May 27, 2017

"I don't find the idea of wearing a romper that weird. I grew up around motorcycles and cars, and we called what we wore overalls..."

"... but it's the same single piece idea as a romper. I also wear a one-piece when I do competitive road cycling.... It feels easy, and you're not messing around with it every time you sit down. It lays how it lays, and that's it."

Said Shom, one of "5 Real Guys" who test-wore the male romper for Esquire. Shom recommended it: "One hundred percent. Especially the one I'm wearing—I would seek this one out. Actually, where did you get it?"

Guy #2 said: "Damn! This isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Actually... this is a solid look. A classic mechanic's suit...."

Guy #3 said also compared it to "a mechanic's jumpsuit," but didn't like the "dropped crotch"* and didn't recommend it: "Absolutely not. Under no circumstance could I, in good conscience, recommend anybody wear a romper at any point."

Guy #4, who was the only one given a pink romper, didn't mention the pinkness, but said: "It's an interesting feel because there's nothing on your waist. You feel a little naked, actually. I understand why women would enjoy it—it feels pretty good and breezy. Outside of the breeziness, the really low crotch is not great."

Guy #5, the only one who got a print (and it was a loud, fruity** print), liked it: "I felt like a little kid. It really brings out a lot of playful attitude." But he liked looking like a child — "I'd also recommend a regular onesie. I'd also recommend Crocs. Why not? And pinwheel hats." — so he's exactly what I've been talking about all these years about men in shorts: It makes them look like little boys. If that's the look you want, you've got it.
________________

* Technically — and this is my observation — the crotch has to be really low because the entire thing is pulled up by the shoulders. If you lift your arms up or bend your torso forward, the whole thing is going to go up. Men's clothing is normally broken up at the waist, so the parts operate independently. If you make it one continuous piece, you're going to need to account for all the movement of the upper body. This is why dresses make more sense as a one-piece garment: The crotch is out of the action.

** Pineapples.

________________

ADDED: The word "romper" to refer to the child's garment goes back as far as 1902, according to the OED.  The word is used for an adult garment, beginning in 1922, and not always for something worn by women. The OED has a definition: "(a) a fashionable, loose-fitting woman's garment combining esp. a short-sleeved or sleeveless top and wide-legged shorts; (b) (U.S.) a style of loose-fitting men's breeches or knickerbockers (now rare); (c) (Brit. Services' slang) any of several styles of military uniform; (d) a light one-piece garment allowing easy movement of the limbs, worn as sports clothing." Many of the historical quotes relate to men (but always with an "s"):
1941 Amer. Speech 16 186/2 [British Army slang] Rompers, battle dress.
1943 ‘T. Dudley-Gordon’ Coastal Command 85 Sipping hot coffee as he took off his rompers (combined parachute harness and Mae West life-jacket) he told us of his first night raid.
1954 H. Macmillan Diary 24 Aug. (2003) 346, I left the F.O. at noon and arrived for luncheon at Chartwell just after 1pm. P.M. was in bed—so I had to wait 20 minutes till he had got up and put on his ‘rompers’....
1990 D. Jablonsky Churchill, Great Game & Total War 145 In 15 minutes, Churchill, dressed in his ‘rompers’ was in the Intelligence Operations Room outlining his intelligence requirements.
Churchill

59 comments:

Fernandinande said...

"5 Real Guys"

Fake news, then. "Real guys" almost never talk about clothes, much less fashion.

mockturtle said...

Men should wear rompers only to romp.

MrCharlie2 said...

Those poor guys, anything for laugh I guess.

rcocean said...

Looking at the picture, it would make more sense to just wear shorts and a top that are the same color.

Talk to RH.

Expat(ish) said...

He doesn't wear a "one piece" when he rides his road bike: it's a speed suit.

If he called it a "one piece" the other bikers would move away from him.

-XC

Johnny Sokko said...

Well, we have guys wearing man buns so anything is possible in a nation where an upwards of 35% of males are pussies.

mockturtle said...

