Hello and Happy Friday, everyone — and DAY BEFORE THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND!!!!! With a mini-vacay full of BBQs, beaches, fireworks & fun, it’s safe to say that some of us vintage lovers will be opting for CUTE VINTAGE ROMPERS, the must-have, go-to piece of the summer season! A few weeks ago I told you about the history of rompers in my newsletter (hint: they were first worn by little boys!) and gave you some very modern suggestions to peruse on my Shop Finds page. But today, I’m going to get a bit more specific with this snazzy style, as inspired by a recent question posed by vintage lover Lauren G:
” I really dig cute vintage rompers. I mean could the fashion gods have designed an easier, more stylistic way to look cute on the go? However, I have a little extra “love” in my midsection and don’t want to look like a cute human stuck in sausage packing, look pregnant, or anything else that super accentuates my plus-sizeness.
Although my super mission to get healthy is going well (Down 20.4 lbs!) for the time being I am still on the plus side of life. A beautiful plus size friend of mine recently wore a black romper out and looked stunning, but I really love the floral prints and not so plain ones.
Is it possible for me to partake in this fashion trend in floral print? Or am I doomed to fade to black?!”
Lauren, thank you SO MUCH for this question and CONGRATULATIONS! on achieving goals to feel and live in happy harmony with your HEALTH. I strive to educate, enlighten and entertain you to see vintage fashion as a great source of style for YOU, no matter your body shape or how close you are to that “goal weight” we all seem to have, no matter our size. Keep reading after the jump for some more of my personal musings on embracing the beautiful you, and to answer’s Lauren’s great question: For 6 great tips on successfully wearing the best vintage rompers for plus-size style! A few months ago I did a post on how to wear vintage for your figure. The article was WELL received, and I hope that today’s post on advice for wearing rompers is just as helpful. Because my body shape is tall and lean, I have the blessing of being able to wear just about anything. I do not want this site — especially any pictures of me — to discourage vintage lovers from achieving the creative self expression that makes them feel GREAT because of vintage sizing. Like you may feel sometimes, I have days where I’m just not happy with my body. Whether it’s spurred by hormones (ugh, estrogen!) or insecurities because those drinks last night left me feeling a bit bloated … we all have our “days” and our personal scenarios of low self-esteem. But it’s in remembering that loving every single bit of ourselves no matter the moment is TRUE style — of killer confidence! — that we can take what we got, love it for its individual beauty tailored to US, and in the famous words of Missy Elliot’s infamous jam: WORK IT! I love that I can “work” vintage fashion into your life, whether you’re a petite size 2, a plus size 16 or a toned, tall tomboy like me. We are who we are because that is our duty-bound destiny — and style RIGHTS! Hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend — and to my UK, Canadian, Australian and other international followers … thank YOU for supporting American vintage! I have great pride knowing my country can offer such bountiful style sense to all of you.
TIP #1: LONG SHORTS WITH LOW CROTCH
THE STYLE: Rompers with long shorts, usually cut with a low crotch. These are not your denim cut-off length, ladies. These are shorts that flow and grace the leg with breathing room. When your legs are together, the romper looks like a summer dress, which gives people more reason to stop and compliment you on your great style trick. THE REASONING: Ever heard of camel toe? Well, the itty bitty romper styles without breathing room will look twice as small when they’re riding up your crotch a la the dreaded camel toe. Even get this sometimes because my legs are about a mile long! The benefit to longer shorts, too, is that your romper is instantly classy. You won’t look younger than your age, which is one of the inherent problems with wearing “a romper.” They were originally intended for children to play in, so it only makes sense that some styles would be more appropriate for teenage girls.
TIP #2: DRAWSTRING OR ELASTIC WAIST
THE STYLE: Rompers with drawstring or elastic waists (sometimes both) expand to create a looser waist, or just to fit a thicker mid-area. THE REASONING: The drawstring and elastic waist expands naturally so that the material fabric isn’t clutching your skin awkwardly and drawing more attention to your mid-area width than you truly want. Drawstring waists means you can actually make your waist size BIGGER than it truly is, so that when you sit down all is comfortable throughout the romper. You won’t feel suffocated, as if you were wearing a girdle! The #1 tip to wearing clothes well? Wear ones that FIT! Oh-so-often do I see women wearing styles two sizes two small (or generations too young!) which just heighten any “problems” they may point out themselves. Class = fit, so opting for an elastic waist band or drawstring waist allows that fit to happen without stress.
TIP #3: OPT FOR SHORT SLEEVES
THE STYLE: Short sleeve rompers may have extra fabric and seem defeating to the point of wearing something cool and care-free for summer, but with the right fabric you can still feel as light & airy as you would in even the most material-less of romper styles. THE REASONING: Opting for short sleeves is similar to opting for a longer short length in your romper: Instant class. It’s true what they say about work clothes: Sleeveless is for “casual Friday.” Sleeves? That’s style sense. When it comes to establishing the best silhouette for the plus-size shape, short sleeves paired with flowy, longer shorts creates the same effect as a great blouse top and dress shorts would. The only difference? Both are combined in a romper. Short sleeves won’t “cinch” your under arms, either, which can potentially create those dreaded “skin rolls” that appear when you lay your arm flat against your body. Short sleeves are roomy and sleek, so it won’t appear (as I mention above) that you’re wearing something too small (or young) for your shape and style.
TIP #4: COLOR BLOCK & TWO TONE CREATES A TINY WAIST
THE STYLE: Rompers designed with “color blocking” — i.e. two distinct colors stacked one on top of the other in “block” shapes. In search, this style is sometimes characterized as “two tone” or “double tone” by sellers. THE REASONING: The stacking of two contrasting colors creates an instant waist-effect. In other words: It gives you a tinier midsection! The eye is tricked into thinking that the part where the dark shade begins — note that all the examples above are “light” on top and “dark” on bottom — is tinier than it really is. Rock not one — but TWO colors — and you’ve just given yourself a DIY waist cinch that IS a cinch to do!
TIP #5: SAY NO TO CRISS-CROSS BACKSTRAPS
THE STYLE: Many a romper is designed creatively in the back. I’m a sucker for criss-cross back straps, however I think that the thick vertical strap look is best as a sleeveless, strappy option for your style shape. THE REASONING: Criss cross straps could potentially be too tight. While the rest of the romper may lay on you perfectly, I speak from personal experience that our “backs” can be more muscular and therefore larger than the style is cut for. So, what happens when the criss cross straps don’t fit right on your back? Instant skin “clutch,” which makes your back look like it has (dare I say it?!) back fat! Now, this is a style issue that can happen to ANY girl. If the straps don’t fit, they’re going to cut into your skin and suck the skin outward to create this “fat” effect. By opting for a straight, vertical strap that lays at ease without the pressure of criss-crossing, you have a much lesser risk for this potential problem!
TIP #6: SAY YES TO THIN VERTICAL STRIPES
THE STYLE: Thin, vertical stripe rompers versus thick, horizontal ones. THE REASONING: This may seem obvious — especially because I know oh-so-many-of-you work in the fashion industry, anyway but there is actually a right way to wear stripes! Wide, thick stripes will make you appear wider. What won’t make you appear wider — but will actually lengthen & lean you out — are thin, vertical ones, like you see in the romper to the left.
4 GREAT ROMPERS TO BUY!
BUY IT NOW: ’90s floral grunge romper, $30
BUY IT NOW: Safari style romper, $34
BUY IT NOW: Nautical striped romper, $33
BUY IT NOW: Colorblock romper, $29.99