Snuggies are 100 years old. This is century-old laziness

The Snuggie isn’t new.

Neither is the Slanket, Forever Lazy, or any of the other products that seem unique to the As-Seen-On-TV age.

Take the Lazy Robe, for example.

Papers loved the garment and cooed that it was “designed for comfort.” Added features? Special “Japanese crepe” that probably kept the goods cheap. It sounds like the perfect infomercial pitch, except that the Lazy Robe appeared in 1915.

Laziness is old.

The boudoir gown made lounging into an art

So why do we think lazy lounging is a modern invention? It’s probably because of the names.

A century ago, there were a few lazy robes and lazy day tea gowns, but Slanket style branding wasn’t as conspicuously casual. Often, the lazy garments hid behind the term boudoir gown.

We think of a boudoir gown as a negligee almost exclusively, but it had a broader, loungier meaning at the time. Coupled with Japanese and Chinese inspired fashion trends, wide and comfy lounging robes were a big deal.

It’s valid to have one question: how is any of this different from a standard robe or nightgown? The crucial distinction is that these robes were all marketed for laziness. Comfort was the key value—if style showed up, it was fine. But even 100 years ago, people wanted something to be lazy in.

Have a lazy day with this century old loungewear

As revealed in 1920, with “lazy days arrives the need for lazy day gowns.” Though Tea Gowns were ornamented with unique patterns and materials, and were made of more luxurious fabric than Snuggie fleece, they were meant for lazy days. The boudoir gown was technically for the tea hour, but no one was going to check in.

It wasn’t new, either. As early as 1902, lazy day robes were marketed for lounging and “lazy day wearing.” Boudoir robes served the same purpose: rather than the suggestive sexual connotation they have today, these robes were a step above night gowns as casual wear. They were loose and comfortable house gowns, and some were even specifically called “snug and warm.” Indian blankets even played a part in the trend—they were sold as great material for lounging robes.

It’s difficult to estimate how large the lounging industry was—we don’t have exact sales numbers like we do for Snuggies or Slankets. But the pictures tell it all. Lounging isn’t a modern invention by a lazy generation. For years, people have sat in a chair and covered themselves with a blanket that passed for clothing.

Laziness isn’t modern. It’s timeless.

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