There's no denying the bathrobe is an iconic article of clothing. Despite being so highly focused in use and occasion, it's a garment that enjoys universal recognition.
You can, of course, wear it before going into the bath and don it once more after you've emerged feeling fresh and soapy, but such a narrow sense of its purpose denies other practical applications of the bath robe. It can be worn to the porch to pick up the paper, or on the couch to get the day's digital news on your tablet. You can wear it to cook breakfast (and save your work blouse from streaks of egg), or even to take Fido out for a walk (depending on just how familiar you are with the neighbors). Maybe that's why the traditional bathrobe is known to some as a lounge coat, morning coat or spa robe. How many pieces of clothing do you own that can do all that?
If we've convinced a former bathrobe hold-out to take up the robe, we'll be satisfied. But first, here's a list of factors we hold as important when it come to bath robe selection. From material type to lining to whether or not it comes with a locker loop, these are areas of detail you'll want to pay close attention to.
The first, and most obvious, factor to consider is the matter of material. Are you looking for a plush cotton terry cloth that will feel softest against bare skin and more easily dry? Or would you prefer a 100% Supima cotton that allows for a beautiful drape and won't cling to the body? Or maybe you're after a flannel robe that will provide the maximum amount of warmth on frosty mornings.
If comfort matters to you above all, and you also consider wearing it post-bath, a robe made from terry may be your best choice. If you're more likely to wear it around the house (and even outside the house) we'd recommend cotton robe. And if you live in a climate where winters get downright frigid, we'd say a flannel robe will be well-appreciated in your lineup.
What should the ideal length of a bathrobe be? For us, there's a clear answer: mid-calf. By hitting mid-calf, a bathrobe reaches that sweet spot where it is long enough to provide the physical coverage and warmth you seek, while not becoming so long that it becomes cumbersome or literally trips you up.
If a bath robe can't be closed with a tied belt, then it probably isn't a bath robe. Belts can vary in their width, but the more important factor to consider is whether the tie is secured in place with belt loops. A bath robe made without belt loops will be harder to keep closed—and is more likely to be separated from its belt.
What role could a bath robe play without pockets? Whether you envision using them to store your smartphone, dog treats, or chilly hands, the patch pockets that appear on most bath robes will certainly see use. Pay extra close attention to whether the robe's pockets have been reinforced: reinforced pockets are less likely to suffer rips or tears.
The choice of collar is one of those details that may seem minor until you give it close attention. For the most part, it's a matter of shawl collar versus no collar. Those bath robes that are made with a shawl collar will provide extra warmth, while bath robes made without a collar will appear more modern and casual.
Another under-the-radar topic is the matter of lining. Most bath robes are made unlined, which allows them to more easily dry off when wet. However, bath robes designed specifically for warmth may include a fleece lining to better insulate the body.
Does your bath robe have a locker loop? It should. This easy-to-miss detail makes it easier to hang from a hook on the bathroom door. This is important. If you can't store a bath robe in your bathroom, where can you?