True life: I love rompers and jumpsuits. However, I've learned some lessons on the rules of rompers - especially for events! Here is the thing about jumpsuits and rompers - as chic as the can be, they present a whole level of weirdness that dresses don't have.
I arrived at my number one romper rule after the Preakness Stakes in 2014. Here I am with the fabulous Maker boys (tell me someone gets that reference...), our trainer's kiddos that I adore and force to take picture with me at any opportunity due to their adorableness:
There is no awkward zipper in this romper, but it required a whole lot of strap maneuvering to take on and off. Couple that with the fact that it got a little cool so I had a jacket on over it.. here's the thing with rompers and jumpsuits: to pee you basically get naked. In an event situation, a lot of times the bathrooms are okay at best. At Preakness, we had access to a fancy trailer portable potty. As nice as it was, I quickly realized that having to hang my jacket on something (there was nothing) and then take my romper down and make sure it didn't hit the gross ground was quite the undertaking, especially after champagne!!
That is how I arrived at the CARDINAL RULE OF ROMPERS: if peeing is a team sport, don't wear it to an event. If you have to rely on the kindness of strangers or a friend to get you in and out of the bathroom without flashing half the world, DO NOT WEAR IT. Go ahead and laugh, but take a second and think about it. Do you want to walk out into even the nicest of portable restrooms and have to hold your clothes up til someone can zip you? Didn't think so.
I learned my second rule of rompers the same year - if the weather (or aesthetic) requires a jacket and you do not have access to a restroom with a hook, DO NOT WEAR IT.
My third rule of rompers is a bit more general and stems from a lesson I had with my dear friend Ashley when I still had my boutique. Ashley was being a good sport and trying on a romper. I heard her call me, panicked, from the dressing room. Unfazed, I entered her room and immediately saw her predicament: she was stuck. Yes, this harkens back to rule 1 (don't wear anything that requires a teammate to get you out of!) but it solidified rule 3: rompers are like bras. Rompers are cut differently and each style isn't for everyone. For Ashley, this particular style was the enemy of her fit, athletic bod. The wrap style (like Yumi Kim, my personal fave!) would have been more conducive - but the one I had stupidly had her try was for someone with a short torso and no shoulders. Poor Ashley was stuck. After laughing our asses off, I extracted her and assured her that she just had to keep trying. Just like a certain bra style doesn't fit each woman in your life, each romper won't either!
Finally, rule 4. Undergarments. If a jumpsuit is strapless and you are busty - think things through. Think about this, all the weight of the fabric is below and unlike a dress there are pant legs to contend with. Jumpsuits will FALL DOWN and then you will be sad. (Or maybe this is what you are going for.. so you do you.). Double sided fashion tape is a great fix. Or, a wrap style jumpsuit or romper solves so many of these problems: you button up on the front, so no team sport bathroom issues and also the neckline is so flattering and regular undergarment friendly.
I am a particular fan of the Yumi Kim rompers: thats what I am wearing above! I have legitimately 6 of them. So comfy and can be dressed up or down! Here are some of my favorites:
For Derby, just remember: you want to be comfortable and chic. It is not comfortable to continually adjust your romper's bust line or pull it down at the crotch - so not chic!!!