What is a Negligee:
Everything You Need to Know

The negligee has been around for a long time and served many purposes. Today, we know it as sexy nightwear for women but it wasn’t always so. The negligee through the ages is actually a pretty fascinating subject.

To that end, here’s a rundown on the word negligee: what it is, a little about its history, and what you should consider before buying your own.

What is a negligee?

Defined in the collins english dictionary A negligee is a woman's light dressing gown, typically made from a sheer or soft fabric. A beautiful loose dressing gown intended for wear at night or in the bedroom, this informal attire are on the erotic side of the wardrobe, often compared to lingerie.

The name itself has a funny history. “Negligee” originally referred to a long necklace of irregular coral or beads. It was named as such because the randomness of its construction made people think that it was assembled out of carelessness or negligence. Eventually, the term was passed onto a similarly casual garment.

The irony of the name, of course, is that both the original necklaces and the modern negligee style are anything but negligently made. Modern negligees are often trimmed with lace, bows, delicate fabric and other fine material. A well-made negligee is a piece of art and wearing one is a real luxurious treat.

Negligee emerged strongly through the ages

Negligees have changed a lot over the years. If you were to spot an original 18th-century French négligée in the wild now, you’d likely not call it one! This is because the original French négligée was hardly revealing. Instead, they were more similar to the dressing gown or women's day dresses worn during the day at the time – completely covering the body, including the arms.

The 1920s saw a shift away from this more demure negligee as women’s nightwear changed becoming more revealing affairs. Negligees at the time started to resemble a modern full slip often made of a single layer of soft silk or lace. Still not quite the sexy nightwear we’ve come to know and love today, but a significant step in the right direction.

Further steps were taken after World War II. The negligee started to be trimmed with bows and lace and sheer bodices were very much in. This evolution in style caused a shift in how the negligee was perceived. Suddenly it had sex appeal, showing women wearing their erotic lingerie and evening dresses style with much more confidence.

The pin-up girls of the 1940s deserve a pat on the back for bringing the negligee to where it is today. Often depicted in negligees, their eroticism rubbed off on the garment, so to speak.

Throughout the 1970s, many different negligee styles could be found. The word started to be used as an umbrella term for many different sorts of women’s lingerie. The baby doll, for example, became quite a popular subsect of the traditional negligee. Where previously garment length mattered, now all rules were off the table.

The modern negligee is a far broader concept than when it was first conceived but isn’t that half the fun?

Choosing the right negligee for you

Negligees, like any sexy lingerie, are designed to make you look and feel hot. There’s no point foisting your boobs into an expensive negligee if you’re not going to feel your best in it. For that reason, you should trust your gut when shopping for sexy lingerie.

Here are some factors you might want to consider when adding things to your shopping cart.

What purpose do you want the negligee to serve?

Ask yourself, who are you buying this piece for? Is it for yourself? A partner? An audience? All these things will factor into what sort of negligee you should choose.

If it’s just for yourself—for those days you want to swank around your house with a glass of red and a good book—perhaps comfort will play a major factor in what negligee you choose.

If you’re buying a sexy lingerie to wear for your partner, maybe comfort isn’t such a big deal. After all, it’s likely coming off pretty quickly, if you get our meaning!

Buying for an audience is different again. Whether you’re an in-person or online performer, you’ll need something high quality and robust enough to get the job done. Cheap and flimsy often won’t cut it when you’re working in it.

What material do you want it made out of?

Now you know what purpose you intend to use your new negligee for, let’s look at the materials available. These days every lingerie store has a selection of different negligees to choose from but the quality of them can vary a lot.

Obviously, if you’re going high-end you want to look at something in silk or satin. Lace is also an option but do choose your quality carefully. Cheap lace won’t last even the most delicate of hand washes.

If you’re only just dipping your toe in the negligee pool, going with something a little cheaper might be an option for you. Polyester is a great starting point for those getting a feel for the negligee lifestyle.

What colours suit your skin tone?

Different colours will look wildly different on certain skin tones. This is where it’s a good idea to know a little about colour theory. Basically, you want to choose your negligee in a colour that will complement your skin’s base tone.

We’ve all been there. We see an awesome dress on another girl, go to try it on ourselves and everything goes horribly wrong. This is likely down to colour. Learn what shades suit your tone and stick to them. Your negligee shopping will thank you.

Choose the right negligee for you

Negligee shopping can be a daunting experience. But like any clothes shopping, it can also be incredibly exciting. Now you know about negligees – what they are, their history, and how you can best rock one.

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