Does anyone remember the housecoat? The idea was borderline genius: A simple, loose-fitting, above-the-knee dress with pockets. Short sleeves for the spring/summer, long sleeves for the fall/winter. Comfy and practical, perfect for wearing around the house.
My grandmother loved a housecoat and, like most women of her generation, wore one every day. She had a collection that could rival the wealthiest of women, if wealthy women bought housecoats. She received a new one every Christmas (long-sleeved) and for each birthday (short-sleeved). Always in a floral print. Always with a rounded collar. Always with snaps in the front and patch pockets to hold her lipstick, a pencil and a pair of scissors. The housecoat was her generation’s version of sweats: Something easy and casual to wear around the house, most commonly without a bra.
I usually lounge in yoga pants, but during the summer I throw on a cheap, cotton sundress instead. My go-to, “I’m-not-leaving-the-house-today-and-it’s-too-hot-to-wear-anything-tight” outfit is a kelly green, empire-waisted tank dress. It works, but it’s no housecoat. I recently searched online for a modern-day version, but all I found were silk robes, kimonos (neither of which work, by the way, because they slip open much too easily) and the exact same housecoats that my grandma wore forty-plus years ago: Cotton/polyester blend dusters in old-lady floral prints with rounded collars and snap-front closures. Not exactly fashion-forward.
So what’s a girl to do? If I was a talented seamstress, I would make my own. But I’m not, so instead I am issuing an open invitation to all fashion designers and retailers, from Versace to Target, Neiman Marcus to Old Navy, to get on board with my 2015 housecoat movement. We need a modern version NOW. It should be simple and washable. Something updated and fashionable, in both neutral colors and bold patterns. Something figure flattering and form-fitting, but not too tight. Something with a built-in bra so the girls can breathe, and don’t forget those front patch pockets … Those are a keeper. After all, a girl’s gotta have a place for her cell phone … and maybe even a pair of scissors, too.
J.Crew, are you listening?