I Should Be Allowed To Wear A Bathrobe In Public

A manifesto.

Author by John Devore
Credit: iStock

It is one of my most deeply held personal beliefs that clothes should be comfortable. I do not think this is a controversial position. I simply believe you should cover your body with garments that provide the maximum amount of softness and mobility possible. This is practical.

I rarely consider fashion when I buy clothes . There are people who will sacrifice comfort for style. They walk around wearing tight pants that look chic or stylish shirts made out of non-breathable fabric. This is their choice. I do not care what they wear. And, yet, these same people would cruelly judge me if I wore a bathrobe out in public.

There is nothing more comfortable than a loose-fitting bathrobe. You simply slip it on, wrap it around yourself, and tie the belt at the waist. Then you let out a long, contented sigh. I have a plush terry-cloth bathrobe that I put on after I shower. It keeps me dry and cool. I like to snuggle into it after I plop down on my couch. I should be able to wear that robe to the corner store for milk and cereal if I so desire. My coworkers shouldn’t blink an eye if I show up wearing my bathrobe. Certainly my productivity would increase were I enveloped in relaxed luxury. If my office dress code were negotiable, I’d even agree to wear something more formal, like a judge’s robe.

But, no, if I wear my bathrobe out into public I risk the scorn of those who are in the know. These “fashionistas” would undoubtedly sneer and snicker as I glide by wearing what is, essentially, a cuddlesome blanket. Who doesn’t love a blanket? Their opinion of bathrobes are, honestly, backward. These self-appointed tastemakers would be happy if this part of my wardrobe stayed private. What they don’t know is I’m going to bring the bathrobe back into the mainstream.

Robes are, after all, an important part of Western Civilization. You know who else wore robes? Moses. He wandered the desert wearing a robe for 40 years and he was comfortable while doing it. The Romans wore robes and they conquered the known world. Do you think King Arthur laughed at Merlin’s majestic robes? I sayeth “nay.” If the Pope is celebrated for his ornate robes why can’t I be? Do you think the berobed Jedi are mocked walking around Coruscant, the capitol city of the galaxy? No. The Jedi know that fighting evil requires flexible leisurewear.

I should be allowed to wear a bathrobe in public. I’m a responsible robe wearer and it is unlikely it will fly open to reveal my delicates. For the life of me I don’t understand why anyone would care if I showed up to the theatre wearing a bathrobe. I enjoy the plays of Anton Chekov just as much as someone wearing whatever is being celebrated in the current issue of Vogue. I can only dream of a future where a model wearing a fluffy red bathrobe graces the cover of that trendsetting magazine.

I’m not assuming everyone reading this is in thrall to pop custom. If I may take a moment to persuade those who are, maybe, tired of having to put on conformist clothes in order to go outside. Consider a world where your precious time and money is put towards more important things than fashion. Imagine never worrying about what to put on or ever suffering from thigh chafing. This is a utopia we could enjoy today if more people supported me wearing bathrobes in public.

Bathrobe enthusiasts, like me, are subject to all sorts of nasty stereotypes. I’m sure if I were to walk into a hip ramen restaurant wearing a bathrobe most of the customers would assume I’m a slob or lazy or a serial killer. I am only two of those three things! It’s ridiculous. This social snobbery is the number one reason I don’t traipse around fashion forward Brooklyn wearing one of my three bathrobes.

I also support, for the record, anyone who wants to wear housecoats, dressing gowns, smocks or blankets with sleeves outside of their home. I salute these brave individuals. Our time will come, friends.

So I propose a modest revision to the social contract: bathrobes should be socially-acceptable attire. I should be able to make a work presentation wearing a bathrobe. When I fly I want to be able to show up to the airport wearing just a bathrobe. I want to be able to wave to friends wearing traditional pants at Home Depot… and I want them to wave back to me, their comfortable friend in a bathrobe. One day I will be looked upon as a fashion icon. Sadly, that day is not today.

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About Woolly

A curious exploration of comfort, wellness, and modern life — emotionally supported by Casper. It’s a beautiful magazine published by a mattress. Come on, you know it’s not the weirdest thing to happen this year. The first issue includes a love letter to comfort pants, a skeptic's guide to crystals, and an adulting coloring book.