Introducing The Male Romper

Male onesies made an appearance on the runway at Madrid Fashion Week on Sunday. Chadner Navarro talks to Spaniards about the shocking new trend.

Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

Every season, there’s a men's fashion trend more bizarre than the last: mandals, short shorts, murbans.

Here’s one that may be the strangest yet: male rompers. (Mompers? Manpers?)

During Madrid Fashion Week, which ends today, a brand called Davidelfin debuted a series of male one-piece garments sure to give guys some difficulty when they use the bathroom.

A full-length short-sleeve suit, a motorcycle-inspired multi-zipper shorts getup, and a boldly printed, crystal-embellished onesie came down his runway on Sunday. “Rompers are a new way of producing fashion for men,” says Decio Vitali, a fashion editor at Italy’s Collezioni magazine.

So new is the romper in the commercial men’s market in Spain that most guys didn’t even know what it was -- even after being shown pictures. And those who were familiar were only aware of them being a women’s item. Gonzalo Ramirez, a student from Madrid, says that while rompers are indeed more commonly accepted as womenswear, he might be open to wearing them. “If the fit is right, and it’s comfortable, why not?” But his friend, Hugo Perez, wasn’t convinced. “I wouldn’t,” he said. “They are too modern, and I’m more traditional. And I don’t think other guys here would, either.”

Local actor Joan Carles Suau agreed that rompers may just be too hard a sell for guys in the Spanish capital. “They are for the atrevido,” he said. (Atrevido is Spanish for daring). But Suau claimed that the city isn’t without them, and that there are many guys who would gladly rock a onesie, especially if Davidelfin designed it. Sergio Santiago, a fashion-forward Madridista who works in advertising, said that he, too, can see himself wearing a romper, but added that “Davidelfin has a certain target, and those people are the ones who will wear the romper. Maybe not the average guy on the street.”

Michael Kors actually experimented with male onesies (a shirt attached to underwear) for his first menswear collection, which debuted in 1991. But as Kors said now, it was a big mistake. “I had never worn one of these bodysuits or thought about how, when a man sends his dress shirts to the dry cleaner, he would send his underwear attached,” Kors wrote in Newsweek. “I had never thought about the discomfort of the snaps, the oddity of getting undressed in front of anyone, or going to the bathroom.” He continued: “ Whenever I am tempted to do something that’s totally insane for men, I decide that I’m going to try it on myself. And then I say, “Just remember the bodysuits.”