Until recently, the fashion world rarely enraged me. Saddened me, yes, with its constant parade of self-esteem crushing, sandwich-needing emaciated models who arrived each season sullenly bedecked in heel-less high heels, metal corsets, and tartan bloomers. Confused me, yes, by dictating that approximately six different colors were "the new black" at any given time and needling me to pluck my eyebrows into a state akin to follicular anorexia only to welcome back the bushy splendor of 1980s-era Brooke Shields a few months later. But in general I just dismissed high fashion as kind of kooky and went on with my life. I never thought that it was an evil empire until the arrival -- and subsequent multi-season reign -- of the adult romper.
Who let this happen? Rompers are specifically designed for people too young to know how to keep their pants on. Has it really come to this? Look, I get the allure of a one-piece outfit. I call it a dress. It's easy -- you don't have to coordinate anything, just throw it on with some flip flops and you're done. But there are a few key differences between a dress and a romper. To wit:
1. Only one of these items is not defined as "a loosely fitted, one-piece garment having short bloomers that is worn especially by small children for play."
2. Only one of these items looks good on women who possess thighs, a stomach, or breasts or buttocks that are respectively larger than two silver dollar pancakes. If you have any of these things and think you look good in a romper, you don't. A romper might look good on a disembodied male mannequin torso, but even then it would depend on the lighting.
3. Only one of these items is appropriate evening attire.
Oh, wait, scratch that last one. Even more distressing than the existence of what one might call "play rompers" is the rise of the formal romper. Because nothing says chic like an outfit that you must remove completely in order to urinate.
In doing my corneal-burning Internet research for this piece I found an About.com section titled "How Do I Wear Rompers?" Unfortunately, the answer was not "Shut the fuck up." In fact, the romper trend shows no sign of slowing. Now we are just encouraged to wear our rompers over woolen tights and long-sleeved tops! Oh, the humanity!
I realize that there are plenty of women who enjoy wearing adult rompers, and I mean to take no joy away from them (this is, after all, a free country, though I might argue that your right to wear rompers stops with my eyes). But I must make a plea to the sartorial powers that be: Make clothes for women, not overgrown toddlers. What's next, onesies with crotch snaps? Actually, that's not a bad idea, as it would be much easier to pee in those.
And while you're at it, stop it with the peep-toe boots. If it is cold enough for boots it is too cold for bare toes. Thank you.
Follow Una LaMarche on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sassycurmudgeon