Where are her parents? I think to myself as I watch a young child cross the street, unattended. They wouldn’t just leave her alone like this, in the middle of the city—would they? The more I watch her, the more perplexed I become. Judging by her outfit, a short romper suit gathered at the waist and around the thighs to look like mini knickerbockers, it’s clear she’s just this side of infanthood. She must be a toddler. Yet, she’s so tall. And she’s carrying an iPhone. And she sure is a good walker. And then, in a Kafkaesque moment of horror, I have a realization: she’s no baby. She’s a woman in toddler’s clothing! Panic sets in, and a new line of unanswerable questions comes knocking: Is this a joke? Did she steal from a baby? Is she wearing diapers? How did this happen?
This, my friends, is the mental odyssey I embark on every time I flip through the pages of a fashion magazine or wander the aisles of a department store these days. Rompers abound; and not in the toddler section. Women, much to the confusion of onlookers everywhere, are digging the onesie, a style that even two-year-olds are itching to retire. Given that this bubbly baby suit is both unflattering and suggestive of diapers, I’m forced to assume there’s either been a widespread rabies outbreak or there’s an invisible psychological force at work here that is driving people to dress against their own best interests. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we are dealing with the early stages of Hott Womb Syndrome.
Hott Womb Syndrome, a convincingly scientific phrase I coined thirty seconds ago, is the final destination of a youth-obsessed culture that has nowhere left to go. When the fashion stylings of Sesame Street, Gymboree, and OshKosh B’Gosh have all been used up and sexified, but the desire to appear even younger and hotter remains, the only option is to crawl back from whence we came: the womb. We’ve been dismally trudging in this direction for years (flyaway baby-doll shirts, mini bubble dresses, and oversize maternity smocks, anyone?), but we’ve finally reached a tipping point. Either we take the antidote now, while we are still on the precipice of Infant Chic, gazing over the cliff in our adult rompers, or we fall off into the much messier trenches of Embryo Couture. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to see that. Take the antidote, America, and step away from the rompers. Let’s grow old together; it’s really not that bad.
Read Jeggings: WTF?
WTF? is a series dedicated to the trends that haunt our city streets and leave us with nothing else to say but, “What the f#$%!?” While individuality is appreciated when it comes to personal style, WTF-committers may suffer from a lack of judgment with regard to taking risks. If you see a trend that leaves you saying, “WTF?” please send a message care of the editor to email@example.com.