Sleepwear Week: Test-Driving Robes as Outerwear

Sleepwear Week: Test-Driving Robes as Outerwear

Look one this week was full vintage pyjamas action, worn as a jumpsuit, which you’d think would be the pinnacle of experimentation but no!  I found this outfit, based around a robe, much much weirder to wear out and about.

I’ve had this robe for at least a year, and while I’ve certainly appreciated its looks I haven’t worn it once.  It’s definitely one of those pieces that I bought because of my dream of how I might wear it, instead of, y’know, having reference to reality.  I think in my mind I thought I would look as cool as Suzy Bubble, or this woman, but the reality is that I work as a lawyer in the financial markets in New Zealand, and I am just not that cool.  There is only so much fashion I can bring to our economy, is what I’m saying.  

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I did like how the robe responded to being worn, especially on a breezy day.  Part of the experience of fashion is the physical experience of wearing clothes and feeling those items physically respond to your movement and your environment.  The most obvious example of this is the skirt that flaps about in the wind, but this robe was like a cape.  Instead of feeling on the verge of being exposed, per the skirt example, I really enjoyed the sense of the robe flowing away from my body as I faced into the breeze.  The only issue was that this also meant that it clung to my body like a needy child, which was not maximum levels of flattering over a pair of voluminous woollen trousers, but hey -  a bit of cling is worth it for a few moments of Lady Superhero feelings.

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To be fair, I think the weakness in this outfit is entirely down to my styling.  I tried to create something work-esque here, so I went for a vintage tapered trouser.  It would be much, much easier to wear this robe with a pair of distressed jeans and some sneakers for a weekend outfit.  I think a light cotton robe like this would be perfect for a hot sunny day in the city, to help you be sunsmart (you know I am always looking for an alternative to the many, many average summer cover up options).  Obviously it would be sensational over a pair of togs by the pool at your v fancy holiday home (please invite me) and I also think I’d like it over a simple white cotton dress with a pair of slides. 

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Some items just have a strong fashion resonance, which makes them impossible to wear in another setting.  This robe can be one of my strong favourites in my wardrobe all it likes – this doesn’t make it something that will work in a corporate setting.  And let’s be clear, I’ve worn a lot of nonsense in a corporate setting (including earrings shaped like parrots and a full length, heavy satin skirt that is part of a black tie look).  This just doesn’t want to be profesh, despite what I might want, and so it must remain casual.  Does that mean it will never make it to the office?  Of course not – that’s what Fridays and the Christmas period are for!  But it will never make it to an external meeting, and that’s okay.

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This look actually incorporates another item of sleepwear – my camisole is the top of a nightdress.  I love a good slinky nighty for sleeping purposes, but this one never floated my boat as sleepwear.  However, it has a beautiful lace strap feature and the fit is basically okay, so snip snip – off with a foot or two of fabric, and hey presto, a camisole appears.  I’m not at all precious about clothes, and so it wasn’t difficult for me to decide to convert this from something that languishes at the bottom of a basket, to something that will be worn many, many more times.  Have a think about whether there’s something in your wardrobe right now that could get a new lease on life via some judicious chopping (and come back next week for a post all about altering clothes).

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So, final marks for this second attempt at sleepwear as proper clothes: points added for general swish factor (perfect for striding through an office or party), the pretty embroidery, and conversation-starting qualities; points deducted for inability to wear in a professional environment, difficulty styling as a result, and the fact it revealed to me that I am truly not that cool.

The final outfit will be up on Friday, so stay tuned!