Dressing Gowns or Robes de Chambre




The Victorian dressing gown or robe de chambre was intended for bedroom or dressing-room wear only. These robes were made loose, and often confined to the waist by a cord. They were long and usually featured a slight train. Flannel was unsurpassed so far as warmth and comfort were concerned — but it was not the only material employed. Some were composed of taffetas, others of cashmere lined with silk, such as pink with white, apple-green and myrtle green, gold color and dark blue. More often, vanity triumphed over warmth as some were intended for elegant neglige therefore were composed of muslin lined with colored taffetas and ornamented with satin, white lace, ribbons, and all kinds of trimmings. Often a small round cap of cambric or muslin and decorated with Valenciennes lace and ribbon were worn with one of these dressing gowns.


This elegant 1842 robe de chambre is for the early morning toilette. It is loose and tied at the waist with a cord with tassels. The robe features large hanging Turkish sleeves with a matching pelerine style collar.


This 1852 robe de chambre is intended for the invalid receiving visitors in her room, or could be worn as a summer morning-dress with perfect propriety. It is made very full of white jaconet, or thick Nansook muslin with the front breadths being continued up to the shoulder and fastened by a girdle around the waist. The trimming down the front is a broad ruffle gathered in the center with both edges being finished by a scallop of button-hole work. The collar is tied by a bow of thick Mantua ribbon of a plain color. The loose sleeves are finished by a double ruffle.


This 1864 peignoir of spotted muslin has full sleeves and small pelerine. It is trimmed with embroidered muslin and rouleaux of taffeta with buttons and sash to match.


This is an 1865 white spotted muslin saut du lit with open sleeves. The robe, sleeves, and pelerine are trimmed all round with a frill of embroidery and colored ribbon. Above this trimming are narrow tucks while down the front are three bows of ribbon.


This 1870s dressing gown of muslin is trimmed with satin revers and muslin flutings. The robe features a satin ribbon running down the middle of the flutings and a series of small straight flutings forming part of the gown to simulate a chemisette. The trimming on the shoulders simulates a square pelerine at the back. There is a large pleated flounce round the bottom of the skirt. The gown has an open chatelaine sleeve, trimmed with revers and bows of satin.


This 1870s robe de chambre is trimmed with wide ruffles of white lace. The robe features a ruffled lace collar and a slight train.


An 1890s dressing gown features a corded belt with large tassels along with a corded tie to the neck. It is composed of a warm fabric such as flannel or a heavy cotton.