History of the Dressing Gown


For the function of this report it could be helpful to start with a few definitions of the various descriptors that are most commonly applied when referring to a gown worn close to the property as loungewear:


The English term ‘robe’ is taken from the middle English phrase of the exact same name indicating ‘garment’, the word ‘robe’ has its routes in the Frankish language as ‘rouba’. It is believed to have originated with the that means of ‘booty’ or ‘spoils’ referring to items and apparel stolen and associated to the phrase ‘rob’. The word was adopted by the Previous French language to initially refer to the very same ‘booty’ or ‘spoils’ nonetheless the indicating has progressed to the present day to now refer to ‘a woman’s dress.’

The stage of difference in between a gown and similar products such as a cloak and cape are its sleeves.


Bathrobes are manufactured using absorbent fabrics, most frequently terry toweling, this has the gain of drying the system right after bathing. The bathrobe serves two benefits as a towel, absorbing dampness soon after bathing and as an informal garment of garments, to be worn around the household soon after waking in the morning in addition to carrying in the night soon after bathing.

Dressing Gown

A dressing gown is a phrase that was ordinarily involved with men’s outfits garments. Dressing gowns are unfastened open up fronted robes that generally close with a material belt about the waist, considerably extra on this to occur!


Although usually performed, the dressing gown ought to no be baffled with the housecoat, this was a pretty well-liked product of apparel in the 1940s. Also acknowledged as a duster, the residence coat was a quite practical garment it was longer in length than an apron and far more modest in coverage than a pinafore. At a time when women of all ages would rarely leave their houses without having wanting their absolute greatest the housecoat was the excellent way to defend the picked outfit of the day, women would just swap into their housecoat to carry out their everyday chores.

Housecoats different in type but have been commonly knee size or extended to deal with any beneath clothes, they were made from a light-weight fabric which was occasionally quilted for heat. The housecoat would fasten at the entrance with both buttons or a zipper.

The use of the housecoat developed more than time, getting to be extra tasteful, subtle and feminine in form, lots of girls started off to use their housecoats in the evenings, even when internet hosting guests, the housecoat took on a related part to the male ‘dressing gown’.

In the latest occasions the housecoat has grow to be a relatively dated expression that is hardly ever utilised. Most individuals want to adapt the term dressing gown as unisex for the two male and female home robes. On a the latest poll that was operate by thestudentroom.co.united kingdom, 91% of male and feminine respondents most well-liked to use the term dressing robe.

The Background of the Dressing Robe

It is thought that the donning of a dressing gown in the western world has its routes in the mid 17th Century, it was initially only worn by adult males and it was termed the ‘banyan’. The phrase ‘banyan’ encompassed quite a few unique variations of robes that were well-liked amongst gentlemen concerning 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 instance of this. It is considered that gentlemen adopted the ‘banyan’ layout from Persian and Asian impressed clothing (Banyan in Portuguese, Arabic and Gujarati all which means ‘merchant’).

At the time of the mid 17th century a preferred penchant for the unique and oriental had turn into a mainstream fascination in Europe. This coincided, and could be attributed to, strengthened trade routes with the East. The Chinoiserie design and style emerged as a preferred fashion. This French term this means “Chinese-esque” has given that turn out to be a recurring topic in European artistic styles. Chinoiserie displays Chinese creative influences. This penchant for the exotic and oriental was a foremost influence on the accomplishment of the ‘banyan’, this title remaining predecessor to the ‘dressing gown’.

Also described in texts as a early morning gown, robe de chambre or nightgown, the banyan was a unfastened floor length gown. The type of the banyan in the 1800s was a basic ‘T-shape’ kimono-style structure as seen below. Banyans were ordinarily manufactured from imported Indian Chintz fabric though they have been in some cases built from Chinese and French silks also.

The banyan was worn about the home as an informal coat it was most typically worn over the shirt and breeches. The banyan was normally paired with a smooth, turban-like cap that was worn in position of the formal periwig, a quite preferred wig worn by adult males at the time of the 17th and 18th hundreds of years. Throughout the 18th century it was fashionable for adult males, specially of an mental of philosophical persuasion to have their portraits commissioned and to be painted even though sporting their banyans or morning gowns:

‘Loose attire contribute to the straightforward and vigorous exercise of the colleges of the thoughts. This remark is so apparent, and so frequently recognized, that we come across studious males are generally painted in robes, when they are seated in their libraries.’

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

Later on the banyan progressed into a much more fitted design with set-in sleeves very similar to a man’s coat. The banyan was manufactured offered in lots of diverse lengths and shapes with distinctive cuts and styles. Just after the 19th century, the identify of the ‘banyan’ also evolved to become the ‘dressing gown’ of nowadays.

Gals and The Dressing Robe

All this speak of males in dressing gowns is wonderful but I hear you inquire – so what about females and dressing gowns?!

Whilst guys in Europe have been speedy to adopt and incorporate Asian and Asian encouraged textiles and garments it was not until finally the late 18th Century that women’s trend would be influenced. At this time it was a small accent these kinds of as a scarf or lover and it would be a further 100 a long time until women in Europe would start out putting on clothing from other cultures this kind of as the kimono and Chinese robe.

There is very little mention in history publications of females sporting robes despite the fact that we do know that they did certainly wear an equivalent of the dressing gown whilst it was much easier in fashion and material to the mans banyan. In his analyze of the Nineteenth Century French Bourgeoisie fashion Philippe Perrot noticed:

‘The dressing robe constituted a curious split amongst males and gals. Adult males have been stunning and females ended up drab.’

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

Perhaps this ‘drabness’ explains why there is minimal published in the history books of style and trend to chronicle the feminine dressing gown. This deficiency of historic fascination in the feminine equal of the dressing robe continues in the heritage textbooks right until the 19th Century. Luckily items have changed and females now have an abundance of wonderful, opulent dressing robes to selected from.

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