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Aug 7 / admin

Shave Coat

Recently discovered this vintage shave coat that I really like, which brings me to the question: what the hell’s a shave coat? This one appears to be 1960-era, was made in the U.S.A. by brand Jayson of “Wash ‘n’ Wear” 100% cotton, and best of all, comes in a faded black and white prison stripe (trimmed in black piping with large pearlized buttons). But what makes a shave coat different than a bathrobe, pool/beach/swim robe, smoking jacket, etc. Was a man expected to own a shaving coat in addition to his regular robe or as another alternative? Was it more typically worn by itself or over pajamas? The elbow sleeves, absence of a collar, deep pockets (for shaving accoutrement), button front (in addition to its belt), and washable cotton make it better suited to shaving and distinguish it from some other robes. There isn’t much information out there (which is only to say it’d take more research than my lazy Googling to learn more about the history of the shave coat and what made it fashionable in the 60s), but to appreciate this find as a useful and stylish summer robe, I don’t need to know any more.

4 Comments

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  1. charlie / Nov 11 2012

    I had several shavecoats in the 60s and 70s. I loved them for the front buttons and minimum of wasted material. My daughter, who can sew, later converted several conventional tie robes to button robes for me. This summer (2012) I found two Weldon Shavecoats on Etsy. Now I own them. One in cotton and one in perm press. A bit dated but I love them.

    • admin / Nov 13 2012

      I confess, had to keep this one for myself instead of putting it in the shop, and now I know what you mean.

  2. Publius / Feb 12 2014

    The shave coat was perfect for … shaving, or as a general alternative to the bathrobe. I wore out two of them, one from Cable Car Clothiers, before they disappeared from catalogs and store shelves about 30 years ago. Bath robes are too clunky to shave in, and often too heavy and warm. The shave coats I had were very lightweight cotton, and more fitted than a bathrobe.

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