Remember the RompHim, the onesie designed for straight men to parade their metrosexuality without sacrificing hetero cred? It’s got a copycat: the lace-me-up-collar-shirt. The difference is that it actually does what RompHim wants to: challenge gender fashion expectations in men’s fashion.
The LA-based brand Hologram City’s lace shorts and shirt combo isn’t a single suit. It’s two halves sold separately and designed to look like a seamless piece. Nevertheless, both ensembles come in similar cuts and pastel hues. With Hologram City releasing its shorts just weeks after ACED Design’s ironic man romper rolled in, it seems intended to springboard off the RompHim’s social media success.
But who cares? This isn’t the first time a fashion line has shamelessly piggybacked on a trend. And anyway, Hologram City’s gloriously frilly fashion line is doing what ACED Design wants to do, only better.
ACED Design wanted RompHim to capitalize on increasingly flexible gender expectations but was gummed up by frat boy irony and “no homo” posturing. Though the onesie is marketed otherwise, a RompHim does not make a homophobic hetero bro any less homophobic.
Hologram City is nothing but androgynous pants, bolero hoodies for dudes with six packs and tattoos, and mesh tanks for all. Gender nonconformity is woven into the brand, which makes the romper-adjacent lace shorts and shirts less of a gimmick.
There’s no place to hide in lace shorts. The doily-like garments are see-through, literally and figuratively. They can’t cover up or excuse homophobia the way a RompHim does. it’s all on display: his junk, his masculinity and his actual degree of comfort with looking or not looking like a straight man.