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The Birth of Bathrobes

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Hey, Loungewear Lovers!

Robes have been around for a very long time, dating back to ancient times. These long, loose-fitting garments were worn in public. They signified importance in society—not exactly the image you’d be putting out there nowadays if you donned your robe and went out to, say, pick up groceries.

These days, robes pretty much stay reserved to either ceremonial purposes or loungewear for morning and nighttime attire. And while you may one day wear a robe in a ceremony (for graduation perhaps), today we’re going to focus on the luxurious loungewear of bathrobes.

The history of this particular kind of robe begins with the dressing gown in the western world early on in the 18th Century. It was modeled after the Eastern banyan. These garments were originally intended for men as a sort of home alternative to a heavy outdoor cloak. In the early 1700s, robes were made of fabrics like silk sometimes with gold or silver thread woven in for decorative patterning. However, over time, other fabrics became common for cheaper alternatives products. Cotton robes became commonplace.

And around the 1850s, the market for women started taking advantage of these less expensive robes for morning routines. They wore robes and dressing gowns with undergarments for breakfast, for sewing, and all-around relaxing.

This made way for the bathrobe to become a hot item in the early 1900s. This craze lasted well through half the century. It became standard before very long that each member of the family would have their own robe for leisurely Saturday mornings and trips through the house from the shower to the bedroom.

As Americans adopted a faster-paced living beyond the 1950s, busier schedules allowed for less ‘hangout’ time among families in the home and robes became much less typical. They are, however, still a popular piece of apparel especially at summer camp! Check out some great robes we have available here at Everything Summer Camp from masters of comfort like Candy Pink, and Sovereign Athletics. As always, thanks for reading!


- John

Posted in History Lessons


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