When you live in New York, your sense of what constitutes as clothing is completely corrupt. People don’t just wear clothes—they straight up wear things that couldn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, be defined as “clothing.” I’ve seen towels as dresses, bags as shoes, and more assless chaps than I care to count. So when we wrote about the romper for dudes, we didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Just some dudes, wearing something people in fashion have been wearing for years.
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But it was a big deal. A huge deal. The reaction was so immediate and visceral, it seemed necessary to ask some people in similar fashion spaces exactly why this was happening—and what they thought about it. We talked to three key people: Tom Montgomery, co-founder of Chubbies; Josh Peskowitz, co-owner of L.A. menswear store Magasin; and Amy Mazius, co-founder and designer of Onepiece. Here’s what they had to say.
Why Did People React So Strongly?
Josh Peskowitz: “First of all, RompHim is a terrible name. And certainly, it’s a niche item. It’s not for everyone. It seems like this brand is positioning it as something to wear as a pool party. There are these companies that are founded on catering to a specific demographic, and some of them do catch on, but I’d be surprised if this one does. Maybe they think it’ll be the snap bracelets of 2017.”
Tom Montgomery: “I think it’s the fact that it’s a fun, ridiculous product. There was very little subtlety in what they were doing. You immediately understand what they’re going after, whether you would want to wear or not. It’s a polarizing product, but that’s what makes it interesting.”
Amy Mazius: “I actually don’t know why it’s such a controversial issue. Personally, I loved it. I thought it was awesome. It’s super fun and fresh. It’s comfortable and fashionable for someone who is confident and has a certain zest for life.”
Why Might a Guy Choose to Wear a Romper?
Mazius: “The entire menswear jumper/romper moment has a place for a few different people, and it’s fun to see the different takes. It’s for the guy who has a bit of confidence, but still wants to wear something easy. He does not give a fuck what anyone thinks—and that’s the spirit of a onesie.”
Peskowitz: “I appreciate men wanting to have fun with their clothing, and I have no issue with a man wearing a one-piece. As a matter of fact, I own one. But this just seems silly. When a jumpsuit design is rooted in traditional workwear and you wear it with a bit of whimsy, that’s fine. Calling it a ‘RompHim’ and making it in pastel colors? That’s not something I’d endorse.”
Montgomery: “For us, we want to bring in that Friday-at-5 feeling in everything we do. Whoever you are, you connect with that feeling of letting loose, and I think these guys are tapping into that. It’s funny and starts and conversation. If it makes people smile, I’m all for it.”
Where Do You See Men’s Rompers/One-Pieces Going in the Future?
Mazius: “Coming from a brand that is dedicated to the art of onesie life, I can tell you: People are really feeling it. We’re excited to see other people appreciating something we’ve spent a decade perfecting. I hope people can soak in the onesie life. It’s here to stay.”
Montgomery: “I wish I knew. I just think it’s fun, wild, and ridiculous. We have our own Chubberalls and a Onsie (called a Chubbsie) for hanging at home. Those are items we’re going to have fun and mess around with. In terms in rompers, we’ll just wish them the best of luck.”
Peskowitz: “On one hand, the first time I saw Chubbies, I thought it was a joke, and now they’re a real business. Maybe RompHim could turn into that. But if you’re asking if I think this is going to turn into something we see in corporate fashion, I’m going to go ahead and say no. It’s an internet moment in time. Let’s check back in six months and see if anyone remembers it.”