I must admit that I am a rather indolent fellow on the weekends, at least when it comes to getting dressed. I regularly spend mornings in my study dressed in my pajamas, which would be fine except that I somehow misplaced my one and only dressing gown after I put it aside to be altered at the end of the winter before this one. And the room is cold, particularly with the windows open to let out the cigar smoke, itself a necessary state that keeps me out of divorce court.
So, notwithstanding my declaration of two years ago that the dressing gown is dead, that chill has led me to think again about robes and their uses, which include a bit of extra modesty for those times when a man stumbles out into the kitchen to make coffee and discovers that his houseguests have been awake for an hour.
Now robes come in three basic types: cotton, which has modesty without warmth and is likely to wrinkle when you look at it; silk, which would be ideal if any of the cloth merchants of my acquaintance offered the paisley stuff that would let one delude himself into thinking he looked like a contemporary version of Noel Coward; and wool, or preferably cashmere, like the Derek Rose made-to-order-only robe in the photo. Unfortunately, there is a considerable price £1,999.99 ($3,000 now that the pound has dropped a little) attached to the Derek Rose version.
Fortunately, robes are the province of the shirtmaker and mine has his workshop in Hong Kong, which offers the potential for some considerable savings. And, sure enough, when asked for a general cost for a cashmere robe Joe Hemrajani of MyTailor quoted $1,800 (£1,200) and sent several cashmere books along to illustrate the fabric choices. The remaining dilemma is whether to choose ten ounce/300 gram cloth or the considerably heavier 15 ounce/450 gram stuff (camel colored of course), and that is much less stressful than the question of how to squeeze Derek Rose level prices out of a clothing budget that is already completely committed into 2012 or thereabouts.
This may signal the rebirth of the dressing gown in at least one household.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Photo: Derek Rose