What Is the Difference between Jumpsuits and Rompers?

Special jumpsuits known as coveralls can vary widely in design depending on what hazards the wearer may be exposed to.
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  • Written By: Lisa Mohr
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 08 March 2015
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Jumpsuits and rompers are a recurring women’s clothing trend, most notably worn in the 1970s and 1980s and regaining popularity in 2010. Although in the fashion world references to jumpsuits and rompers are often used interchangeably, there is actually a distinct difference between these two clothing trends. Jumpsuits are traditionally one-piece garments with full tops — either with sleeves or strapless — and long pants. Rompers are similar in style but are traditionally short on the bottom instead of including full-length pants.

After short rompers graced fashion runways in 2009, they gained new ground across the retail spectrum, appearing everywhere from high-end designer boutiques to every-day retail stores. The versatility of the design is thought to be the romper's key to success. These one-piece outfits can be worn as evening or day wear. They are constructed in a variety of fabrics, from cotton to high-end silks, and come in just about any color and pattern imaginable. Although they are sometimes thought of as being a form-fitting garment, both jumpsuits and rompers come in a range of designs, making it possible to find a style to flatter just about any body type.

Rompers, being short, are traditionally thought of as summer wear and are primarily found in lighter colors and fabrics. They are typically marketed as an alternative to summer's traditional breezy sundresses. Jumpsuits are also fairly popular in summer, especially if the top has a halter or short-sleeved design, but their long pants make them wearable in colder seasons, as well.


Both terms — jumpsuits and rompers — have extended meanings beyond their basic definitions within the designer fashion community. Rompers were first designed for children in the Victorian era, because they were thought to allow for more movement for youngsters as they ran and played. The term romper is also often associated with children’s one-piece clothing, whether with long pants or short. Items such as jumpsuits, jumpers, one-piece swimming suits and sleepwear also may find themselves placed, rightly or wrongly, under the title of romper.

The term jumpsuit also has meaning outside the women’s clothing trend. Before the emergence of the jumpsuit as a women’s fashion, the jumpsuit had a very masculine connotation that wasn't very fashionable. One-piece garments worn by race car drivers, astronauts, skydivers, custodians and several other blue-collar employees are classified as jumpsuits. Those jumpsuits designed specifically for work purposes also are known as coveralls, because they cover the entire body, protecting both the worker's skin and whatever clothing he may have chosen to wear under the one-piece garment.



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Post 3

@ElizaBennett: To the eyes of a man, some of these jumpsuits/rompers are really sexy!

Post 2

@ElizaBennett - Well, yes, it's easier to use the bathroom in a dress, but it's not all that hard in the jumpsuits and rompers they make for women. The process is not unlike if you were wearing a one-piece bathing suit.

As for why not just wear a dress, well, dresses aren't so good for sitting on the ground, are they? So if you're going to some sort of local sporting event, say, and you're just going to spread out a blanket on the ground, a romper is a lot more comfortable. But you still get the advantage of one-piece dressing -- you just grab one thing from your closet and you're dressed.

Post 1

I have to say, I just don't understand this trend of rompers and jumpsuits for grown women. I put them on my babies, sure -- before they're potty trained. I get the ones with snaps up the legs so I can easily change their diapers.

But isn't it hard to use the bathroom in a romper or jumpsuit? Since you have to take off the whole darn thing? Why wouldn't you just wear a dress? Much cuter and easier to pee.

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