Part Four: Rompers
There are a lot of different names for this one-piece garment that connects at the crotch: romper, teddy, pant-slip, onesie…you get the picture. Essentially, it is a pair of panties connected to a camisole, but within that definition, the styles vary dramatically.
Rompers of the 20s closely resembled a slip or chemise – they were loose, comfortable, silk pant-slips with intricate embroidery and/or lace trim. These rare pieces of lingerie history are coveted by vintage clothing-lovers and tend to fetch a high price at auction. The invention of nylon in the 30s changed things considerably for the fashion industry, and teddies were no exception. Let’s fast forward through the synthetic Ozzie and Harriet era to the fun-loving 70s, which brought about the fusion of the bedroom teddy and the child’s romper into a sort of ready-to-wear cotton or terry cloth “playsuit” (McCalls’ word, not mine.) The skin-tight teddies from the 80s were almost exclusively 100% polyester, with ruffles, lace and snap-crotch closures. Cue the saxophone soundtrack.
Modern day designers draw inspiration from all of these eras for their new and improved romper designs. The gorgeous daywear onesies by Dessous (like the one pictured above) are highly sought-after by celebrities and fashionistas who wear them on their own with a pair of heels. The Lake and Stars’ innovative leotard-like design is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. And Spamenti‘s adjustable striped jumpsuit looks like a cross between a sexy 70s halter and a 1920s athletic tank bathing suit. They are so hot that we’ve been sold out of them for months, but there will be a new batch coming soon! One thing is certain, the romper is back, and the demand seems to be exceeding the supply, so if you come across one that fits you perfectly, you should buy it immediately – odds are, it won’t be there next time you come in.