You're right, Fernandinande. They don't. But I've noticed a disturbing trend on TV commercials showing men discussing clothing, razor blades, etc. The advertisers are hoping that life imitates art. Gender-blending trending.

Ann Althouse said...

"He doesn't wear a "one piece" when he rides his road bike: it's a speed suit. If he called it a "one piece" the other bikers would move away from him."

He's making the connection that isn't in the common word for the item.

When I first read about the male romper, I started to opine about it (to Meade) by saying: "What's odd about it is that it's one piece. Women wear a lot of one piece things, but not men."

Meade immediately started talking about overalls and coveralls, and I was left looking like an elitist clod who doesn't think about the working man

St. George said...

I picked up and leafed through the new Esquire yesterday. What a sad shadow of what used to be a great magazine. The idea of running such an article in Esquire makes no sense, i.e. 'Hey, let's make fun of our readers!'

John Lynch said...

The Star Trek Shirt Tug

tcrosse said...

Winston Churchill wore something similar, a Siren Suit, but which was custom made out of velvet. It was modelled on what the Brits call a Boiler Suit. In the US Navy submariners called it a Poopie Suit. Whatever it's called, it makes it more difficult to take a dump.

David Begley said...

1. Nobody reads Esquire. It is for East Coast metrosexuals. The photo shoot looks like Central Park, NYC.

2. You can bet the makers of the rompers paid Esquire for that story.

David Begley said...

Men wearing clothes for babies. Senator Ben Sasse needs to tweet about this.

No rompers will ever be sold at the Fremont Walmart.

Kate said...

I'm pretty sure that coveralls have a fly.

Rompers are an abomination. Any woman knows, as Althouse details, that the thing ends up giving you a wedgie because if it's long enough for you to raise your arms, then the crotch is hanging between your knees.

Ann Althouse said...

If you really need a romper, here's an Althouse link to an Amazon selection I made for you. This is a little less conspicuous.

tcrosse said...

I'm pretty sure that coveralls have a fly.

But do they have a trap door ?

Johnny Sokko said...

Work clothes are different from other clothes - mechanic's overalls, air force pilot flight suit, et al. The male romper ain't work clothes unless you are a professional douchebag.

David Begley said...

The guy who agreed to wear the pink one is a total idiot. Dude, Esquire was mocking you. Can't you see that?

But they have tats and big biceps. Ergo, real men.

etbass said...

Real men don't dress like those Esquire girls.

tcrosse said...

But they have tats and big biceps. Ergo, real men.

So do gay porn stars (or so I'm told). Laslo ?

khesanh0802 said...

Churchill's rompers were 1940's era mechanic's coveralls. No matter how you try to sell fashion it's still junk.

Quaestor said...

Yeah, the romper thing doesn't surprise me. It's Stage Two infantilization of the West. Stage One was Pajama Boy. Far back in time Esquire used to feature a few ribald art pieces just so any anybody glancing over the shoulder of the reader would assume said reader was firmly heterosexual. Now they don't even bother. Most of the photographs are of male models with that "swimmer" body type. That should be a big tell.

Esquire is for men who own more pairs of dress shoes than boots.

Esquire is for men who buy German cars, but never bother to admire German engines.

Esquire is for men who are embarrassed to wear white buck golf shoes.

Esquire is for men who get PTSD by leafing through Guns & Ammo

Esquire is for pussies.

EDH said...

"Romper" in Spanish mean to tear or break from.

In this case, for the most part, it's adult masculinity.

Browndog said...

It's starting to feel like this is turning into a political issue.

I'm thinking "real men wear Ropers; anyone that says differently is a bigot, possibly racist" isn't too far off.

Larry J said...

Wearing clothes like overalls for work is one thing. These rompers are quite another. I wouldn't wear one of those to my own cremation. Fashion is for suckers.

Michael K said...

Flight suits were often referred to as "rompers" but it was sarcasm.

In the 50s, old men wore "leisure suits" that were one piece and I remember seeing them. Of course, to wear one you had to have a big belly, or it seemed so at the time.

