Double-breasted Quilted Men's Nightgown, c. 1790-1810

Victoria and Albert Museum, (655A-1898)
Description from Rothstein, Natalie, ed. Four Hundred Years of Fashion. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1984.

"Double-Breasted Nightgown, quilted blue satin, English, late 18th early 19th century The matching waistcoat fronts are stitched to the inside of the gown. Pocket holes are let into the side seams at hip level. There is a pleat at the centre of the back.

Nightgowns of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries were acknowledged items of informal dress worn over the shirt and breeches or trousers for comfort and warmth. Made in a variety of styles and often of exotic textiles, their cut and style was influenced by clothes and textiles brought back to Europe by traders of the English, French and Dutch East India Companies in the 17th and 18th centuries" (149).

This lovely quilted robe would be the perfect thing to dress a regency romance hero in for an informal breakfast. The hero could button in the waistcoat and add breaches if going outside the bedroom to eat. The versatility of the nightgown to serve as what we might call "lounge wear" today is not something men still have--in fact, men today would never have a "nightgown," only a nightshirt! The female equivalent would be morning dress.

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