Bedgown

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Woman in a bedgown and patched petticoat, 1764

A bedgown (sometimes bedjacket or shortgown) is an article of women's clothing for the upper body, usually thigh-length and wrapping or tying in front.

Woman of Wensleydale wearing a bedgown and petticoat, 1814

Bedgowns of lightweight printed cotton fabric were fashionable at-home morning wear in the 18th century. Over time, bedgowns (also called in this context shortgowns) became the staple upper garment of British and American female working-class street wear from the 18th to early 19th centuries, worn over petticoats and often topped with an apron. Made of sturdy cotton, linen, wool or linsey-woolsey, these bedgowns were simply cut to a T-shaped pattern, and were worn overlapped in front or with the front skirts cutaway.[1]

In the Welsh spelling betgwn, the bedgown is part of Welsh national dress.


Bedgowns lingered as fashion garments into the mid-20th century, usually under the newer name bedjackets, in the form of short robes or wrappers worn over a nightgown or negligee for warmth and modesty while sitting up in bed for breakfast, reading, or similar pursuits. They had mostly fallen out of fashion by the 1960s.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baumgarten, What Clothes Reveal, p. 166–119
  • Ashelford, Jane: The Art of Dress: Clothes and Society 1500–1914, Abrams, 1996. (ISBN 0-8109-6317-5)
  • Baumgarten, Linda: What Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America, Yale University Press,2002. ISBN 0-300-09580-5

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