✯ Day 330 of Vintage 365 ✯
The temperatures are plummeting, night now dips below freezing here in Toronto, though snow (in our particular neck of the woods) has not yet reappeared. It will soon though, this being Canada, there is absolutely no doubt of that.
Living in an apartment with centrally controlled heating (in other words, the managers of the building set the same temperature for all units, we do not have thermostats in our own apartment - which, let me tell you, never stops being strange!), things rarely get very toasty during the winter. An electric heater my sweet husband bought a couple of winters ago helps significantly (at least when you're in the same room as the heater!), yet for all but the naturally warmest souls amongst us, one needs to pile on layers these days.
As winter (or late autumn, as is the case now) rolls ever forward, this point will become even more important. Sweaters, cardigans, thick blouses atop camisoles, thick stockings under skirts and dresses, all become a must - just as they have for countless generations before us (especially those who didn't have the luxury of any kind of indoor heating - save the family fire - at all!).One of my absolute favourite ways, when in the comfort of your own abode, to stay toasty has always been the humble robe. From the darling pink quilted full length number I had as a little girl to lined satin, terrycloth, flannel, and even chenille numbers I've sported as an adult, I'm never without at least one delightfully heavy-duty winter robe come wintertime.
Honestly, even if I lived in the most climate controlled, perfectly heated house in the world, I would still want to own a thick, winter-worthy robe or two, as I adore the feeling of swaddling yourself in comfortable, bedding soft fabric as a means of fighting off winter's bite.
Winter housecoats and robes, while certainly more substantial than their lighter silk, satin, and thin cotton summer dressing gown counterparts, do not have to be shapeless, uninteresting beings by any means. Take for example this immensely beautiful blue and white floral print 1950s robe from etsy seller Pumpkin Truck.
This sweeping, elegant, eye-catching 3/4 length sleeve robe is busting with feminine charm and oozing stylish appeal. I adore the cheerful garden of blooms printed on this great quilted dressing gown, which despite its slightly shorter sleeves, should help fend off the wrath of winter thanks to its generously long skirt and abundance of fabric.
As with nearly everything pertaining to vintage fashion, one finds yesteryear robes in a myriad of styles and prices (this particular vintage robe, which fits up to 38 inch bust/28 inch waist, is retailing for $125.00 US). Fortunately however, unlike many other vintage items (circle skirts, tropical floral print wiggle dresses, dead stock swinging shoes, Lucite purses in good condition, etc), there's a wide array of robes from the mid-twentieth century out there at relatively wallet-friendly prices.
In putting together this post, for example, I easily looked at fifty vintage fall and winter weight robes and housecoats (the major difference between the two, by the way, being that robes usually stay down up with a sash/tie around the waist and housecoats are zipped or buttoned up the front - though another school of thought says that robes are for wearing when you get out of the bath/shower or immediately in the morning, whereas housecoats are to be kept on throughout the day atop other clothing) and nary a one was above $150.00 - many, in fact, came in well $75.00, making them comparable to the price one would may for a new version in many shops these days.
New versions, of course, however rarely hold the tiniest of candles to the charm, history and appeal of slipping on a comfortable robe from the 30s, 40s, or 50s that you know sports the tailoring of days gone by and has also lived through decades worth of frosty winters.
Unless you really, really plan on wearing your vintage robe or housecoat day in and day out (which, of course, there's nothing wrong with), one or two such garments, like the gorgeous floral print number in this post, will likely be enough to help you stay perfectly comfy cozy all through bone chilling months of frost, snow and freezing temperatures that we're headed into as the year winds down.