Modern parlance dubs it Lounge Wear, I call them what they are, pajamas or more honestly, jammies. For as much as I adore dressing up for my carrer, soirees, galas, and balls, I maintain my comfort and sanity by remaining in my nightclothes all day, if possible. My family chastises me for being so slovenly and is aghast to realize there are entire days where I do not leave the comfort of said apparel. “What if you have visitors?” A peer once asked. I scoffed at the very thought. First, it is never permissible to surprise a hearing-impaired person, besides I routinely leave my aids on the night-stand on the days I have absolutely no intention of leaving the home. I enjoy my quiet zen-inspired hours. Second, my peers know better than to drop by unannounced, as I am usually not in residence. My social engagements are more or less scheduled affairs.
Having disclosed this personal nature, in my defense I make a point that my jammies are lovely and modest, should the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, our American President, or Ralph Lauren make an appearance I would not be ashamed to greet them in my nightclothes.
Many many a year ago, I learned Victorians of means could change outfits up to 12 times in the course of twenty-four hours, given the function and time of day. The mere thought alone exhausts me! Consider how long it took these gentlemen and ladies to dress; why most of their days would be swallowed up by donning and shedding fabric! It is much too tedious for my taste. It is also the rather costly and impractical to wear an outfit for a mere few hours, if that, only to disrobe and dress again. My hats go off to those with the patience, such as modern celebrities; attending multiple functions in a day each with different attire.
The Victorian house dress is rather plain, in cheaper fabrics, in a simpler style. In no way does this imply simplicity. Victorians of means deigned to do anything casually. The colors were still sumptuous and the style was not a mere frock, but still carried interesting draping, construction and trim. An upper class Victorian house dress was the least ornate item of clothing a lady would own, yet by modern standards it would be a ball gown in its own right! While I am amused at the idea of wearing a fancy ball gown just to read and attend to light chores, I am far too practical to attempt such a thing . . . often. She may keep her house dress and I shall keep my jammies; to each his own, dear readers. To each his own.