I doubt those men who wore leisure suits ever raised their arms to do anything. Thats why they were for "leisure."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Overalls are fairly common here. Men and women wear them to work out doors, garden, farming. The good thing about overalls is that you can adjust the "crotch drop" by lengthening or shortening the straps. The overalls protect your knees too when gardening etc. Unlike shorts which expose you to injury, snakes, bees, rashes from the weeds, hay etc.

One of the very very worst things about rompers or one piece playsuits for women is going to the bathroom. You literally have to disrobe to pee.

Coveralls are worn OVER your other/real clothing to protect them from grease and other dirt. As a necessity they are very baggy for the reason that Althouse said. You raise your arms or reach for something and get a wedgie otherwise. You wear your real clothes to work. Don the coveralls, and when done, take off the dirty coveralls and you are ready to go to the bar, pick up a date and leave a shitty tip for the snotty liberal bartendress. :-)

I suppose the one piece look in one sedate color would be tolerated. However the childish prints and fruity colored ones just look idiotic. Wear shorts and a tee shirts or look like a lunatic.

Robert Cook said...

Pete Townshend "romping."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Pete Townsend in a jumpsuit.

Jumpsuits are a practical item of clothing used by those who are "jumping" out of planes. Skydiving etc.

You want a one piece item of clothing to keep the wind from making your clothes flap, cause your shirt to go up over your head, create weird wind resistance issues.

Overalls, Coveralls, Jump Suits....all practical pieces of clothing for people who work hard and do dangerous things.

Rompers. Childish affectations for men who haven't grown into real men. Un-serious clothing for frivolous man-children who want to just play around.

Johnny Sokko said...

I've heard Hillary wears a romper, so it is okay for guys.

Bob R said...

When I was growing up on the farm, we all had thermal coveralls for winter. A lot of farmers wore coveralls year round. So the romper part looks pretty normal to me. So the real issue is shorts. In the Sean Connery pic he's wearing them over a bathing suit at a resort. So that seems like an appropriate application. Other than that...I can't see it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Venture Bros - Comes With The Speed Suit

In won't chide the Professor too much for cis-gendered constructions like "men's clothing," but watch yourself, counselor.

Ann Althouse said. .This is why dresses make more sense as a one-piece garment: The crotch is out of the action.
As a man I like dresses (on women) for almost the exact opposite reason.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

The extra effort to forgo a romper is totally worthy it.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I immediately thought of Townshend on the cover of Who Came First. And A Clockwork Orange. Nothing wrong with making the overall comfortable for warm weather, though it defeats the purpose a bit. But yes, the pink and the print are gay as Hell.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Churchill's romper look. My farmer grandfather wore overalls with a shirt as his everyday attire, everywhere except to church. He especially liked that there was no binding at the waist. When you raise your arms, the overall straps lift less in the crotch than coverall sleeves. They eliminate the problem of keeping your shirt tucked in.

Michael K said...

"Pete Townsend in a jumpsuit."

I clicked on that link of Cookie's thinking it might be Group Captain Peter Townsend who Princess Margaret should have married. It ruined her life to be told she could not. The royal family has now deteriorated into farce with Fergie and Diana and various minor scandals. Margaret drank and smoked herself to death.

Margaret eventually abandoned her plans with him and in 1960, she accepted the proposal of the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was created Earl of Snowdon by the Queen. The couple had two children. They divorced in 1978.

Armstrong Jones would have worn rompers well.

Townsend lived to 81 and died in 1995.

Michael said...

"(b) (U.S.) a style of loose-fitting men's breeches or knickerbockers (now rare)"

Not rare enough.

Charlie Currie said...

Legless / armless version of jumpsuits...remember when those were a thing?

John said...

Weren't one piece coveralls popular as men's leisure weare in the 70s?

I wore coveralls at times in the Navy when working on dirty jobs. I wear nylon or tyvek coveralls a couple times a month when working in cleanrooms.

