Your Guide To The Modern Bathrobe

Your Guide To The Modern Bathrobe

There are those few staple items that almost everyone has in their closet, known for their versatility and year round use, but few are as luxurious as the bathrobe. Bathrobes have been around for hundreds of years, and they’re one of those garments that have barely changed with age and held onto their classic simplicity and beauty.

Bathrobes can be worn by either men or women, and are often unisex in their design, however, they are all intended to make you cozy, comfortable, and covered up when you’re relaxing around the house.

Woman having breakfast.

Although traditionally bathrobes were found in hotels and spas, it’s more common nowadays for the average man and woman to enjoy this luxury when they’re relaxing at home, making them a more popular garment than ever.

The bathrobe may seem like a simple enough accessory, but there’s actually plenty to know about these luxurious items of clothing. There are countless different features, materials, patterns, and designs that go into creating a bathrobe and each giving their own special benefits to the wearer.

For this reason, many people find shopping for a bathrobe a challenging task as there’s just too much luxury and comfort to choose from.

What Is A Bathrobe

Although it’s fair to say that most people have seen a bathrobe at least once in their lifetime, it still might need some explaining on exactly what this garment is. A bathrobe can be referred to also as a dressing gown, morning gown, or housecoat, and all of these describe the same item.

Basically, a bathrobe is a loose fitting outer garment that you wear over your clothes or underwear, intended to keep you covered up discreetly, but also envelop you in comfort and luxury. They have become a symbol of status but also warmth and coziness, no matter which of the styles or materials you use.

Morning in bathrobe.

Most bathrobes have a loose fitting collar that opens, and can sometimes be tied up with a belt around the waist. They’re intended to be worn over clothes, pajamas, lingerie, or with nothing underneath and are seen as a convenient but classy way to stay covered when you’re lounging around at home.

There are a few variations in the styles, designs, and materials used to make bathrobes however the general finished product is the same for men and women.

The reason for the bathrobe’s success over the last few hundred years is because it offers they are so versatile in their uses, are easy to wear, and usually have a luxurious feel to them that helps the wearer unwind and get comfortable.

Why Should You Have A Bathrobe In Your Closet

For anyone who’ s never owned a bathrobe before, you’re probably unsure about why they’re so popular. Those who have had the privilege of wearing a quality bathrobe will know, though, that there are countless reasons why they should be a staple in everyone’s closet, thanks for the many benefits they can offer.

Style

With countless designs and colors to choose from, the bathrobe is one simple garment that can give a classical and stylish look the instant you slip into it, and without the need for any other clothes or accessories.

A woman in a bathrobe.

Warmth

Not all bathrobes have been designed for warmth, but it’s one of their main benefits. This simple layer of clothing can be added on top of your regular pajamas or clothes to keep you warm, and might even reduce heating costs around the home.

Convenience

There’s no doubt how easy it is just to slip into your bathrobe in the mornings or after a hot shower at night, and with a simple belt to wrap around and secure you it’s even more convenient than anything else you might have in your closet.

Absorbency

Some bathrobes are made from absorbent materials such as terry towel and act just like a towel when you step out of the bath or shower and offer an easy way to dry your entire body while you’re wrapped in comfort.

Every bathrobe will have its own unique features that can add further to the benefits you’ll get, so it all depends on the style you prefer. There may be double front pockets to hold the newspaper or your cell phone, a hood on the robe for extra warmth, and some may even come with matching slippers for a full outfit.

The Different Uses For Bathrobes

Though there are many benefits for the wearer who has a quality bathrobe, one of the best advantages is the many different uses you can get out of the one garment. These are what makes the bathrobe one of the most versatile wardrobe staples for both men and women, and are just a few of the ways you can enjoy yours.

Gray bathrobe.
  • Morning time - The most popular way to use your bathrobe is to wear it as soon as you wake up and keep it on as you walk out to get the newspaper, have a cup of coffee, and even put on your makeup before you start the day.
  • Spa treatments - Any day at the spa is not complete without a fluffy and luxurious bathrobe, and the robe has become synonymous with beauty treatments and relaxation.
  • Hotel stays - Whenever you check into a luxury hotel, the first thing you do is check if there are bathrobes in the closet. This offers a stylish way to stay covered up, but still, relax and enjoy your time away.
  • Relaxation - After a long day at work, many people find that just slipping into their bathrobe is an instant fix for their stress and worries. This is thanks to the relaxed fit compared to their daily attire, and the soft and luxurious material they’re made from.
  • Showers and baths - For many people, a bathrobe is used for getting out of the bath or shower and drying themselves off. These are worn straight out of the water and can be even more absorbent than a towel.
  • With visitors - If you have people visiting or someone comes to the door, putting your bathrobe on is considered a stylish and convenient way of staying covered up while still looking presentable.

