In the English language there are sometimes multiple words to describe the same thing, so is this the case here?
Are bathrobes, Dressing Gowns, Bed Jackets and Housecoats the same thing?
Well no, not really (although, in my opinion, anything that’s warm and snuggly is a Dressing Gown)
However not according to the experts who will tell you that the main difference between the Bathrobe and Dressing Gown is that a bathrobe is made from towelling material while dressing gowns are not, and a Housecoat? Well that is something you wear around the house anytime of the day or night, sometimes even over your clothes for a bit of extra heat, and traditionally comes with Buttons or Zipper on the front.
Bathrobes and Dressing Gowns are generally loose-fitting robes both men and women wear inside the home and normally they come with a tie and are wrapped around the body. Basically, both are garments for cosy comfort and warmth, but the Bathrobe (because of its towelling material) is usually worn after a bath or shower or possibly even a dip in the pool. A towelling bathrobe acts almost like a towel, soaking up the water thus helping you to dry off. The swanky hotel white Bathrobes are a perfect example.
Dressing Gowns people usually wear during the time between getting out of bed and getting dressed, so jumping out of the bed on a chilly morning in your jammies, wrapping yourself up in your fleecy warm dressing gown and heading downstairs to put on the kettle and feed maybe the cat and dog (or both), then back upstairs to get dressed and ready for the day. And the night routine would go something like into the jammies, on with the Dressing Gown about an hour before bedtime (or several hours for some), a bit of relaxation time before bed, then off with the Dressing gown and into bed.
Now the Housecoat was a very popular item of attire in the 1940s, although then known as a duster. The house coat was a very useful garment it was longer in length than an apron and more modest in coverage than a pinafore. At a time when women would rarely leave their houses without looking their absolute best the housecoat was the perfect way to protect the chosen outfit of the day, women would simply switch into their Button Down or Zip front housecoat to perform their daily chores. Housecoats varied in style but were usually knee length or longer to cover any under garments, they were made from a light fabric back then, later becoming quilted for warmth. The housecoat would fasten at the front with either buttons or a zipper.
The use of the housecoat evolved over time to become more elegant, sophisticated articles and feminine in form. Many women started to wear their housecoats in the evenings, even when hosting guests, the housecoat took on a similar role to the male ‘dressing gown’, which was considered stylish on a man (for example Roger Moore when playing 007) while the woman’s dressing gown was considered drab. In recent times the housecoat has become a rather dated term that is rarely used, and yet the housecoat has a different function to the Bathrobe or Dressing Gown. Worn over your day attire for keeping your chosen outfit clean or in the evening (and I see my mum do this) worn for warmth while watching the soaps on TV.
The bed jacket is a lightweight jacket worn to cover the chest, shoulders and arms while sitting up in bed. Its short in length and is great for those who like to sit up reading. Originating in the 17th century as a garment worn for warmth bed jackets could be home-made from practical materials such as knitted wool, flannel or cotton, or more expensive garments designed to exchange a measure functionality for elegance. They were popularized in 1930s films, featuring glamorous settings and female starlets lounging languorously in silken bedrooms. Such bed jackets were often made from sheer or lacy fabrics and displaying very feminine trimmings and details, considered an alluring item rather than used for warmth or modesty. A bed Jacket is a great idea for long term hospital or Nursing home stays.
All four.. Robe, Gown, Bed Jacket, Housecoat (or whatever it is that you call yours) have become extremely popular again especially as gift items. This is due mostly to the choice of styles, colour and materials (including gorgeous Satin). Brands are wide and various, including in price, but there’s no doubt about the fact that a good Robe will last for years, and will wash well because of the quality of the materials. Cheaper similar items will fray in the wash, shrink, and get bally and tatty looking very quickly.
Soo treat someone to a good one, and Christmas is a great time to do that. We have a VAST collection of top-quality Wrap Dressing Gowns, Bed Jackets and House Coats. We have lots of colours to choose from and styles including the Button through or Button-down night robes and Zip front robes as well. We carry the Marlon nightwear, the Slenderella nightwear and the cosy Indigo Sky nightwear collections all available in our shop in Longford, Ireland. We also have lounge wear, pyjamas and nightdresses (but that’s another conversation for another time), from small to plus sizes we have got you covered. So if you are in need of nightwear, you know where to go 🙂
If you would like any more information regarding our Brands, styles or anything else in our shop please feel free to contact us on 043-3344004 or call see us in our little lingerie and nightwear shop in Ireland, at 14 Dublin Street, Longford, Ireland.
*By the way the Button Down and Zip dressing gowns are the preferred night robes of choice in Nursing Homes and hospitals, easier dressing, and safer use with no hanging belt.