Coveralls are great fo working but you need to get them big and baggy. An elastic waistband can help but in cleanrooms they seldom have them.

I guess my main question is shorts? Kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it.

John Henry

John said...

I've heard Naval (don't call them pilots) Aviators call flight suits rompers.

John Henry

Michael K said...

"I've heard Naval (don't call them pilots) Aviators call flight suits rompers. "

I don't think they are pink, or flower patterns.

tcrosse said...

Not to forget the ever-popular snowmobile suit.

loudogblog said...

When I was on the tech crew for Fantasmic!, we had to wear these one-piece jumpers. Bending over was always a bit tricky. (and uncomfortable) They are not practical as work clothes if you actually have to get physical work done.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Jebus! Men in leisure suit shorts!

Thing is, when you are sitting in a shirt and pants and you lean forward, your shirt-tails pull out a bit. When you are sitting in a flight suit, and you lean forward to change the altimeter setting or dial in a course, you find you are sitting on your shirt-tails.

John said...

Loudoblog,

You were not wearing the right size.

Sounds like you needed to go 2 sizes bigger.

they have to be really big to be comfortable. Of course then you look silly but you can't have everything.

John Henry

Robert Cook said...

"I clicked on that link of Cookie's thinking it might be Group Captain Peter Townsend who Princess Margaret should have married. It ruined her life to be told she could not. The royal family has now deteriorated into farce with Fergie and Diana and various minor scandals. Margaret drank and smoked herself to death."


Why do Americans give a fig about British royalty? Royalty are the decadent (and sometimes in-bred) leeches on the people they deem their inferiors.

tcrosse said...

Royalty are the decadent (and sometimes in-bred) leeches on the people they deem their inferiors.

We have a few of them here in the USA.

Michael K said...

"Royalty are the decadent (and sometimes in-bred) leeches on the people they deem their inferiors."

Peter Townsend was a pretty impressive RAF pilot. Margaret was the sister of the Queen. The Church of England and the family decided she could not parry that commoner who had been divorced.

It was a kind if sad story, I thought.

I assume you were a fan of the Guillotine.

I prefer the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Fen said...

Real men would never wear that shit, or discuss it publicly.

Sidebet that all 5 take it up the ass.

William Chadwick said...

I wouldn't wear one; but visually I don't see much difference between wearing a Romphim and wearing a polo shirt with matching shorts.

Virtually Unknown said...

If I can't show off what passes for a bulge on me a little bit, I will pass.

Virtually Unknown said...

don't see much difference between wearing a Romphim and wearing a polo shirt with matching shorts.

So you are suggesting that valets wear them? I guess it goes with the mechanic's pants idea.

Meade said...

I'm wearing my romper right now only you wouldn't know because the weather turned a little chilly so I got out my Snuggie®

Virtually Unknown said...

I wonder if sort of erasing the crotch as feature of the male silhouette is part of the design goal. Plus, the "male gaze" coming from a guy in a RompHim is going to be far less disturbing to the snowflakes.

Unknown said...

We had 'rompers' in the USN, submarine service. We called them 'poopy suits' because the upper part was likely to fall into the commode when you sat on it.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Meade immediately started talking about overalls and coveralls, and I was left looking like an elitist clod who doesn't think about the working man

D00d, we love you, but you ARE, precisely, an elitist clod who doesn't think about the working man. Don't worry, I think we've all reached acceptance.

navillus said...

"I've heard Naval (don't call them pilots) Aviators call flight suits rompers.
John Henry"

This is a vile calumny of the lowest sort. I flew for the USN for 20 years & never heard flight suits referred to as 'rompers.' 'Zoom bag' ('bag' for short) was ubiquitous, but never 'rompers.' BTW, for aviators, a 'poopy suit' refers to an anti-exposure drysuit worn for flights over cold water, never a normal flight suit.

Rompers are ridiculous because they combine coveralls with short pants, a concept which makes even less sense than Chewbacca living on the forest moon of Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks. It. makes. no. sense.

Fyooz said...

I've found a new pejorative name for the flight suit.