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What French Women Wear in the Privacy of Home Fashion Archives, 1913 | Fashion

There are different degrees of rank, so to speak, in a French woman dressing gown. First comes the bed jump, the dressing gown, to put on over the nightgown for the bedroom, to use only the regular dressing gown in fact.

the bed jump is still made big and loose, with few lace cascades or bulky ribbons. Those of the current season are kimono shaped, and are usually made of wool or silk with oriental patterns. I have seen some very beautiful ones with the real Japanese long sleeves in rich crimson or soft blue silk, with exquisite Japanese embroidery.

When the weather permits white lingerie jump-beds are worn. the bathrobe, a term often used loosely nowadays, referring precisely to the garment put on after bathing and during the dressing process, for hair styling, etc., is always made of washing fabric, and fine white or delicate pink linen or washed silk is usually chosen. Smart women bathrobe is richly adorned with embroidery or lace.

the dressing gown proper, the head dress, can be worn at any time of the day in the privacy of the home by a married woman. She puts it when she is sick, tired, in the respite interval when moving from one toilet function company to another. It is often carried until lunch, unless she goes out before, by the hostess, seeing her servants, giving orders, etc. She recovers in the intimacy when, tired after the days of efforts, she returns to prepare dinner and is not at home for visitors, but where she can without impropriety, but without ever failing to apologize, see close friends.

the dressing gown of the fashionable woman, sometimes called interior dress and translated tea-dress, is, so loose and relaxing, but a very elegant garment. The many soft and beautiful materials in vogue today leave a lot of room for artistic combinations of an infinite variety. One of these dresses worn by a Parisian known for her refined taste was of salmon pink washed silk, rather fitted, shaped to the figure behind by a backstage rather high in the back.

Straight pieces of silk crossed over the shoulders formed a V-shaped bodice neckline back and front opening. On this basis, almost reaching her hem, was worn a long loose kimono of pink chiffon, open in front and edged all around with swan down. A single base of this type can be used for various rods of muslin. Gray or pale blue smoke on pink, cream on yellow, etc. would make good combinations.

Another house dress made by a large firm was of pale blue charmeuse with panels of English embroidery on it; wide bands of embroidery crossing the blue underside formed the bodice; around the edge of the skirt and the hem of the bodice were narrow bands of fur. Many very elaborate interior dresses, or tea dresses, are made with lace draperies or ruffles, wide lace sleeves, cascading lace on the bodice, pretty scarves and rich oriental embroidery. Busy women in the workplace make as much use of the house dress as their smarter sisters, but in their case it is simpler to suit their life and profession. Cambric, wool muslin, crpon, usually of oriental motif, are the current fashion for wear, white or cream, or soft pink or blue for smarter use.

Mannequins in nightgowns, Paris, circa 1920.
Mannequins in nightgowns, Paris, circa 1920. Photograph: Imagno / Getty Images

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