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Record of the Dressing Gown

Record of the Dressing Gown


For the intent of this posting it might be useful to get started with a couple of definitions of the different descriptors that are most generally used when referring to a gown worn about the dwelling as loungewear:


The English phrase ‘robe’ is taken from the center English term of the similar identify which means ‘garment’, the word ‘robe’ has its routes in the Frankish language as ‘rouba’. It is imagined to have originated with the that means of ‘booty’ or ‘spoils’ referring to merchandise and garments stolen and related to the phrase ‘rob’. The word was adopted by the Outdated French language to initially refer to the identical ‘booty’ or ‘spoils’ having said that the meaning has developed to the present day to now refer to ‘a woman’s gown.’

The place of difference amongst a gown and comparable items these as a cloak and cape are its sleeves.


Bathrobes are manufactured working with absorbent fabrics, most usually terry toweling, this has the profit of drying the system just after bathing. The bathrobe serves two positive aspects as a towel, absorbing humidity right after bathing and as an informal garment of clothes, to be worn all around the household following waking in the early morning in addition to sporting in the night following bathing.

Dressing Gown

A dressing robe is a expression that was typically associated with men’s apparel garments. Dressing robes are free open up fronted robes that usually shut with a material belt about the waistline, substantially additional on this to come!


Despite the fact that commonly finished, the dressing gown need to no be baffled with the housecoat, this was a very common item of apparel in the 1940s. Also acknowledged as a duster, the dwelling coat was a very beneficial garment it was longer in duration than an apron and more modest in protection than a pinafore. At a time when females would not often depart their homes with no seeking their absolute most effective the housecoat was the best way to secure the picked outfit of the working day, women would simply swap into their housecoat to complete their everyday chores.

Housecoats varied in design but were normally knee size or for a longer period to deal with any beneath garments, they were being manufactured from a mild cloth which was at times quilted for heat. The housecoat would fasten at the front with possibly buttons or a zipper.

The use of the housecoat progressed in excess of time, turning into additional tasteful, refined and female in kind, quite a few women started to dress in their housecoats in the evenings, even when internet hosting company, the housecoat took on a very similar position to the male ‘dressing gown’.

In modern situations the housecoat has develop into a alternatively dated term that is not often utilised. Most people want to adapt the phrase dressing gown as unisex for equally male and woman house robes. On a recent poll that was operate by thestudentroom.co.united kingdom, 91{c30f02d1a3839018c3a3c8c7102050a0b32e2e4f8eba54dea6cc544f0247e749} of male and female respondents preferred to use the term dressing robe.

The History of the Dressing Gown

It is thought that the carrying of a dressing gown in the western environment has its routes in the mid 17th Century, it was originally only worn by gentlemen and it was named the ‘banyan’. The phrase ‘banyan’ encompassed several different types of robes that were well-liked among gentlemen among the mid 17th to the early 19th Century.

Europeans started to undertake costume style and influences from other cultures in the early 17th Century and the banyan is the earliest case in point of this. It is imagined that adult men adopted the ‘banyan’ design and style from Persian and Asian influenced clothes (Banyan in Portuguese, Arabic and Gujarati all which means ‘merchant’).

At the time of the mid 17th century a preferred penchant for the exotic and oriental had grow to be a mainstream fascination in Europe. This coincided, and could be attributed to, strengthened trade routes with the East. The Chinoiserie style emerged as a well-known trend. This French time period meaning “Chinese-esque” has given that grow to be a recurring concept in European creative types. Chinoiserie demonstrates Chinese artistic influences. This penchant for the unique and oriental was a foremost impact on the results of the ‘banyan’, this identify being predecessor to the ‘dressing gown’.

Also described in texts as a early morning robe, gown de chambre or nightgown, the banyan was a loose floor length robe. The fashion of the banyan in the 1800s was a simple ‘T-shape’ kimono-design design and style as witnessed beneath. Banyans were ordinarily developed from imported Indian Chintz fabric despite the fact that they were occasionally created from Chinese and French silks too.

The banyan was worn all-around the residence as an informal coat it was most usually worn around the shirt and breeches. The banyan was generally paired with a soft, turban-like cap that was worn in place of the formal periwig, a very well known wig worn by males at the time of the 17th and 18th centuries. Throughout the 18th century it was trendy for adult men, notably of an intellectual of philosophical persuasion to have their portraits commissioned and to be painted whilst sporting their banyans or early morning robes:

‘Loose dresses lead to the easy and vigorous physical exercise of the faculties of the head. This remark is so evident, and so usually identified, that we uncover studious men are constantly painted in gowns, when they are seated in their libraries.’

(Benjamin Rush, Founding Father of the United States. ‘Franklin and Friends’, 2006)

Later the banyan advanced into a a lot more fitted design with established-in sleeves comparable to a man’s coat. The banyan was made accessible in quite a few different lengths and designs with distinct cuts and models. Soon after the 19th century, the name of the ‘banyan’ also advanced to turn out to be the ‘dressing gown’ of currently.

Women of all ages and The Dressing Robe

All this converse of gentlemen in dressing gowns is wonderful but I hear you ask – so what about ladies and dressing robes?!

While guys in Europe had been brief to undertake and include Asian and Asian motivated textiles and garments it was not right up until the late 18th Century that women’s style would be influenced. At this time it was a tiny accent such as a shawl or admirer and it would be a more 100 yrs until eventually women in Europe would start out carrying outfits from other cultures this sort of as the kimono and Chinese gown.

There is tiny point out in heritage books of women putting on robes despite the fact that we do know that they did indeed dress in an equivalent of the dressing gown even though it was considerably less complicated in design and style and material to the mans banyan. In his review of the Nineteenth Century French Bourgeoisie design and style Philippe Perrot observed:

‘The dressing gown constituted a curious split concerning adult males and women of all ages. Guys were being dazzling and women of all ages have been drab.’

(‘Fashioning the Bourgeoisie’ by Philippe Perrot, 1981).

Maybe this ‘drabness’ clarifies why there is very little composed in the heritage textbooks of design and fashion to chronicle the female dressing gown. This deficiency of historical fascination in the feminine equivalent of the dressing robe carries on in the heritage books until eventually the 19th Century. Luckily things have altered and females now have an abundance of stunning, opulent dressing gowns to selected from.