Farewell to the RompHim, a romper for men that just never caught on

(CNN) — RompHim, the brand that made rompers “for him,” is set to shutter after nearly three years in business.

This week, the company announced that it will stop manufacturing the loose cotton playsuits that were once so popular — if only for a few weeks in 2017 — and sell off its remaining inventory at a 75% discount.

The RompHim frenzy kicked off three springs ago, after its founders launched a KickStarter campaign for their business. The brand wasn’t the first to market rompers to men, but it attracted the interest of fully-grown fraternity brothers, among others.

But the fad died down along with the novelty factor. Major online retailers also started selling their own takes on the male romper, often at cheaper prices (according to the RompHim website, the Oxford Romper originally cost $119).

Versatile garment

Historically, rompers weren’t made with men or women in mind, specifically — they were for for everyone.

To this day, firefighters zip into flame-retardant jumpers to save lives. Military pilots wear flight suits to protect them from the elements in the air. Babies are buttoned into them before they can dress themselves.

“Onesie” suits were also a wartime essential. In World War II, when the threat of Nazi air raids loomed over the UK, the British government mass-marketed “siren suits,” long and warm one-pieces that people could easily jump into when the sirens sounded, Refinery29 reported in 2015.

UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill often wore them, too, though his were velvet and jewel-toned.

The emphasis on “him,” may have narrowed RompHim’s market, however. It may also have made it tough to sell to nonbinary customers, and appeared to coopt a queer trend (according to Out Magazine, the LGBTQ community had embraced one-pieces long before RompHim).

As time went on, RompHim appeared to include women and gay men in its marketing. The brand also regularly shared images on social media of famous men — like Cam Newton and Sean Connery as James Bond — who had rocked rompers in the past.

NFL players, activists and mascots briefly endorsed the trend. But this week’s announcement suggests that it wasn’t enough.

In its heyday, RompHim aspired to “break down stereotypes and have fun doing it,” according to its brand story. At least it was fun while it lasted.


Florida woman accused of zipping her boyfriend in suitcase for hours until he died

(CNN) — Sarah Boone called 911 and said her boyfriend got trapped in a suitcase and died during a game of hide-and-seek, according to court records.

The Florida couple had been drinking Chardonnay and doing puzzles Sunday night in their Winter Park apartment, Boone told authorities, when they thought “it would be funny” to hop in a suitcase as a part of the game, according to an arrest affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Boone, 42, zipped up Jorge Torres Jr. in the blue suitcase containing a few items for donating. Two of his fingers stuck out, so she assumed he could open it, according to the affidavit.

She went upstairs to bed and thought he’d get himself out of the suitcase and join her, only to wake up Monday and find him still in it and not breathing, the affidavit says.

Boone was arrested Tuesday and faces a second-degree murder charge after investigators determined videos on her phone contradicted her story.

The phone footage shows her mocking her boyfriend as she filmed his cries for help, and telling him it was his punishment for cheating, according to the arrest affidavit.

“I can’t f**king breathe, seriously,” her boyfriend said in the phone video. “That’s on you. Oh, that’s what I feel like when you cheat on me,” she responds.

The video shows the victim pushing on the suitcase and trying to get out, the affidavit says. When police showed the video to Boone, she pushed it away halfway through and said she didn’t want to watch it, the affidavit says.

Police searched her iPhone after she signed a waiver and gave verbal and written consent. CNN has reached out to her public defender.

Boone denied intentionally leaving Torres in the suitcase, according to the affidavit.

Boone called police Monday afternoon and said she woke up hours earlier but assumed her boyfriend was on his computer in another room. When she could not find him, she suddenly realized he was still in the suitcase.

“Sarah unzipped the suitcase and found Jorge unresponsive and not breathing,” the affidavit says. “Sarah zipped Jorge in the suitcase to where he could not get out. Jorge begged Sarah repeatedly telling her he could not breathe and Sarah left him in the suitcase … and demonstrated a depraved mind without regard for Jorge’s life.”

When police arrived at the scene, they found the victim near the front door with a laceration on his lip and bruising around his eye.

Boone is being held without bail. No cause of death is listed on the arrest affidavit.