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Dressing gowns at Stephen Lachter

9 June 2011

A dressing gown is not the most obvious thing to have made. There are some perfectly lovely ready-to-wear gowns from people like Turnbull & Asser (ask about specials there), Drake’s and Charvet. And fit is hardly the biggest concern – a gown is meant to be loose.

Indeed, Stephen Lachter hates making pyjamas for similar reasons. You can’t improve the fit substantially over ready to wear and, because almost twice as much cloth is needed as for a shirt, the price will approach £400.

But I still had Stephen make me a dressing gown. In part, this is because the range of gowns is often not that great – I guess not that many people buy them any more – and I wanted something unique. In part, it was because he took me in with his swatches.

Wools, cottons, silks, in different weaves and finishes. I was originally going for a brushed cotton that felt softer than cashmere, but Stephen convinced me that only men that live in castles need anything that thick. Presumably he would know. Instead I opted for a wool challis, as pictured. Beautifully soft, with a small geometric pattern and piped in purple.

As you’d expect, the make isn’t exactly bespoke. Stephen starts with a range of standard sizes and adjusts them for length, sleeve and waist. But when I got the gown, there was still a noticeable difference in fit. I suppose because dressing gowns are expected to be loose, manufacturers make them very loose. A few adjustments make a big difference.

Most of the gowns Stephen makes are out of shirting materials, and customers can pick any one they want. The specials are a small collection, but certainly worth a look. Prices start at £350. I’d certainly recommend them over bespoke pyjamas.