to, oh, infinity months of Winter, and had some lovely rompers displayed, aggressively urging us wan and weary eskimos to dream of warmer climes. Once again, I fell prey to the siren song of swishy fabric and a cinched waistline. And once again I got my heart stomped on when I turned to face the mirror and almost mistook myself for Shrek's albino cousin. I realized that all the weight loss in the world would not make my legs longer and leaner or my torso shorter. The addition of being incredibly pale (because I refuse to be orange like many of the tanning-bed loving girls here--have you ever gotten close to one? They smell like chemicals), was the proverbial final nail in the cloth coffin. The sight was ghastly, truly, and I immediately took the romper off in shame. I think I even sulked for a second or two. And then, like a fashionista version of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, I smiled determinedly and decided to completely ignore the obvious. Perhaps the next romper I tried on would have a better cut. Because it's always about the cut.

*This often happens in fashion: repetition until people are brainwashed, which is the only explanation for gauchos (*shudder*)


  1. OMG! LMAO. Too funny! Perhaps these would work better for you? I am assuming, (dangerous, I know), that we haven't addressed the 'teddy' yet?

  2. Hahaha, the teddy! I forgot about that one. My blue one is tucked in the back corner on my chest of drawers. I only wore it once on our honeymoon when I was sure Philip was drunk. That way the beer goggles would diffuse the bright glow of my giant ham hock thighs in the moonlight into something more romantic and sexy.

  3. Gauchos are cool. I expect to see them soon with some really cool boots. That would look good, you know it! I can't imagine why they haven't made a comeback. Or did I miss it?