While women and men both enjoy dressing gowns, they were originally only worn by men. They originated in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries as the banyan, which was an un-tailored robe that had loose sleeves. At night it was worn over the man’s nightgown, but during the day it was worn indoors for lounging. It began to take on influences from Japan, Turkey, East India, and Persia in the mid-nineteenth century.
Eventually, the original dressing gown of the banyan evolved into several kinds of lounging wear, such as bathrobes or the terry cloth robes that men wear to the shower. They also became the bed jacket. The bed jacket is a jacket that is worn over the pajamas in bed. It provides an additional layer of warmth and modesty. Dressing gowns became more tailored with fitted sleeves and sometimes a sash around the waist, which made them excellent bed jackets because they wouldn’t fall off in the middle of a cold night.
Some dressing gowns for men still have a strong Japanese influence, and closely resemble a kimono. Even if they are not styled like a kimono, they are sometimes made of quilted silk, and have patterns similar to what is seen in Japan. They have a high neckline, and this crosses one side of the robe, like a kimono. Most modern men’s dressing gowns resemble a kimono, or simply look like a bathrobe but are made of fleece or flannel. Usually it refers to a robe worn in the morning time, or just for lounging around the house in comfort.