Rompers - A History


We see it everywhere: The extremely comfortable, and easy to slip on craze that has slammed the fashion outlets since 2017 in a major way – the Romper. An extremely trendy fashion statement that has seamlessly appeared into fashion around the world. But as all things come and go – the romper was once a very iconic, trendy, and popular item of clothing that was around for a substantial amount of time. In this article we will uncover when this trend started, what caused it to become so popular, and why it is taking up some space in your closet today. You may find what you learn to be quite interesting.

Origins of the Romper

That’s right, this romper fashion trend is not new. In fact, not even close (when fashion timelines are concerned they may as well be ancient). The romper was actually first appearing in mainstream trends in the early 1900’s. You may be surprised to uncover that the romper was originally designed for children as early as 1904! Yup! Not adults but kids! They were rather popular for toddlers because of their easy to slip on nature while offering much mobility and comfort. While the styles varied across the world in formality, they offered a huge break from the norm of constricting clothing, while maintaining a somewhat formal appeal. After it’s origin, the romper continued to make frequent visits in and out of the popular trending fashion lines of history.

Continued Popularity

It is not easy to gauge how popular a specific style can be, however, if we were to judge a style on how frequently it came back into a trend, the romper would rein as one of the more popular trends of recent fashion history. Not only starting in the early 1900’s but reappearing in the 1920’s and becoming more trendy for young women to incorporate as a substitute in their closets for blouses or full skirts. However, this was just the start, and the romper entered an explosion of a new era, coupled with a booming American economy.

Photo of a vintage group of women wearing rompers.

Once the 1940’s hit, America was an entirely different country than it had been before the events of World War II; and so was the fashion industry. The romper took full advantage of this. During the 40’s rompers re-entered the scene but under a name unfamiliar to many today. The “playsuit” or “playclothes” as they were called at the time, became something of a national phenomena for young women. They were widely used for outdoor get-togethers or activities and were often found at the beach. Usually accompanied with bright colors, the vintage rompers were wildly popular and soon started to include Hawaiian prints. Generally, the rompers were made of cotton and were manufactured with a plethora of plaid or dotted patterns. The playsuits came with a large variety of small variations the most popular of which was the one-piece romper.

The one-piece romper looked much like a button-down blouse that was connected at the waist and seamlessly extended into shorts. There was often a waist band that wrapped around the change over to give the rompers a more elegant, and natural, transition into shorts. At the waist, the romper would generally be wide-legged, slightly resembling a lot of today’s styles. Many vintage rompers were also made to resemble a small skirt, and many revolved around a nautical style.

Another style was called the bloomer. The bloomer resembled the “Victorian bloomer” which were considered underwear at the time. This style was all about volume and collected at the waste to give a puffy appeal to the bottom half. String ties helped for comfort and adjustments to differing body sizes. In the 1950’s it was even… strapless!

Shortalls were another romper like fashion statement of the 1940’s era. These shortalls resembled a lot of what we consider today to be rompers. These included shorts with a strapped top. A popular pattern of choice was stripped or, our favorite, plain solid coloring.

Interestingly enough, most playsuits came with a matching skirt that can be removed when the situation called for it. Most were styled with ruffles and a button down. These were generally popular at the beach, and outdoor sunbathing. These skirts were used to cover up the shorts that were attached to the romper as they were considered too revealing for the time (imagine that huh). Jumpsuits were also rather similar, and popular in the 40’s well into the 50’s. They were generally longer or fully covered the legs.

The 40’s and 50’s saw a massive trend upward in romper popularity which swept the nation with such ferocity that hasn’t been seen since. But, like all fashion trends, it did fade away; only to then re-appear in the 1970’s. The romper of the 70’s was, predictably, much more revealing than in the 40’s and 50’s and were made of a terrycloth or tube top design. They did make a brief appearance in the 1980’s before fading away for some time after.

In 2006, the romper made a comeback and resembles much like we see today. They variety of design was extensive and the fashion trend was seen being offered by dozens of major fashion retailers world-wide. We saw rompers hit it home once again in 2017 with increased popularity and gaining a huge trend in internet searches across the globe. Since then we have seen a steady demand within the fashion industry for these frequent fashion statement visitors, and for good reason. They are a comfortable, trendy, simple, and amazing addition to your wardrobe.

 

Amazingly, we caught on to the trend here as well, and have a nice collection of rompers for you to consider adding to your closet. Why not try to become a part of history, or maybe even own a piece of it? Give them a look here!

Whatever it is you choose to add to your wardrobe, we hope that you enjoyed this travel through time, and discovering how the romper has made its constant re-appearance into global fashion history. What do you think? Do you think this is for good reason, and that the romper consistently appears because it’s so fashionable? Do you like it? What do you think about the fashion trends evolution through time? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Citations:

https://www.collegefashion.net/trends/history-of-the-trend-rompers/

https://www.houseofstylestories.com/houseofstylestories/theromperstory

https://vintagedancer.com/1940s/1940s-playsuits-rompers/


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