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A peignoir c. 1906
A 3-piece peignoir set of nylon and chiffon c. 1960s

A peignoir (pronounced: [pɛ.ɲwaːʁ]) is a long outer garment for women which is frequently sheer and made of chiffon or another translucent fabric. The word comes from French peigner, to comb the hair (from Latin pectināre, from pecten, pectin-, comb) describing a garment worn while brushing one's hair, originally referring to a dressing gown or bathrobe.

Very high-end peignoirs were occasionally sold with sheer long gloves and stockings made of the same material as the peignoir itself for wear to bed or on occasions where the wearer would be seen in her nightclothes; such as visiting or while sharing accommodations during travel.[when?] Contemporary peignoirs are usually sold with matching nightgown or panties.

In popular culture[edit]

A peignoir is notably featured in the opening stanza of the poem "Sunday Morning" by Wallace Stevens and in opening chapters of the novel Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, where it is described in the context of beach attire. In Fawlty Towers a flirty Frenchwoman has the character name "Mrs. Peignoir". A peignoir is said to be also worn by Miss Edna Pontellier, protagonist of the novel The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Peignoirs at Wikimedia Commons