Christmas brings with it many opportunities for sartorial embarrassment. A house party is the perfect occasion to bump into your fellow guests in a half-lit hallway in the middle of the night, wearing your brand new, or very old, dressing gown. As Oscar Wilde said, “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.” It’s highly likely you’ll be judged according to what you are (or aren’t) wearing. So, as you jump out of bed to rush to the loo, be wary of what you throw on to cover your modesty. What you choose to wear says an awful lot about you – this is not just a dressing gown, this is a reflection of your personality:
1) Traditional – you’re the man whose next best friend is his dressing gown: Preferably a long woolly one, with a nice warm collar.
2) Smooth – you’re the James Bond type. Like Nige, quite rare these days. Whether you’re a smoker or not, a classic smoking jacket sets you apart from the crowd.
4) Dandyesque – you have a certain style and like to be known for it. Your dressing gown is totally unique.
5) Sporty – never mind boxing, you were Kung-Fu fighting before anyone else. Your dressing gown is silky, but practical – and custom-embroidered with Chinese dragons…
6) Diffident – you sometimes wear your stripey velour number to direct your wife into a parking space outside your Fulham house. A little uncomfortable, but preferable to the car getting scratched.
7) Camp – the theatrical type, you’re a control freak who enjoys pretending to be someone else. Your dressing gown says it all.
8) Naff – you’re a fan of true chav style and dressing gowns of the fancy dress variety, which feature highly during the Christmas party season anyway.
9) Sex-obsessed – you usually go for black and red slinky fabrics, and fairly short styles. Just take heed of Hardy Amies’ words, “Beware of stiff silks; they creak when you breathe, particularly in that big love scene.”
10) Poseur – you’re probably a catalogue model trying to emulate the more mature look, though you also like to show off your freshly waxed chest and black leather trousers – but you’re still not quite sure how to tie your belt…
11) Nouveau riche – your dressing gown is invariably monogrammed, which is fine if it says ‘The Westin Shanghai’, not so if emblazoned with ‘Harrods’.
12) Alternative – you’re a dedicated follower of fashion, who likes to wear something completely different – from Betty Oatmeal’s Romany blanket style smoking jacket to the ultimate in velvet and silk cut style…
13) Boring – you’ve only got a bog-standard white towelling dressing gown.
14) Plain slobbish – wearers of grey and unwashed dressing gowns, you know who you are.