Nowadays, only a very small number of men still wear a silk dressing gown, which is rather sad. Due to the lack of demand for the last few decades, there are only a handful of manufacturers left that produce top-notch silk dressing gown. By far the most gowns today come with a shawl collar in the wrap-around style. Only the most expensive off-the-rack silk dressing gown comes with velvet lapels and cuffs or other luxurious trimmings. Of course, there is always the option to go bespoke, and every good shirt maker should be able to tailor a beautiful mulberry dressing gown but it is rather costly.
Men’s silk dressing gown can easily be dated back to the 17th century. This silk dressing gown was only worn inside and sometimes called Indian or Persian silk dressing gown due to their Eastern origin and Oriental cut, was similar to a kimono. Just like today, silk dressing gown did not have buttons and were instead worn with a sash. Alternatively, silk dressing gown had frogged button closures, which can now be found on Smoking Jackets. In the 19th century, silk dressing gown proved to be particularly suited to the gentleman for his morning toilette as well as in the evening. By the 1860’s the silk dressing gown had mostly evolved into its current shape, cut with a broad rolling shawl collar, which reached almost to the waist and a string or a sash.
In the beginning of the twentieth century, central heating was still an uncommon luxury and consequently, silk dressing gown was primarily functional and necessary to stay warm while at home. This trend continued, and by the mid-twenties, a fashion-conscious man was almost as thoughtful in choosing his mulberry silk dressing gown as in choosing his topcoat.