Farewell to the RompHim, a romper for men that just never caught on
RompHim, we hardly knew ye.
The brand that made rompers for “him” shuttered this week after nearly three years in business. It’ll sell off its remaining inventory for 75% off and stop manufacturing those loose cotton playsuits for men that we cared about once, if only for a few weeks in 2017.
The RompHim frenzy kicked off in spring that year, when its founders began a KickStarter campaign for their business. Their brand wasn’t the first to market rompers to men, but it attracted the kind of grown fraternity brothers who wanted to flaunt their quadriceps in pastel linens.
But the fad died down as the novelty factor did.
Major online retailers started selling their own spins on the male romper at a cheaper price (according to the RompHim website, the Oxford Romper originally cost $119). And it’s too cold in most of the country to rock shorts year-round anyways.
Plus, the creators seemed to forget that rompers weren’t made with men or women in mind — they’re for everyone.
Firefighters zip into flame-retardant jumpers to save lives. Military pilots wear flight suits to protect them from the elements in the air. The Ghostbusters wore them to fearlessly bust those ghosts. Babies are buttoned into them before they can dress themselves.
And before they were an ideal outfit for brunch at a yacht club, the onesie suits were a wartime essential. In World War II, when the threat of Nazi air raids loomed over the UK, the British government mass-marketed “siren suits,” long and warm one-pieces that people could easily jump into when the sirens sounded, Refinery29 reported in 2015.
UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill wore them often, too, though his were velvet and jewel-toned.
The emphasis on “Him” also made it a hard sell to nonbinary customers, and appeared to coopt a queer trend. Gay and nonbinary people had been rocking one-pieces long before the RompHim “revolution,” as Out Magazine reported in 2017.
As time went on, RompHim tried to include women and gay men in its marketing.
It regularly shared images of famous men, like Cam Newton and Sean Connery as James Bond, who’d rocked rompers before the brand existed. NFL players, activists and mascots briefly endorsed the trend. But ultimately, it wasn’t enough.
In its heyday, RompHim aspired to “break down stereotypes and have fun doing it,” according to its brand story.
At least it was fun while it lasted.