There are few topics left untouched within the Guy Style Guide archive. Yet one subject still to be tackled is nightwear. In today’s post, I thought we’d take a brief look at the dressing gown and discover what your options are with regards to this flexible outer garment.

The history of the dressing gown begins in the 17th Century in the Middle East and India. These loose open robes were made of the finest materials available, and started life as a luxury item that few could afford.

Nowadays, the opulent dressing gown has been somewhat superseded by the everyday bathrobe, as the need to ‘receive visitors’ has all but vanished and central heating is standard in most modern homes. Still, there are a whole host of options when it comes to buying a gown to wear around the house.

Fabrics & Weaves

Cotton
A natural fibre that lends itself well to the construction of bathrobes and gowns due to its water retaining qualities. Be sure to clean your cotton robes more often though, as sweat will naturally be attracted to the fabric.

Silk
Fine and delicate, silk robes are very thin and incredibly comfortable. That said, silk isn’t a fan of water like cotton, so doesn’t lend itself well to those ‘post-shower’ moments, and certainly won’t appreciate a long soak in the washing machine.

Wool
While less popular than they once were, woolen varieties still exist in most high street stores.

Naturally warmer than their counterparts, the fabric is ideal for colder climates and those without easy access to heating. Don’t go too thick though; you’ll quickly find too much fabric can leave you feeling stifled and clammy.

Velour
A fabric, usually constructed of cotton or polyester, knitted and woven to create a soft, flexible weft. Super comfortable and warm, velour is often used in combination with other materials to create sturdy, luxurious robes.

What to avoid

Micro-Robes
Nothing says ‘sleazy lover’ quite like a mini-robe that leaves little to the imagination. Your robe or gown should start at the knee line unless you want to begin forging a reputation for yourself…

Tassels and trim
Unless you’re specifically aiming for the Noel Coward ‘dandy’ look, it’s best to leave the bells and whistles well alone. As always, you should keep things simple wherever possible.

Tacky patterns and novelty designs
Modern day refinement means leaving the zebra print and tiger stripes to the adult film stars.

Lady Robes
Unisex may be all the rage, but a female dressing gown is for the girls only. Just as you wouldn’t consider grabbing the nearest bra or dress to ‘put on around the house’, nor should you slap on your girlfriend or fiancés’ robe.

No hoodies
Unless you’re a championship boxer entering the ring or a fully paid up member of the Jedi, you should leave the hooded robe well alone.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.