One of the things the Victorian era saw, Fashionable Reader, was an exploration of that liminal space through casual around the house wear.
|Wrapper 1855 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
Here we have the wrapper that was only meant to be seen by family.
|Dressing Gown early 1870s The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Dressing Gown 1875 The Kyoto Costume Institute|
Dressing gowns, banyans and wrappers are often quilted all or in part.
|Wrapper early 1860s The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
One of the signs of a wrapper is that the waist is designed to be loose or tied tight. Often they split up the front, like a carriage dress or a robe so they can be pulled over a nightgown or underpinnings, like a dressing down but slightly more tailored. Still NOT designed to be worn over a corset.
|Peignoir 1860-1865 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Peignoir 1880s The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
Peignoir seems to be a catch all term.
|Morning Dress 1860 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
Morning dresses were initially gowns for the breakfast table that did not require a corset.They're characterize by a looser top lots of details in the neck and sleeves.
|Morning Dress 1872-1873 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
One of the things we see evolving (and limits being tested) after the 1950s through the 1900s is the idea of what was not meant to be seen (undergarments and nightgowns) to what was initially only meant to be seen by family or lovers (wrappers & peignoirs) to receiving casual around house guests at breakfast (morning dresses) to I'm comfortable at home and I want to show my wealth with yet another space & occasion specific outfit (the tea gown).
|Tea Gown late 1870s The Los Angeles County Museum of Art|
Tea gowns were an evolution of the morning gown.
|Tea Gown 1875 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Tea Gown 1875-1880 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|1Harpers Bazar New York Sat June 13 1891 Dressing Gowns Nightshirts|
This evolution is coupled with the rise of the middle class, the sexual revolution (including contraception and woman's suffrage) and various other factors.
|Bed Jacket 1885 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Dressing Jacket 1885-1890 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
We see a culmination in this towards the turn of the century in the popularity of (and wide-scale use of the word) negligées and lingerie sets, which specifically implies an article of clothing that is sexual in its nature for it is meant to be seen by a lover
|Negligée 1880 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
This kind of clothing, prior to the first sexual revolution, would not have been acceptable for a fashion house to make, let alone a fashionable lady to purchase.
|Negligée Callot Soeurs, 1898-1900s The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
Lingerie Set 1880s The Metropolitan Museum of Art
There was also head wear that was designed to be worn exclusively around the house, but that's a whole other story...
|House Cap 1900 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Boudoir Cap 1895 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|nightgown 1894 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Dressing Gown 1897-1899 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
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