Pride & Joy Day 6: The Romper

[Today’s donation was made to Reclaim the Block. Click here to see my Pride & Joy Project 2020 Daily Donations List.]

The playsuit, the onesie, the cropped jumpsuit – the romper (or romper suit) is a one-piece combo of a shirt and a pair of shorts. Some people think if one wears a shirt with a pattern that matches the shorts, then that two-piece can also be referred to as a romper.

“To romp” means to play energetically, and I don’t like saying “romper suit” because it sounds like “romp pursuit” and I’d get the giggles because I’d think of a corny scene from gay porn that involves rolling in the fields. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

In the US, almost a century ago, the romper began as a play-suit for toddlers and children because it doesn’t restrict the movement (rompers are usually loose-fitting).

By the 1920s, this children’s athleisure garment had been adapted into women’s fashion, with alterations that made rompers look more chic and flattering to the figure.

Men have also been wearing rompers since the jazz age. Remember those vintage men swimsuits? Yep, those were technically rompers. Even Sean Connery wore one in Goldfinger (1964).

It took me a while to find one that I really liked. I’d tried (and returned) rompers for men from different brands. There was always an issue with the silhouette. The cut was always too baggy, the shorts not short enough. I want my rompers to be tight and short because a) I’m not a child, and b) I want everyone to look at my ass.

I’d been eyeing this plaid romper from Differio for months, but it was too expensive: $98.90 (plus tax). And it bothers me that the site does free shipping for all US orders that are $99 or above. There’s nothing on the website that’s 10 cents. And so it languished in my cart. Then a miracle happened and it was on sale for 50% (this rarely happens on Differio). It’s been one of my cherished, modern fashion pieces I’ve ever owned.

In the photos, I’m wearing the romper with a pair of over-the-calf black Adidas socks and white high-tops from Converse.

Oh, and by the way, contrary to popular belief, Winston Churchill did not invent or wear the romper. He wore a jumpsuit.

Photography by Yuska Lutfi Tuanakotta.