I was talking to an English friend of mine the other day and she disclosed she didn’t wear a robe anymore. Of course I was horrified! I’d assumed because she was English although having lived in the States for many years, she would naturally wear a dressing gown.
I asked her what she wore instead? And she couldn’t really answer me succinctly? It was along the lines of “well you know, um, I just put on …. um, clothes, a dress when lived on the West Coast” As we were both now on the opposite side of the country with distinctly chillier weather I was still none the wiser??
She volunteered that she’d always worn one as a child always and her Mother always wore one too. She had fond and distinct memories of her Mother wearing a favored dressing gown. I didn’t press her further on her own bedroom attire, but don’t worry I shall do so! I expect my friends to have standards, don’t you know J
What was evident was the affection and love for her Mother that came across when talking about her wearing a dressing gown and the associations - robe = love, comfort and security. How wonderful!
What was doubly interesting was this was the second instance of this happening in just a few months.
I was being interviewed by a wonderful journalist who had spent her childhood after WWII in England. She had lived very close to where I am writing this from now, ie the Surrey Hills in south east England, with her Mother whom she clearly adored and admired. We talked robes, we talked dressing gowns, we talked ablutions – basically we talked about the beauty and joy of a gorgeous robe and how it made us feel.
Her Mother sounded pretty inspiring, a woman who was to all intents and purposes a refugee, I think but don’t quote me on this without her husband, and in a time when women had a very different role in life became a Doctor whilst raising her young daughter!
Whilst it was me that was having a wee interview, I wanted to turn the tables as I felt there was a fantastic story there of courage, strength, resilience and a whole lot more besides. What was so interesting was she had a stunning silk robe of her Mother’s that she could not part with and clearly imbued all that her Mother was to her.
Apparently the silk robe was a gift from one of her Mother’s patients/client’s from the Middle East as a thank you. She described it as beautiful, pale blue silk, shot through with gold silk thread and intricately patterned. It was as though when she described the robe she was describing her Mother, elegant, strong, beautiful, something to treasure, full of wonderful memories!
She kindly sent me the photo you see having asked her permission to write a wee post about it.
As a robe and dressing gown designer it only confirms my belief that robes and dressing gowns are so much more than a mere article of clothing to be worn at the end and beginning of the day. When we slip into our dressing gowns we typically do either after sleep or before sleep, perhaps the most intimate, vulnerable and revealing of our human states. It’s no wonder we find such comfort and attachment in them, when a robe is a memory ......
Look Gorgeous, Feel Fabulous - Sophie