1920s & 1930s Rompers

This week I’m discussing loungewear and in particular rompers (or camiknickers as they are known in the UK) It’s been so hot in the England over recent weeks my night attire has been kept to the absolute minimum and although during hot spells I tend to sleep a la Marilyn Monroe (au naturel) as the mercury climbed I moved out to our Summer House in the garden to sleep which is far cooler than the house. Of course, this meant I had to wear something suitable to get to my Summer bedroom and have spent several hours revisiting my collection of rompers which date from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Silk Art Deco Romper

Vintage Lingerie | Silk Romper Camiknicker
Vintage Lingerie | 1920s Romper Camiknicker
Vintage Lingerie | Vintage Romper Camiknicker

A romper is a one piece bodysuit which comprises a camisole top, and loose tap pant style bottom. They’re normally loose fitting enabling you to step into them although some feature poppers or buttons at one side to give a more fitted look or a self tie belt to accentuate your figure (our - discontinued - Hollywood Romper featured both side fastening buttons and a self tie belt as you can never have too many curves!)

Vintage Lingerie | Vintage Art Deco Romper Camiknicker

During the 1970s and 1980s they evolved into ‘teddies’ which tended to feature higher cut legs and elasticated waists. Today designers are reverting to a more traditional romper and although the tap pant legs tend to be less flared than in the 1940s and 1950s you might be lucky and find a cute new vintage inspired romper somewhere you really wouldn’t expect.


1920s Romper

Vintage Lingerie | 1930s Camiknicker
1930s Vintage Lingerie and Silk Stockings
1930s Vintage Lingerie

Rompers of the 1940s and 1950s tended to be quite utilitarian in peach rayon or satin and surprisingly it’s the camiknickers of earlier decades which appear more risqué and detailed. The two camiknickers I’m showing you today both date from the early 20th century. The first is a semi sheer romper in eau de nil with a delicate peach lace trim. The second dates to the 1920s and is far more streamlined with art deco emblems on the bust and hip and a scalloped hem. The hem very much reminds me of ‘Peter Pan’ inspired hemlines which were so fashionable in the 1920s.

1930s Vintage Lingerie lace detail

Unlike other pieces of vintage lingerie, it’s still relatively easy to find vintage rompers in very good condition, at very reasonable prices and in a wide variety of sizes. Because of this we haven’t rushed to replace our Hollywood romper although it is something always on the minds of our design team. If you have any comments on the future production of loungewear at What Katie Did or would like to share images of pieces you think we might be inspired by, please share them in our Facebook group or our social media channels. I’d love to hear your views.

Before You Go

Our Youtube channel is updated weekly with new videos with product tips and info plus behind the scenes news. Follow our channel and you won't miss a thing.

Join our Facebook Social group where you can get to meet us and our fans and chat about all things lingerie and vintage related. You will need to accept our terms and conditions to be accepted!




Also in Vintage Lingerie and Fashion Magazine

Vintage Lingerie | The Greta Story
Vintage Lingerie | The Greta Story

Bra design in the 1950s was still in its infancy which is why recreating vintage designs for a modern audience sometimes doesn't go exactly to plan.
Read More
Summer Corsets | Mesh Corsets
Summer Corsets | Mesh Corsets

Do you know your obg from your hook side? Learn everything you need to know about vintage girdles so you can decide which style is best for you.
Read More
Girdles: All About Vintage Girdles
Girdles: All About Vintage Girdles

Do you know your obg from your hook side? Learn everything you need to know about vintage girdles so you can decide which style is best for you.
Read More