Romphim

Growing up in a rural blue collar town, male jumpsuits were the norm. Mechanics, sanitation workers, fishers, and societal delinquents all sported them whether they liked them or not. With fashion embracing the childlike “onesie” aka rompers, it only makes sense to include the opposite sex in the nostalgic fad.

The male romper and its predecessor, the man skirt, were both traditionally male garments. The origins of the romper date back as early as the 13th century, when men wore a tunic called a surcoat over amour. As society became more industrialized excess material was reserved for the elites and the surcoat eventually faded into the fashion abyss.

As always the French revived this fad with children’s rompers that were once again, a male only garment. It wasn’t until the 1970 when peace, love, happiness, and psychedelic drugs ushered in the adult romper. After a hiatus, the adult romper resurfaced in 2006, 11 years later the trend has come full circle with “romphim”.

Image courtesy of theybf.com

With any internet sensation things can blow up overnight. “Romphim” has taken over social media outlets, morning talk shows, and reputable online publications. Memes and blogs are now dedicated to “romphim” and, of course, debates over the institution of masculinity have ensued.

In my personal opinion, “romphim” is a logical fashion fix for summer. Who wouldn’t want to combine a shirt and shorts? That means less time finding a belt to match or tucking your shirt in. On the plus side, male rompers have buttons for the shirt and a zipper for the pants. Which saves men from fully undressing to take a whiz. If that isn’t the ideal embodiment of being fashion forward and efficiently masculine, I don’t know what is.

The male romper has taken a feminine garment and made it inclusive. Just like the man skirt, this garment is visually deceptive. You don’t realize the article of clothing is feminine turned masculine because its about how its styled, not the garment itself.

After all, fashion is a form of self-expression and what better way to accomplish that than having a selection of unlimited perfectly paired floral patterns and solids. Male rompers can be dressed up with a pair of oxfords and a hat or dressed down with a pair of sneakers. Add accessories and you’re off to romp the streets until sundown or up.

The issue of masculinity in fashion is one that arises for no particular reason other than not wanting other’s to remain true to their selves. People like to down someone for rising above societal standards to make themselves happy. If your friend decides to wear a pastel pink metallic romper let him, just make sure he pairs it with the right shoes and doesn’t go too bold on the wrist accessories.

At the end of the day, haters gonna hate. There’s no way around it or over it. All you can do is rise above and make sure your outfit is on point and your highlight is poppin’. And most importantly slay. While we’re making feminine garments masculine, can we bring back male crop tops? 

Image courtesy of elle.com

Title image courtesy of kanyetothe.com