January 3, 2024
January 8, 2024
January 3, 2024
January 8, 2024

Our December Coffee and Conversation asked the question “What is/has been your favourite garment/outfit?”

Tricky to answer – right?

I don’t think anyone was ready for my reply, though they might well have been if they lived here in the UK. As you can see from the photo, I am happiest in my dressing gown and I am not alone. In the first week of December alone. the dressing gown was googled around 183,000 times.

A recent article, by Telegraph writer Caroline Leaper, talks about the rise of the Dressing Gown Wardrobe. She feels that is a truly British phenomenon, as few other nations are obsessed in the way we are about this humble garment. She, quite rightly points out, that most people would wear them in the bathroom and the bedroom but, here in the UK, we also wear them while watching the TV, reading the paper, working at our desk and, in some parts of the country, shopping at the supermarket. Worn with pyjamas and slippers, and sometimes rollers in your hair, this is by no means unusual though I believe it’s now banned in some supermarkets. I am not kidding – believe me.

A good friend of mine used to wear hers on the school run and I’m sure she’s not alone in this particular habit. In fact, the dressing gown has become so prolific that one was worn by a defendant facing drug possession charges at a court hearing at Workington Magistrates Court. I guess they were found guilty – but of what charge, I’m not sure!

Admittedly, there are dressing gowns and dressing gowns. The former British Vogue editor Alexander Shulman joked she had millions. She collects them. I’m assuming they aren’t the fluffy, oversized ones that I’ve accumulated but more Hollywood film-star style silk robes or ones with luscious, exotic Indian prints.

Re the fluffy type: I was chatting with a friend and we decided there are definite rules to follow when purchasing said garment:

  1. Over sized – I am a UK size 8/10 but I buy 18/22
  2. Must be full length
  3. Must have a hood
  4. Pockets are crucial
  5. Has to be soft and fluffy
  6. With a belt you can wrap round multiple times to feel cosy and small

My friend puts hers on as soon as she gets in from work, and doesn’t take it off until the following morning. This includes cooking and eating, as well as watching TV. She says her friends, who pop round frequently, have never seen her in normal clothes unless she is on a night out. She also pointed out – and I agree – that the hood is fabulous when reading in bed for keeping your head toasty. This is especially relevant for me, as I have no hair to speak of.

Another very good friend of mine, a former image professional,, wrote her thesis on this humble subject for her recent degree in textiles. I am sure her research on this subject brought forth some equally fascinating stories.

I am not a follower of Tik Tok, Instagram or social media in general but if you want to hunt them down, this is where you’ll find them. If they are not being worn, they are displayed in the background of a bathroom or bedroom.

So, what’s your take? Are you a lover like me or do you think there is a time and a place for this underrated garment?

And before I forget – here’s a nudge for you to register for our next Coffee and conversation this Wednesday 10 January at 5pm UK, 12 noon EST. Topic – How do you want to FEEL in 2024?

A zoom link will then be sent to you, along with a reminder. It is not recorded, so you do need to be live with us.

All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you.

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