By Lori Borgman
Sometimes between 2 and 3 a.m., when I can’t sleep and my mind fires one bizarre question after another, I occasionally wonder whatever happened to my old high school gym suit.
It was a hideous thing — a one-piece contraption gathered at the waist with short sleeves and a shirt collar, and ill-fitting short legs. The whole shebang snapped up the front. Every girl who wore one looked like a jumbo marshmallow waiting to be shoved into a giant s’more.
Imagine my shock to open my computer browser and find my old gym suit reincarnated as a romper for men. It’s called RompHim — a man-size romper which is a one-piece contraption, gathered at the waist with short sleeves with a shirt collar, and ill-fitting short legs in pastels and prints.
I was so upset. We never had a choice in color. All we wore was white. Before my eyes were a dozen striking young men in pastel pink, baby blue, soft apricot, dainty print and Wonder bread polka dot girls’ gym suits. I mean onesies. I mean rompers.
I can’t help but wonder what the unveiling of the prototype went like. Were there men standing around in rompers asking women, “Does this make my backside look big?”
Or, “Do you think I have the legs for this? I’ve never been all that happy with my knees. They’re sort of dimpled, don’t you think?”
Some question whether a romper for men calls masculinity into question. Sean Connery wore a very short terry cloth romper as James Bond in “Goldfinger.” Personally, I think it comes down to leg hair. If you’ve got it — flaunt it. That said, not just anybody can look manly in what is nearly a pair of Daisy Dukes gathered at the waist.
But listen, whose business is it if you want to wear a pastel pink or baby blue romper? It’s a free country. Well, at least outside of college campuses.
And it’s not like guys in rompers hasn’t been done before. We have a picture of our 35-year-old son in a romper. Of course, he was six months old at the time. Someone gave us a onesie with a clown face on it and big orange clown hands attached to the sides. We actually had him wear it and took pictures. He’s still mad.
In one sense, rompers for men aren’t that different from Carhartt overalls turned into cutoffs — country boy meets urban chic.
It’s too early to say if rompers for men will have staying power. Before you write them off, you should know there was a time people said leisure suits for men wouldn’t hang around for long. Were they ever wrong. It was a long and painful decade.
Then again, remember last year? The new trend that was sure to take off was men wearing shorts with a shirt and tie and a blazer. The trend took off all right – like the Titanic.
If you do decide to wear a RompHim, just a mother’s word of caution: Stay with your group.
Lori Borgman is an Indianapolis columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.