‘Robe’ dress in itself is self explanatory. Well let’s learn just a little more about it. As usual, I’d love to explore the origin of this term and birth of this trend.The English word Robe is derived from the French word Robe which is itself taken from the Frankish word!
A robe has always been considered as an ‘outer garment’, something we generally relate to the ones you see hanging in the bathroom in hotels or the ones you get to see during graduation day or what’s worn by priests.
So while a traditional robe was worn as a bathrobe, just out of the shower or around a pool made from towelling or other absorbent fabric, and may be donned while the wearer’s body is wet, serving both as a towel or to just cover the body. Also worn sometimes over a nightwear especially over a lingerie when not in bed. Like a coat, loose, open-fronted and always closed with a belt.
So how did this get converted into glamour and not just that but a trend that’s taking over the runways!
Well, that’s what fashion is all about — Art and getting creative with what’s around you. Surprisingly, this has been a trend for the past few years now and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere yet.
Marilyn Monroe to Audrey Hepburn to Faye Dunaway have in the past made the robe look so hot that in my opinion have inspired many designers to replicate the trend and transform the terry to silk and make it a trend that remains desirable by many.
Some of the most recent Iconic “Robe Dress” moments would have to be :Rihanna in 2015 proved that the Guo Pei haute Couture robe dress she wore to the Met Gala went perfectly well on the glamorous red carpet walk. In 2017, she again wore a short feathered Prada robe to the Met Gala after party. Only, this time it was short & sexy.
Most recently, the Korean sensation Lee Chae-rin better known by her stage name CL, wore an oversize terrycloth robe gown from Vaquera’s Spring 2018 collection to the CFDA Awards.
Many designers, to name a few, Versace, Alexander Wang, Miu Miu, Scot Stevenson, Moschino, and many more have created various versions of the robe dress playing with different fabrics, length, cut and style.
In our opinion, there could be a fine line here easily crossed over to what could be boring or trashy even.
A great cover up dress, can be super sexy if the fabric is carefully chosen, high slits with a peek-a-boo effect and low necklines. Short ones are equally hot, gets hotter if made in silk and worn with a strappy pair of sleek stilettos. Boots make it more fun. Classy or fun, can be a choice you make out of it. Eitherways, the end result is very chic!
Mamta Roy, who owns a high fashion manufacturing unit that exports to several high end designers globally says, “The Robe dresses, generally flowing dresses were normally worn as a part of the official dress of a peer or royalty. The pieces are more practical than they may seem at first glance since most of them can be worn as a dress or left undone over a tank and jeans as a lightweight jacket. A hybrid between a kimono and a dressing gown, robe dresses were brought out of the bedroom and onto the catwalks by various topmost international brands. The Pajama dressing trend has reached an all new high”.
Ila Dorairaj Naidu, a former model and celebrity columnist who is a fashion playful , shoe serious Louboutin-o-phile and stylista says, “I love wrap dresses.Personally I think they are very forgiving as this style skims and highlights a womans curves while synching in the waist . A delicate flash of legs and it can be very va va voom too. Also a wrap dress give a woman the option to play with the neckline .. making it day to evening”.
Celine Bolton a fashion consultant and stylist from France, says, “The Robe dress or most commonly known as wrap dress is always a nice piece to have in your closet. Very comfortable and casual, it comes in so many different styles and fabrics. I would recommend it for those (like me), trying to hide a few extra pounds. Be careful with the cleavage (careful, too open is trashy!). The satin robe dress, oh lord, looks so nice on pictures but once you actually get it on at the store you suddenly realize people will think you just stepped out of your bed. So satin, yes maybe, but stay away from print or you will look like a fake Geisha and not too soft colors or you look like your wearing your lingerie. To summarise, when it comes to wrap dresses, I go with under or above knee that I pair with little heels, platform sandals for daily look, I watch my cleavage, and I think of the fabric print that is not too big and crazy wild.
Quoting Orson Welles here, we’d like to add, “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn”. The Robe dress in our opinion is synonymous to just that!
Bushra, a very popular fashion blogger from Dubai says, it’ can be difficult to article the power of robe dresses as it has a strong and long history that kept changing over the years to represent certain religious or ethical principles. With fabulous styling, and colour add a cut that you desire to wear. But, most importantly don’t make fashion own you. You decide what suits you and express your personality and how you want the world to see you.