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A négligée on a mannequin

The negligee or négligée, from the French: négligée, literally meaning "neglected", is a form of women's clothing consisting of a sheer usually long dressing gown.[1] It is a form of nightgown intended for wear at night and in the bedroom. It was first introduced in France in the 18th-century, where it mimicked the heavy head-to-toe style of women's day dresses of the time.

By the 1920s it began to mimic women's satin single-layer evening dress of the period. The term "negligee" was used of a Royal Doulton run of ceramic figurines in 1927, showing women wearing what appears to be a one-piece knee-length silk or rayon slip, trimmed with lace. Although the evening-dresses style of nightwear made moves towards the modern negligee style—translucent bodices, lace trimming, bows, exemplified in 1941 by a photo of Rita Hayworth in Life—it was only after World War II that nightwear changed from being primarily utilitarian to being primarily sensual or even erotic; the negligee emerged strongly as a form of lingerie.

Modern negligees are often much looser and made of sheer and semi-translucent fabrics and trimmed with lace or other fine material, and bows. Multiple layers of fabric are often used. The modern negligee thus perhaps owes more to women's fine bedjackets or bed-capes, and up-market slips than to the nightgown. It spread to a mass market, benefitting from the introduction of cheap synthetic fabrics such as nylon and its finer successors. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the trend was for negligees to become shorter in length (e.g. the babydoll of the 1970s). Negligees made from the 1940s to the 1970s are now collectible vintage items.

In the UK in 2004, negligees accounted for only four percent of women's nightwear sales, women's pyjamas having dominated since the mid-1980s. However, UK negligee sales are said to have been the fastest increasing sector of the market since 1998.[2]


  1. ^ "Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  2. ^ "Negligees on rise in UK bedrooms". BBC News. 2004-12-09. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negligee — Please support Wikipedia.
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106 news items


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:30:00 -0700

One night she donned a sexy black negligee and crept into Conrad's room to find him on his knees praying. "No, no!" he cried. "Go to your room and wait for me." After that he kept his bedroom door locked to Gabor. She began lavishly redecorating their ...
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:30:44 -0700

Around the Super Bowl, a GoDaddy ad featuring race car driver Danica Patrick in a body builder suit rather than a robe inspired me to predict that sexist ads might be on the decline. But after this week, I take it all back. As some big-name TV shows ...
And the Valley Shook
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:30:00 -0700

It's pretty easy to get the gist of why Paul Newman is not interested in Elizabeth Taylor in a negligee, throwing herself at him at every turn. We don't need a neon sign as the audience, we get it. It's a great film about an old Mississippi family ...

Washington Post

Washington Post
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:51:14 -0700

Writes Lisicky, “Only male shoppers were allowed into the store for special purchases, shopping aid and an occasional negligee show.” (Another bit of trivia: In 1956, Woodies was the first store in the country to formally introduce a new toy called ...
New York Times
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:22:30 -0700

On April 24, when the Roundabout Theater Company revival of “Cabaret” opens, a negligee-clad Michelle Williams will make her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles, and Alan Cumming, in those fetishistic suspenders, will reprise his Tony-winning performance ...
The Plain Dealer
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:26:15 -0700

We learn that Gerda “slipped in and out of encounters as she would a pretty negligee.” We experience the close calls and quick escapes of many of her characters – though not all survive the conflict. And near the end, Hemingway is in Havana, Cuba. “On ...
Hartford Courant
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 02:22:30 -0700

Lundgren had given Davis specific instructions that she wanted to be buried next to her husband, Carl, in a special pastel negligee that he had given her when they were married. "She had told me that she would never wear it 'until I die.' She told me ...
San Jose Mercury News
Sun, 13 Apr 2014 00:18:45 -0700

A Cluetts "short bosom negligee," at $1.50, was "just the thing if you wear a vest." The ad promised that men did not have to fear bulging if they wore such a garment. At the White House at Sutter, Grant Avenue and Post Street in San Francisco, an ad ...

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