Update: 1920s Gingham Romper

I posted my thoughts about this 1920s romper back in June. One of the things I wrote was this:

So rompers definitely were a thing for women, at least in the 1920s and 1930s. Still, I don’t agree with calling a gym suit a romper, no matter how much the garment is similar.

But then last week I found a real shocker in a 1926 high school yearbook.

These are the girls of the Gainesville Athletic Club at Gainesville High School in Florida. Could it be these were the actual basketball uniforms? It is hot in Florida, so maybe they adapted the usual bloomer suit into a light cotton garment.

I do need to make sure you notice that the suits are not identical, though they do seem to be made from the same fabric. And what’s with those belts?

It does pay to keep an open mind when it comes to the past. The minute we start saying “never” and “always” we run into trouble.

I also want to give a big thank you to all the kids over the past one hundred years who worked tirelessly on the yearbook committee. I don’t collect yearbooks, but anytime I run across an older one I always thumb through it to see if I can spot anything interesting. This time I was really rewarded.  Along with several yearbooks dating from the 1920s through the 40s, someone donated a series of photograph albums from the same years to Goodwill. It all ended up in the bins, and while I didn’t buy any of it, the guy who put them in his cart kindly let me photograph some really great photos.


Filed under Curiosities, Gymnasium, Proper Clothing, Rest of the Story, Sportswear

10 responses to “Update: 1920s Gingham Romper

  1. Gainesville – with / without the University – in the 20’s was considered “remote” and rural. I am surprised there is not one blonde among them – for the South!? The belts are a bit strange?! Knowing the area – I am equally surprised they were permitted to wear a romper.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ceci

    Very jazz-age looking hairstyles and make up on the basketball team! I’d love to know what color their gingham suits are. Interesting asymmetric buttons, too.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like some were customized. Maybe mom or the help had to sew them from a pattern, and took liberties. Note the gal first row, far right, who went for sleeveless. Same row, second from left, no vertical white button covering trim on hers. Gal in top row has white trim, no dark piping at all. I like this outfit! Better than the blue bloomers we had in HS.


  4. Fascinating! I thought at first that six were the same, but on closer inspection even those with the white stripe down the front have small variations. Don’t you think that a pattern and fabric were recommended, and then each girl (or her mother, or the local seamstress) made variations? And some aren’t in gingham at all. A real winner of a photo.


  5. Nancy

    Just last month my aunt gave me my grandmother’s high school yearbook. It is also from 1926, and grandma was the editor in chief! I can send you a scan if you are interested.


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