What’s It Called?

It has a back, two fronts (overlapping), two arms, usually a belt of some sort round the middle, and often pockets. It comes in all sorts of materials, from light and thin to warm and snuggly.
You wear it over your nightwear when you’re moving between bedroom and bathroom, or when you’re ill and haven’t dressed, or when it’s cold and grey and you just want something warm and comfortable to wear over your clothes.
Gogorza LCCN2014711862
What’s it called? I’ve heard at least three different terms, some of which may be regional, and some of which may actually be referring to subtypes of the genus. What do you think?

6 Replies to “What’s It Called?”

  1. I think I’ve always referred to it as a dressing gown. Some I’ve known have called it a bathrobe. But that conjures up visions of baths in a cupboard (as in wardrobe), or even draped in a dressing gown.

    1. Bathrobe does rather suggest a link with baths, doesn’t it? To my mind, a bathrobe must be fluffy and absorbent and white: basically a towel you can wear. The idea of calling a classic wool dressing-gown a bathrobe conjures up a rather unpleasant prickly feeling.

  2. Definitely a dressing gown. It may have buttons so not overlap much in the front, but it is designed to be warm when the weather is not. There is a variant known as a lightweight dressing gown, which is useful as a decency garment when going on holiday.
    Years ago there was another variant called a Brunchcoat. It was essentially a quilted nylon coat in pastel colours, worn over nightwear. (Having brunch didn’t enter into it). And another version is called a Housecoat, suggesting the lady of the house didn’t bother to get dressed every day.

    1. Buttons! I hadn’t thought of that.
      I think of Housecoats as what you wear over your clothes (or perhaps underclothes) to do your housework so you can be all fresh and lovely (and not covered in dust) when you go out to the shops. All these richness of clothing ideas we seem to have lost!

  3. My understanding is that it depends on the material it is made of. If it is an absorbent material so that you can wear the item after a bath/shower, while still a bit wet, then it is a bathrobe.
    If it is made of something else then it is a dressing gown.
    Or so I have been informed.

    1. That seems a practical distinction, although to be honest, the idea of putting on clothes while wet still seems a bit weird to me. The towel was invented for a reason.

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