The Many Types Of Robes

When you hear the word robe, you might have a number of different images pop into your mind, all depending on your experience with this famous garment. Though there are countless types of robe out there, there are four that are most popular and you can usually find at least one in every closet around the world.

Bathrobe

Although this is the most general term to describe all robes, a bathrobe is usually shorter in design and falls just below the knees of the wearer. The term “bath” refers to the fact that they are usually worn before and after a bath or shower as the wearer gets dressed or ready for the day.

Bathrobes.

They are sometimes more brightly colored and have a great absorbency factor to help wick away moisture, so are usually made from cotton.

Kimono

The kimono is a Japanese design of robe and has become quite popular in the western world for its simple elegance and feminine shape. Kimonos are commonly made from silk and often feature vibrant patterns, with no collar present allowing it to drape down onto the skin without bunching.

Traditional kimonos are tied in the back, however, the more modern version we see today tie either at the front or side.

Lingerie Robe

These are pieces of intimate wear usually crafted from soft and sheer materials such as silk and satin. The lingerie robe drapes closely to the skin and doesn’t have coziness and plushness as the bathrobe and spa robe do. Popular styles of lingerie robes tie up at the front in a wrap, otherwise come in the form of a short dress which is referred to as a babydoll robe.

Spa Robe

This is the more technical term for a bathrobe that is worn around the home or during relaxation time. They are soft and luxurious and can be worn with little or a lot underneath.

Girls in a spa robe.

They are usually made from fleece, Egyptian cotton, or chenille, and they drop right down to the ground and sit just above the ankles of the wearer. A spa robe is most commonly tied at the front, however, there are some designs that feature a zipper.

Men’s Bathrobes Vs. Women’s Bathrobes

Although dress like in design, bathrobes are an extremely popular garment for both men and women. For hundreds of years, bathrobes have been worn by both genders and they have proven to be a symbol of both staunch masculinity and soft femininity, depending on the design and wearer. However, there are usually some slight differences in their styles and purpose.

Women’s bathrobes generally come with more options for color, cut, and length. It’s not uncommon for a woman’s bathrobe to be offered in different lengths from the upper thigh and right down to the ankle, depending on the design. They also come in softer fabrics such as silk, and with more vibrant patterns.

Wife and husband in bathrobe at home.

Men’s bathrobes are more practical, though, either being for warmth or absorbency. The color choices are usually limited to those thought to be more masculine, such as grays, blues, and whites.

The two standard lengths for men’s bathrobes are to the ankles or falling under the knee, with little variation from these. A man’s bathrobe also usually has two front pockets for practical use, where women’s robes seem to be designed more for appearance.

Popular Materials Used For Bathrobes

One of the most important features of a bathrobe is the material it’s made from, and because everyone has different tastes and styles, there’s no one choice that’s ideal for everyone. Here are just a few of the popular materials used to make bathrobes for both men and women, and what they offer from the others:

Cotton

These types of bathrobes are best used for absorbency, as cotton features a natural hydrophilic element which is ideal for wicking away moisture. The most popular type of bathrobe is made from terry towel, which is a cotton material that feels like a regular bath towel.

The Turkish Cotton vs Egyptian Cotton debate is often heard in regards to bathrobes, with Egyptian cotton being better for absorbency and Turkish cotton better for softness that gets better with age.

TowelSelections White Women's Robe
White silk bathrobe.

Silk

A silk bathrobe is seen as a thing of elegance, and although they may not have the warming effect that some do, it gives an instant look of elegance and style to whoever wears it. These are usually more expensive, but not ideal for stepping straight out of the shower as they offer no absorbency.

Satin

Used as a cheaper alternative to silk, satin bathrobes are popular in the shorter style and these days often worn by bridesmaids or used with beauty treatments. It offers the smooth and expensive feel of silk but at a fraction of the cost usually.

Microfiber

These are finer than silk and particularly good at absorbing moisture, so a microfiber bathrobe is ideal for anyone looking for something to wear straight out of the bath or shower. They are lightweight but durable, however not as cozy and luxurious as some of the other materials.

Fleece

This thick and plush material made from polyester is ideal for colder climates, and is the ultimate choice for anyone who wants to be cozy and secure in their bathrobe. Fleece is a thicker and heavier material so better suited for people looking for extra warmth.

Pink Del Rossa Womens Fleece Robe
Woman in a cashmere bathrobe.

Cashmere

As a premium material, cashmere robes are often more expensive but give a pampering feel to the entire body. This material is soft and lightweight, but at the same time offers great warmth and an amazing feeling on the skin.

