'Rompers For Dudes' Are Coming & Chicago Is To Blame

By Stephen Gossett in News on May 16, 2017 5:00PM

For a long time, rompers—the one-piece shirt-shorts combo for women—was the most eminently Hot Take-able item in fashion. They were either oppressively infantilizing and a bathroom nightmare—or a much-loved, impossibly cute option despite those misgivings. Whatever one's thoughts, the takes seemed to have peaked and crested around 2015 or so—until now, that is. Thank (or blame) RompHim, the perhaps-inevitable upcoming line of "rompers for dudes."

The RompHim—yes, that's the actual, trademarked name—is the handiwork of Chicago-based ACED Design. Their Kickstarter was just launched on Monday and it's already raking in blockbuster returns, with more than $50,000 raised with still almost a month to go. ACED—a decidedly bro-ish-looking startup enterprise started by a group of business school students peels back the curtain:

"We were sitting around one evening and got to talking about the men's clothing options out there. Everything was either too corporate…too fratty…too "runway"…or too basic. Something was missing. Why wasn’t there anything out there that allowed guys to be more stylish and fun without also sacrificing comfort, fit, and versatility? The more we thought about it, the more we realized that a romper hits all of these attributes - they can be dressed up or down and they’re unique, fashionable, and cool. But the one thing a romper didn’t have? A version for men. So we set out to fix that."

So far, four designs are in the works: blue chambray, red chambray, splatter print cotton, and a Fourth of July special edition in seersucker—which of course carries no controversy either.

But from just those four designs, it's been one massive, collective head scratch. Depending on who you ask, the RompHim is either yet another sign of male idiocy...

...a reliably late act of queer appropriation...

...a reliably late cousin of black appropriation...

...(like rompers 1.0) a needlessly fretted-over oasis of comfort...

...a perfectly acceptable you-do-you strike against gender essentialism...

... or a helpful recalibration of the ol' outrage-o-meter.

There's also plenty of garden-variety normative nastiness out there, which we'll happily leave that to your imagination. But speaking of the patriarchy, the RompHims (be they progressive or laughable) appear to have at least some of it flowing through its fabric: ACED Design includes a zipper fly that "simplifies that process" of going to the bathroom, as opposed to the original must-undress romper design—which makes sense but hardly seems fair.

romperfly.jpg

Perhaps like RompHims themselves, they might just be multiple things at once.