Sunday, June 20, 2010

The House Dress

Woman Ironing in Slum Home

My mother always wore a house dress at home. She would work, or rest, wearing a simple lounge dress or pretty nightgown. When it was time for church or shopping, she would get all dressed up. But once we were back home, the house dress was put back on.

My Mother-in-law (Meme) did the same thing. Whenever we visited her, she always had on a pretty nightgown. She would put her long hair up and she looked sweet and feminine, while she cooked and visited with us.  I remember her standing by the window, watching all her grandchildren playing in the pool.  She also Puttered around the yard doing her gardening in one of her pretty house dresses.

It was common, in the old days, for homemakers to wear a simple dress in the home. This was a more durable dress, or something not quite fancy.

When I came home today, I put on my favorite summer nightgown. It is black with dainty pink polka dots and has capped sleeves. I put my hair up and I can do a little housework, then take a little break. I love being home and I love my House Dresses.

Mrs. White
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Elizabeth Herr said...

Hello Mrs White : ) Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm now YOUR newest follower. I love the post. My mother still does the same thing too! She has a clothes for when she's home and clothes for when she goes out and then her 'church' clothes. Must say it does last longer ; )

Elizabeth Herr

Anonymous said...

My Grandma ALWAYS wore a House Dress and had an apron too. I can still see my Precious Grandma as she was when I was a child. She has since moved to Heaven and will be celebrating her 15th year there in August.

Cindy Ellison said...

Good morning, Mrs. White,

Thank you for your nice compliment about my cloud photo.

Your blog from yesterday sure brought up many memories. I do miss the days of women wearing house dresses but who says we can't wear them anyway? Also, I listened to J.D. Sumner's singing of "Precious Memories." What a beautiful song and the words, "precious sacred scenes unfold". Have a wonderful first day of summer ♥

Deborah said...

hello! I love the old home making photos! Reminds me of my childhood.
I just stopped by to thank you for visiting and commenting on Manitoba Gardens.
By the way, J.D. Sumner was my dad's favorite singer.

i cant decide said...

What a lovely image of your mothers. A dress does sound nice and cool to wear in the summer instead of shorts and a t-shirt.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Blessed Homemaking said...

So here's a question. Do you (or they) wear the house dresses as both dresses AND nightgowns? Or do you have separate ones for each purpose.

~From someone too young to know about these things :)

Mrs. White said...

Dear Mrs. Q,

It is difficult today to find basic house dresses. But they do make some (short length) nightgowns that are pretty and durable enough to wear for working around the house.

They are a stronger fabric and not see-through.

No, I don't think these are used for sleeping in. But one certainly can if one wishes to.

As for "real" house dresses. I used to own several that were passed down to me through extended relatives. They were so pretty and I loved them. I have no idea what happened to them, but I'd love to make some new ones if I could. I think they were durable, knee length dresses with a bit of a style around the collar. They reminded me of clothes from the 1940's.

Mrs. White

Blessed Homemaking said...

Thanks for informing me :)

Lisa Maria said...

Hi Mrs White

This post brought a smile to me because I can still remember my grandmother in her house dresses. Actually, I live in the tropics so I mostly wear shorts when I'm at home, but I do have a couple of dresses that I use. Sometimes its more practical to wear shorts for heavy cleaning, showers etc. And.. I go barefoot most times ;-) God bless!

Joy said...

Lovely post, Mrs. White! I've made several house dresses in the past, and they are so much nicer to work in than skirts, in my opinion. Since I've been nursing my baby, I've been wearing skirts and shirts, but I think I should have made at least one nursing accessible house dress for Fridays, which are my cleaning days. In a dress, you can work without having to adjust your shirt all day as you move and bend. And if you make the dress shorter (like mid-calf length), it's easier to move around in than a longer skirt.

I have photos of my grandma in her 1930's house dresses, and I love the look!

Cathy T. said...

I need to get some house dresses! My grandmothers used to wear them too, but I always thought they were "Old Ladyish" and so avoided them (same with aprons). The older I get, however, the more I see the beauty, femininity, and practicality of house dresses. I bought an apron not too long ago, and when I wore it the first time I got so many compliments from my husband and children - they loved it! Wait till they see me in a house dress :)

Amy @ Our Own Village said...

Oh how I love house dresses! I am a comfort freak and I'm known to stay in my night gown all day sometimes :-) I've shown hubby some feminine looking house dresses before, but he thinks they look old-ladyish, too :-( I really need some, maybe he'll learn to think they look great on me.

Mrs. V. said...

I think the housedresses you're talking about are called "dusters" here where I live. Sturdy material, made for being comfortable, durable, decent if you must answer the door, but still not what you would go to town in. My mom wore them and raised me wearing them around the house too. I never had the mindset that they were "too old," they have simply always been "normal" to me. I wore them as a new bride at 19 and through my 20s and wear them still at 37. Honestly, I could use a another one or two. :0)

Sharon O. said...

Over the last couple of years, I have returned to wearing dresses around the house, even my nightgown at times. It's just more comfortable than pants or yoga pants in my opinion. I have 3 or 4 every day dresses that I like to wear. I have worn the same black dress for nearly 15 years to funerals and the same turquoise dress to weddings for the last 7-8 years. We are finally out of the almost weekly wedding attendance arena until our own children start marrying off.