Monday, February 12, 2007

"A Constant Joy to the Wearer"

"The "house coat" or "breakfast coat" is an outgrowth of the hostess gown. Women enjoyed the hostess gown because it enveloped them completely. When women started to wear cotton slacks for the busy hours of the morning, a designer started producing the cotton house coats which proved to be far more attractive and they soon rose in favor. The modern housecoat is usually made of gingham, cotton pique or calico and it should be crisp, fresh and becoming. The same pattern which might be used for a velvet hostess gown might be used to make a cotton house coat.

Women of moderate means can now enjoy the luxury of extra garments of this type. Modern business girls find that it gives them a definite mental lift to shed their business clothing and slip into an inexpensive garment of this type after a difficult day at the office. It is quite correct to wear when receiving casual drop-in visitors and, due to its simple cut, it may either be laundered or dry-cleaned inexpensively. Every woman and girl should try to manage to possess at least one such garment in the wardrobe. There is nothing quite so depressing as to see one trailing around in a flannel bathrobe or a jaded negligee. A few yards of twenty-five cent cotton percale can produce a most attractive garment which will endure for months and be a constant joy to the wearer."

--Modern Pattern Design, Harriet Pepin (1942)


Anonymous said...


I knew I recognized those words, I just couldn't remember what book I read that in. Do you have her other great book, "Fundamentals of Apparel Design"? How about Evelyn Mansfield's two great books? If you enjoy Harriet Pepin, you will enjoy Evelyn Mansfield! :)


BrendaM said...

How lovely and wonderful such little treats are. Now if only there were still some twenty-five cent percal... :)

Anonymous said...

I always thought housecoat and bathrobe were essentially the same thing. I'd like to see a picture of someone wearing one even to "accept the casual visitor". Thanks for the wonderful way you enlighten us!

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