When I say robe, what do you envision? Perhaps something made of plaid flannel, that is manly, knee level length, covers your night clothes and keeps you warm on chilly mornings? Or are you thinking of one of those really soft, fleece, floor length frocks that make you look and feel like a cozy stuffed animal? Perhaps you are thinking about a satin kimono that sits above the knee and covers lingerie that doesn’t cover much? Robes comes in all shapes, designs and colors it seems, but one thing is pretty much standard fare for all robes – one of its key functions is coverage of whatever is under the robe. Robes serve to promote modesty – at least as it applies to what we outwardly expose to the world – right?? When you are “robed” you are covered with clothing of some sort and when you “dis-robe” you are not.
So – we are clear – a robe provides coverage based on a sense of modesty.
Or so we thought.
My friend Fifi of Love Fifi fame seems to have a different view of a robe’s function. She sent me an email advertising a “sassy” three piece lingerie set.
I looked long and hard at the set to try and figure out where the third piece was. I finally had to read the descriptive text below the item to figure it out. Apparently, the outfit you see there in the photo is a nightie, matching panty and a robe. Silly me – how did I miss that?
I thought the nightie was a one piece with sleeves, but apparently the sleeves are a part of the robe. Or better said, what Fifi is calling a robe. We have just been over this – coverage and modesty = robe. I think Fifi’s version of a robe fails on both fronts.
But to be fair, I recognize that Fifi’s version of a robe likely has many fans. It is cute in a transparent, flowing kind of way. It does technically cover stuff – at least stuff about 12 inches above the knee. It isn’t modest, but I guess that those who have the right body and audience aren’t really seeking to be modest – clearly they are seeking to represent.
But I still must fall on the side of the voice of reason here – sorry Fifi. I can’t standby while you misrepresent the robes of the common man, woman and child with fluffery such as this. So I am dissing your robe today in the interest of fair usage of terminology (without shared language and concepts where would we be as a civilization?). Call it a “coverlet” or a “sheer overshirt”, but give up calling it a robe.
Oh, by the way Fifi – how much was the sassy set with the “coverlet” – it is kinda’ cute.
Day eight hundred and eighty-three of the new forty – obla di obla da