The bed jacket is a forgotten fashion relic, a throwback to a time when housewives supposedly led lives of extravagant idleness, staying in bed till noon while flipping through the pages of Ladies Home Journal.
Or at least that was the myth spawned by Hollywood films of the 1930s and 40s, which too often depicted heroines who had nothing better to do than lounge around all day waiting for men.
But for real women, the bed jacket was a glamorous but impractical garment that had little function other than to keep your shoulders warm in the moments between climbing into bed and sliding under the covers. It faded from favour in the 1950s, pushed aside by the rise of nighties and other sleepwear options, although more functional (ie. warmer) versions are still popular with seniors.
Now, an interesting new retro label from England is giving a flashy reboot to a style that seemed frozen in time.
Embroidered satin bed jackets are a mainstay of the debut collection from Glitter and the Moon, which also offers matching robes and French knickers.
The real appeal of this distinctive new loungewear label, though, is the sparkling embroidery patterns on each garment. Designer Heidi Cannon has converted about a dozen of her original, retro-themed illustrations into embroidery patterns that can be adapted to each garment and personalized for special occasions.
With a BA in fashion design, Heidi originally worked in commercial design but became frustrated by the lack of opportunity for creative expressions. She eventually left her job and launched a stationery and accessories business that put her artistic talents on display.
“I love to draw and create so I used my quirky illustrations for everything from wedding invitations to make-up purses and mugs,” she told Lingerie Talk. “But I missed fashion and am excited to finally be able to combine my illustrations into embroidery designs for some truly unique garments.”
The decision to return to the fashion world with her own label was inspired by Heidi’s lifelong passion for all things vintage.
“I love vintage and retro style, it feels so much more glamourous than jog pants and hoodies,” she said. “As a child I used to sit and watch old black and white films while creating and drawing for hours. I think the fabulous drama of it all has always stayed with me!”
Glitter and the Moon‘s garments are fashioned from satin crèpe or polyester in a UK factory then returned to the brand’s studio, where they are hand-finished. Heidi’s illustrations are converted into embroidery patterns with special software, then stitched into each garment with the help of a Happy industrial embroidery machine (above) she calls “the Stitch Bitch”. Many patterns are then embellished with sequins and beads.
GATM‘s calf-length robes are priced from £110-25 and those flirty bed jackets go for £55-70 and the knickers are £25-28. Each order can be personalized with the wearer’s initials, name or other messages, making them ideal gift items and even collectibles for your bridal trousseau (the company website offers some suggestions for bridal looks, including a “Retro Rock” bride).
GATM‘s first lookbook, featuring pinup model Frenchie L’Amour, gives you a good idea of how these timeless styles can breathe some new life into your boudoir wardrobe.