Bed jackets are so terribly neglected by vintage lingerie collectors. Why? Well, I can think of two or three reasons why this actually sweet little garment is currently taking something of a back seat. Firstly, they first came about at a time when bedrooms were, on the whole, freezing in winter. Central heating didn’t exist then and so a bed jacket slipped on over a woman’s nightie kept her warm, or warmer. Because they are only short in length and loose fitting, bed jackets were designed to be put on and taken off with ease while the wearer is still lying in bed. Either for reading or breakfasting while still in bed, bed jackets were de rigueur in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Because bed jackets were designed to keep women warm while sat up in bed or floating around icy cold bedrooms they were often crocheted or knitted – something that was necessary in those days, but these days has something of the ‘granny’ about them. Luckily, in the 1950’s and 60’s, bed jackets took on a more glamorous image and were worn for pleasure as much as to keep warm with new styles such as fine quilted fabrics or sheer nylon, nearly always trimmed with decidedly feminine lace and ribbon trim. Buyers beware though – many mid-century nylon bed jackets look fabulously sexy from the outside but quite often have a brushed nylon inner lining.
This lady actually managed to make a crochet bed jacket look glamorous.
A beautifully feminine lightweight quilted bed jacket by Luxair of London, combining glamour with practicality.
Beautiful bed jacket by Val Mode
Odette Barsa for Saks Fifth Avenue
An adorably feminine nylon bed jacket by Marks & Spencer (‘St.Michael’).
Vintage Dorothy Perkins
Pretty pink sheer nylon bed jacket by Valpercy, sacrificing practicality for sex appeal.
That Valpercy sheer nylon bed jacket again.