A romper suit, commonly known as a babygrow in the UK (as a result of its suitability for babies), also recently termed a onesie, is a one-piece garment. Somewhat similar to a coverall, it is loose-fitting and usually has shorter legs that may be gathered at the end. Puffed pants are particularly associated with rompers. Rompers usually are meant as a combination of shorts and a shirt, though the term can include jumpers, one-piece bathing suits, overalls, and clubwear fashions.
Rompers appeared in the United States of America in the early 1900s. They were very popular as playwear for younger children because people thought they were ideal for movement. Rompers were in many ways the first modern casual clothes for children. They were light and loose fitting, a major change from the much more restrictive clothing children wore during the 19th Century Victorian era. Styles and conventions varied from country to country. In France they were, for many years, only for boys. While primarily a play garment, we note French children wearing dressy rompers. Their popularity peaked in the 1950s when they were used by children as playwear and by women as leisure- and beachwear. Thereafter the garment has continued to be used by infants and toddlers; however, it has become less common among older girls and women, although never disappearing entirely.
In the 2000s
Since 2006 rompers have enjoyed a minor renaissance as a fashionable garment for women. Several designers have presented collections including romper suits and they are offered by many retailers. Designers include Deborah Sweeney and Juliette Hogan There are also several retail offerings, such as Urban Outfitters American Apparel and Old Pueblo Traders.
Marc Jacobs, Max Azria, and Mara Hoffman were among the numerous designers to showcase versions of the romper in their Spring 2009 collections. The romper has also shown up in many everyday retailers. The trend has grown in popularity in part because it is versatile, easily converting from day to night, as well as from casual to upscale. The modern romper comes in various fabrics, styles, and fits. American Apparel, for example, carries rompers made of chambray, pique cotton, loop terry, and velour, in long and short styles.
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