Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Robe Love.

Have you ever wondered where the bathrobe came from? Here's a bit of history for you....

"Most have never wondered about the origins of a woman's robe considering its staple status in our wardrobe. The term ‘robe’ first appeared in 13th century France. It denoted a long, loose outer garment most usually worn by members of the clergy. Before this, however, Germanic sources show the word ‘rouba’ used to mean vestments, in regards to plunder or booty taken as spoils from the enemy. It was not until the 14th century that ‘robe’ was used as a verb (as in to disrobe) and the 17th century when it first referred to a garment associated with the legal profession.

Presumably the noun ‘robe’ was combined with ‘bath’ to indicate a garment that was used to cover up after washing oneself. It was a way to preserve the wearer’s modesty when moving to and from the bathroom or bath house.

Origins of the Robe as a Leisure Garment....As a dressing gown, the custom of wearing a women’s bathrobe does not enjoy a very long history in the relative scheme of things. Although there is little documentation as to when this switch from papal wear to leisure garment first occurred, aristocratic ladies of the 1700s were known to cover their nightgowns with a decorated sleeping jacket.

However, robes which function for purposes such as they do today were not commercially available until the 20th century. Up until that time, nightclothes were seen as mere coverings to fully disguise the human form (both male and female) and were purposely unattractive. Certainly it was not until nightwear became more scanty and revealing that there was a real need for bathrobes to be worn.

At the turn of the century, robes de nuit were the first women’s night garments considered a fashionable part of a trousseau, adorned with embellishments, and constructed of finer fabrics such as silk, lawn, and cambric.

It was a bit longer before bathrobes were an acceptable accessory in a man’s wardrobe. In the 1930s, dressing gowns became all the vogue for lounging about the house. Of course in the next two decades, a man’s bathrobe, or smoking jacket, would become the quintessential symbol for leisure men of wealth who enjoyed a fine cigar.

It is hard for many people to fathom that robes for women and men are such a modern item of clothing in consideration of how common they are today. Thankfully, there are many options available for us in these comfortable and functional leisure garments."
-Article written by Dana Prince, Canadian Freelance Writer


Wearing a robe around the house was never really my thing until I became a mom. Prior to this, when I was lounging in the house-- I typically preferred to just throw on an over-sized sweatshirt and flannel pajama pants to stay warm and cozy. My lounging attire preference changed though 4 years ago when me and my family moved to Virginia. On one of our first frigid winter mornings after moving there, I climbed out of bed freezing and the first thing I reached for was my bright red, warm, terry cloth robe. I had purchased it shortly after moving to Virginia thinking it might come in handy. I remember heading to the den, lighting a fire in our gas fireplace, going to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate and then sitting on the sofa wearing my ever warm and cozy red robe, sipping from my mug and watching Good Morning America. From then on, that red robe and I were constant buddies on those cold mornings. And well, Diane Sawyer on GMA. I must admit, that red robe was good to me. She kept me warm on many cold mornings and was a constant friend--well that is until someone else discovered her and just took her over...

Yep, you probably guessed right, Little Man quickly discovered how fun it was to snuggle in mommy's red robe. Here he is taking a catnap in the desk chair of the office, all snuggled in my red robe. So my red robe wearing days were never the same after that. Anytime he would see me put it on, he would then begin to follow me around the house, begging to wear it. I would try to stand my ground and say, "No...this is mommy's--please let me wear it." But he, the ever determined robe wearer, would not take no for an answer. So I would usually crumble under the pressure and let him wear it. Little Man was definitely in love with wearing mommy's robe. He likes to lounge on the couch in it and watch his Disney movies or take naps in it. I still get a little frustrated because I can't wear my own robe very much.

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to get myself a new robe. One that would just be MINE. I had grown tired of the tug-o-war with my Little Man over my cozy, red robe. So I headed to Macy's to see what they had. I searched and searched for the perfect robe for me. I was surprised at how expensive robes are and was bound determined to find one that I liked and that was under $25. I was so happy when I stumbled upon this pretty, soft and oh-so-warm lavender bathrobe. It fit perfect and even better, it had been marked down to $9.99-- SCORE!!! I quickly marched up to the Macy's counter and bought this lavender bathrobe and was looking forward to wrapping up in it at home.

Later that evening, after my usual night time bath routine, I came into the bedroom wearing my new lavender bathrobe and told the Hubby about the sweet deal I got on it. He liked it and commented on how soft it was and it was about that time that our Little Man walks into the bedroom and his eyes got really big as he noticed what mommy was wearing. He wasted no time in walking over to me and began rubbing the soft fabric and said, "Mommy got a new robe?" And looked up at me with those big, beautiful blue eyes. I just looked at him and said, "Oh great..." The rest is history folks--my second robe, the new lavender one wasn't mine for long.

Oh well...summer is just around the corner and it's too hot in Texas to wear a terry- cloth robe in the house anyway. ;-)



  1. LOVE the cartoon at the beginning! Happy lounging.

  2. I'm sure while he is visiting me he'll be looking for his favorite coat in my closet!:-) That boy is so cute!


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