Loungewear, Hostess Gowns and Negligees, 1926

Left, “Hostess gown or Negligee” 6627; Right, negligee 6568. Butterick patterns in Delineator, May 1926.

What could a woman wear at home during her moments of leisure in the 1920s? AllWays in Fashion recently offered very good advice (for these weeks when we are “socially isolating” ourselves): Even if you don’t leave the house, get dressed. I’m a retiree whose arthritic knees have been complaining a lot recently, and it’s much too easy for me to stay in pajamas all day. (I do put on my medical compression hose, but loose, casual trousers and pajamas feel better over them than the static-prone, dressier fabrics I’d wear to a lunch date.) But I really ought to make more of an effort to dress nicely for my spouse!

Butterick negligee / robe 6568, from January 1926.

Negligees from Butterick patterns, May 1926. Left 6197, right, 6828.

Hostess gown (or negligee) 6393 from May 1926.

These 1926 robes or negligees  and “hostess gowns” are a little surprising. Some are descendants of the “tea gown,” but a little too much like sleepwear for me to wear while greeting invited guests! Let’s just consider them as robes or pajamas (but I’ll include their original pattern descriptions….)

These pajamas are rather fun, with their bias bound, pointy hems:

Pajama 6031 is easy to imagine on a beach….

The bottoms of the pants don’t have to be gathered — they have a pointed hem like the pj top.A bit like a masquerade costume is this Asian-influenced pajama set:

Embroidered “French pajama-negligee;” Butterick 6093 pictured in May 1926.

This “hostess gown” was featured repeatedly. It is actually a robe with a side-closing (“surplice” style.) I imagine a few concealed snaps down the front would be necessary!

No. 6627 from Delineator, March 1926.

No. 6627 illustrated in March 1926.

Left, No. 6627 illustrated in May 1926. Right, Negligee 6568, in sizes up to 52 inches!

Text for 6627, from April 1926.

One of my stranger 1926 discoveries, also featured in more than one month, was this “dressing sacque,” Butterick 6558.

Dressing sacque from Delineator, May 1926.

Dressing sacque 6558 from Delineator, April 1926.

Description of No. 6558 from May 1926.

The illustration below gives a good idea of when you’d wear a dressing sacque:  you’re dressed except for your dress and shoes; now’s the time to put your sacque on over your underwear and slip, and do your hair, powder your face, and apply mascara, eyebrow pencil, lipstick, and rouge, keeping your dress free of powder spills and stray hairs. Click here for an 18th century painting of two ladies, one dressing and one dressed.

Dressing sacque 6558 from Delineator, January 1926.

In previous centuries, women might own a “combing jacket”  or “peignoir,” [from “peigne,” the French for “comb”] worn while putting up their hair (or having their hair powdered in the 1700s.) Sew Historically posted about a lovely Edwardian combing jacket. Click here for an 1887 dressing sacque. “Negligee” is another word borrowed from the French; it’s come to suggest a fragile or see-through boudoir garment, but originally a lady might receive guests while “en negligee,” meaning she was dressed informally, rather than dressed to go out. In this painting by Hogarth, the lady of the house is having her hair styled, en negligee,  while entertaining a room full of visitors:


“The Toilette,” by William Hogarth, from Marriage a la Mode, circa 1743. National Gallery, Via Wiki Media.




Filed under 1920s, lingerie, Nightclothes and Robes, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

11 responses to “Loungewear, Hostess Gowns and Negligees, 1926

  1. What a great post for me to study just now… lots of ideas. Thanks so much for it! Hope you’re staying fairly comfortable out there.xx

    • One good thing — in an effort to make face masks for friends and to donate, I am sewing again for the first time in years. My 1984 Pfaff machine is out of storage!

      • Glad to hear it’s back in service, although I regret the reason. Am sure your work is much appreciated. Hope you have an enjoyable weekend! xxx 🐰🌼🌷🐰

  2. Linda - Yéyé Dolls

    This is a lovely post! I really like these elegant suits and dresses. A dressing sacque is something completely unknown to me, thank you for sharing this very interesting garment. Now I want to check in my 1920s fashion magazines if a dressing sacque is shown somewhere, or mentioned, I don’t recall it. The nr. 6031 pajama is something that can be worn even today. 🙂 Take care!

  3. Mei

    I have some tips about covering clothes to do hair and makeup, which was mentioned above re. the peignoir and sacque!

    I cover my roots with root spray about two weeks out of the month, and I bought a short hairdressing gown in a nice print to keep the spray from staining my clothes (which was happening when I press the nozzle wrong).

    The other thing I discovered is using a small, flat (preferably pretty) fan and holding it against your hairline to spray root spray/hairspray. The fan keeps the spray from ruining your makeup. Both have been lifesavers!

    • Great idea! Covering your face while using any aerosol spray is a good idea. ( I cringe at the thought of spray on face makeup….) I loved my old pump-action extra hold hair spray, but it was making my white hair look yellow, and the only “for silver hair” spray I can find does not do a very good job. Plus,,,, bad for the environment…. and unlike the pump spray, I can’t buy a refill bottle and re-use the pump.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.