As I wrote earlier this 12 months, I’m normally fairly conservative relating to robes. They’re very sensible for me, thrown on early within the morning to rise up with one in all my three daughters.
They’ll nonetheless be luxurious, and superbly made. I’m good at taking care of good supplies, and might address the occasional stray soggy Corn Flake. However I’m not a person of luxurious leisure, and robes which are overly fancy or fussy simply don’t match my life.
Nevertheless, an ornamental silk dressing robe is a stunningly lovely factor. In case you like menswear, you respect a woven-silk necktie; you additionally love the dimensions and move of an ideal overcoat; a dressing robe such because the silk pictured above is a mixture – a maximisation – of these two issues. You’d be a idiot to not be tempted.
Luckily, a reader just lately requested what sort of silk dressing robe I might suggest. A basic navy spot? A quilted-lapel smoking quantity? And this gave me the excuse to think about the choices vicariously.
Anybody that spends time strolling round Mayfair may have had their eye caught, sooner or later, by the New & Lingwood robe retailer on the finish of the Piccadilly Arcade.
There’s such a riot of brightly colored cloth: black and gold; crimson and inexperienced; through the summer season a procession of sugary linens in pale blue, yellow and pink. The one actual native competitors is from Favourbrook, and even they’ve fairly a number of attire and waistcoats in plain cream or black.
I wouldn’t be shocked if the show makes everybody that walks previous rethink whether or not they’d put on a silk robe. Or wish to take into account it – wish to need it.
I feel there’s fairly an enormous distinction between a number of the choices although.
A black silk robe embroidered with skulls and crossed bones can look a little bit foolish, a minimum of to me. Are you making an attempt to look harmful and hard? In a silk robe? I do know there’s the Eton connection, however extra than simply Previous Etonians are shopping for them.
Equally robes in gold, with quilted facings and tassels. It’s a little bit an excessive amount of, too showy.
There’s nonetheless a query of style, in different phrases. Simply as there can be for those who have been shopping for patterns and hues for one more space of your life, like curtains or mushy furnishings.
In case you’re going to put on a brightly colored dressing robe, my recommendation can be to keep away from different facets of ornament. Avoid the quilting and the tassels, and focus merely on colors and patterns that you simply like – as you’ll the silk in a necktie.
I just like the peacock-patterned silk above, for instance. Though it’s clearly a daring sample, and makes use of robust color, the distinction is reasonably lower than one thing in inexperienced and gold, or orange and navy. In comparison with these, the pink and turquoise is kind of delicate.
I additionally like the truth that the piping is low distinction. Though it provides one other color, a mushy gold, to the combination, it blends with the pink and inexperienced fairly properly.
To me, the bright-white piping on some robes makes them look a little bit low-cost, notably on darker colors. Which is why the piping on the robe I coated earlier this 12 months was so tonal.
The New & Lingwood robes are all finely made, after all.
I notably just like the large, rounded form of the facings, and the best way they roll open all the best way right down to the hem everytime you depart the robe unbelted. Take a look at the stomach on it within the picture beneath – it’s nearly as large because the chest itself.
Additionally essential is a belt that holds its form, and doesn’t collapse when tied. Whether or not achieved by stitching or lining, it makes an enormous distinction to how elegant the robe appears. Nothing makes a dressing robe look outdated and ratty greater than a belt that has grow to be little greater than a shoe string.
Lots of the N&L robes are additionally made within the basement of the principle store on the opposite facet of the Arcade – one thing I’m unsure many individuals know.
This makes changes pretty simple, which is sweet. It’s easy to do one thing like take off the fold-back cuffs and shorten the sleeves, for instance, earlier than reattaching them.
Apparently, N&L solely had a medium and an extra-large within the retailer on this sample, and I discovered the latter suited me higher.
A medium was extra of a ‘true’ match, with the top of the shoulder sitting proper on the purpose of my shoulder bone. However I feel a robe needs to be unfastened, luxuriously so, and consequently have fullness within the physique while you cinch it on the waist. The additional giant, pictured right here, did that higher on me.
Extra energy to those who put on silk robes and revel in them. They’re actually great – and now that Vanners has gone, there shall be fewer and fewer made within the UK.
From what I perceive, the tried rescue of Vanners – which had been weaving silk since 1740, and which I visited again in 2009 – has now fallen by way of, leaving Stephen Walters as the one mill doing this weaving at any scale within the UK.
Let’s hope there are sufficient dandies round to maintain manufacturing going there a minimum of.
The silk robe pictured prices £1,250. Linen robes are a great various, beginning at £595. Bespoke robes are additionally attainable, from a variety of silks and different supplies.
The pyjamas pictured are brushed cotton from Anderson & Sheppard. I discover gray a great foil for robust color, in a lot the identical approach as a gray flannel swimsuit. The footwear are Sagan Lunes from Baudoin & Lange.
Images, Alex Natt @adnatt