Tuesday, March 8, 2011


House Coat. Evening Wrap. House Dress. Coat Dress. Robe. Duster. Brunch Coat. Breakfast Coat. "Tee Vee Coat"!

All these terms refer to one of my favorite vintage fashion items, the housecoat. A versatile garment, typically a wrap dress intended to be worn at home for leisure, housework, or even entertaining, the housecoat evolved from the hostess gown of the 30s and 40s (a rather luxurious full-length garment of velvet or other rich fabrics). The house coat (or housecoat) retained that luxurious length but also became shorter for housework and was made of crisp, fresh gingham, cotton, or calico.

The same pattern was versatile and could be a hostess gown, a cotton house coat, or robe. Whether a stay-at-home mom or a modern business girl, the housecoat was perfect for comfortable wear at home and perfectly fine for receiving drop-in visitors as well as for cleaning the kitchen or lounging on the couch. My mother regularly wore housecoats - a basic wardrobe must from the 30s to the 60s!

For more information on housecoats in the 1940s, check out Hostess Gowns.

And now, here is a sneak preview of some of the housecoat patterns I will be listing in the next few weeks at Midvale Cottage. Such gorgeous and fun fashion!