Styles Of Weave In A Bathrobe

Once you have your ideal material, you then need to consider the style of weave used to make the bathrobe. Each of these will give you a different end result, so it depends on what you find most comfortable.

Velour

This is a type of fabric that has cut loops, and it feels plush like fleece. A bathrobe made from velour will usually also have terry cloth underneath so it can help with absorbency, however, the velour itself is soft and luxurious to touch.

Flannel

This fabric is ideal for colder climates as it has great heating abilities, and is made from loosely spun yarn such as cotton or wool. It has been soft woven so it’s delicate to touch, without being too fluffy like velour.

Woman in gray bathrobe.

Terry

An extremely popular type of weave, terry cloth is a pile fabric that has usually been made from cotton, that has uncut loops on both sides. The longer these loops are, the more absorbent your bathrobe will be.

Waffle

This is a popular weave used for bathrobes that offer absorbency over luxury, and they have a grid-like feel and appearance. They are lightweight and durable, with pique being the most common style of weave used in bathrobes.

The Different Collar Designs In Bathrobes

With the weave and material chosen for your bathrobe, another important feature to consider is the collar design of this garment. Although it might not seem like a big deal, the collars of bathrobes can differ greatly and each of them will have a different effect on the style and feel of your favorite garment.

  • Shawl - This is the most common type of bathrobe collar, with a relaxed fit that drapes around the neck similar to a shawl. These are commonly used as they offer coziness and a versatile sizing that is comfortable for all wearers.
  • Kimono - The kimono style of bathrobe has been modeled on the Japanese bathrobe of the same name, and it features no real distinguishable collar. This gives a more streamlined look and feel to a bathrobe, and is a popular style with silk or satin styles.
  • Hooded - This refers to a bathrobe that has a hood sewn into the collar, which can be worn either up or down depending on your needs. A hooded bathrobe is ideal for colder climates where you might want extra protection from the wind, or for absorbency to dry your hair when you step out of the shower.

How To Care For Your Bathrobe

All bathrobes were created differently, and for this reason, there’s no standard way to keep them clean that will work for every material. Before cleaning your bathrobe, always check the manufacturer’s label which will have a good indication of the best way to care for it so that it can serve you as a wardrobe staple for many years to come.

For a bathrobe made from 100% cotton, these are usually washed easily in a machine. Always use a mild detergent when washing any type of bathrobe, so you don’t do damage to the soft fibers or remove the color dyes.

Clean folded robes.

Where possible, choose a detergent that is free from Optical Brightening Agents, as these can weaken certain fabrics and cause your bathrobe to shed and don’t apply any additional fabric softener.

Before putting your bathrobe in the wash, ensure that you’ve emptied all pockets and spot cleaned any obvious stains that you can find. The best way to clean stains from the bathrobe is as soon as they occur, however, when this is not possible a gentle soaking or blotting will do, with care taken not to scrub too hard on your bathrobe.

Place the washing machine on a gentle cycle and ensure that the water temperature is warm, as anything too hot can do damage to the fibers. Once dried, you can place your cotton bathrobe in the dryer on its own to help plump up the cotton, otherwise, hang it to dry out of direct sunlight.

However, the dryer is the best option if you’re looking to return the softness and coziness to your favorite garment. For a material other than cotton, cleaning may not be as straightforward, so you should be extremely careful. However, just because you might not wear your bathrobe as often as you think, they are still susceptible to picking up germs and bacteria.

According to the Huffington Post, old bathrobes are some of the most unwashed items around the house but those that can pick up just as much bacteria as your other clothes.

The Versatile And Luxurious Garment Everyone Needs

Considering just how simple the bathrobe is, there’s certainly a lot more to them than meets the eye. These gorgeous garments are so versatile in everything they can offer the wearer, and even more versatile when you consider the many different materials, styles, and weaves possible.

Luxurious Garment Everyone Needs

Owning just one bathrobe can open up a world of possibilities for how you relax around the home, and it’s an investment that no person should be without.

If you’ve never owned a bathrobe before, you’re likely sold now on just how versatile and luxurious these garments can be. Choosing the right bathrobe to suit your style and needs can be a long process, though, so be sure to put a lot of thought into it to choose the right one.

Consider the material you prefer, the length and cut, and what you’ll likely be doing while wearing your robe to point you in the right direction. For hundreds of years, people all around the world have been enjoying the benefits of having a quality bathrobe in their closet.

Whether you wear yours for an instant touch of glamor, like to have a cozy and warm robe waiting for dry you off after your shower, or just want to relax around the house in comfort, the bathrobe is the most versatile clothing item that should be a staple in everyone’s closet.

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