Kimberlee’s Pick: Return of The Romper

Nostalgia consumes me as I see this season’s rompers blaze the summer fashion scene evoking memories of my first blister inducing sunburn. It was late July. The air was hot, stagnant, looming; it felt like the devil himself was breathing on me. I sat perched on the lawn of an outdoor Alabama concert wearing my fave white cotton romper. It was light, easy to put on and covered in a very random 80’s ice cream cone pattern in an array of pastel “flavors.” Ahh, good times! Never the less, I can only seem to avert my attention from trends that grace the pages of Cosmo for so long before I simply must have a go at it.

From what I can tell, the vision behind these little frocks, re-designed for grown-ups, involves a certain element of ease and comfort…mixed with a dash of creativity to make the romper work for your body. After a bit of trial and error, I have discovered one key point:
                                  say it with me ladies

                 not every romper works for every body type
.

My STRONG recommendation is to try on at least five before making a purchase. And then after you’ve completed the marathon try it on again when you get home, in front of someone that loves you enough to tell you the truth even if it could potentially end in tears.

Romper Obstacles

  • Many are cut too long or too short in the torso creating an ill fitting waist or rise (see photo on the right)
  • Some have elastic waistbands which are placed too high or too low, or even worse, are so uncomfortably snug that they create a very unflattering silhouette.
  • Others have a blouson fit, shown on the left, which can work well if the shoulder straps are the right length for your body. However if they are not it will add extra length creating much more volume than anyone should ever try to get away with in the tummy area.This style can completely dissolve a waistline and make you appear 10 lbs. heavier.
  • The inseam of the short can be an issue as well. If the short is a tailored fit, the length of the inseam can really be a balancing act to avoid looking trashy. Refer to the photo on the right. The inseam must cover all when sitting, standing, bending etc.

After my painful trial and error session, I chose a lighter than air piece from Kouture by Kimora. What I love the most about the Sleeveless Scoop Printed Racerback Romper is the level of effortlessly beautiful detail infused into one garment.

The abstract print contains an element of animal, and an array of summery rich color, with white accents. The over-sized button at the neckline and the braided racerback offer complementary visual interest that balances the look. The inseam is cut at 3” conquering the “trashy” potential, and the loosely elasticized waist band includes a drawstring allowing you to control the level of cinch in the waist. 

The hem of the shorts is constructed in the same fashion as the waist, with both elastic and bow detail (not drawstring), which I am a huge fan of for this style.  I thought the elastic at the hem of the leg would make it feel like an old fashioned bloomer, but when I put it on I found that it is quite flattering and adds to the unique element of this piece. 

Insider’s tip:  Because the Kouture by Kimora line is sized in the Juniors sizing structure, it is cut to fit closer to the body. I chose a size larger, as I frequently do with Juniors clothing. This is a matter of taste, but worth a try…tag sizes are typically just a guideline, not an exact science. The slightly larger size offers enough extra room to make it perfectly tasteful enough to add a large belt and heels, with a breezy fit.  The smaller size would have been more of a glove like fit; so again, this is a matter of taste.

Certainly a far cry from my 80’s ice cream cone patterned disaster, and has recreated my vision of the romper.  With an updated style, wedge sandals, and some SPF30 for my shoulders…I have been reformed.  Bring on the heat!

Photos: Macys, Shopstyle.com

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