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The Bathrobe
Photo/Bettmann via Getty Images
Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Think of Sherlock Holmes and it’s hard to escape cinematic images of Inverness capes and deerstalker hats. Truth is the seminal super sleuth donned neither of those in the canonical stories. But what he did wear in print—over and over—was what we would call a bathrobe. Only Holmes’ creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, referred to it as a dressing gown.  That may sound a little gender suspect now, but in the Victorian era, such a “gown” was an essential part of a gentleman’s wardrobe. In a time of a strict dress code that kept men cinched up all day in layers of clothing and accessories, a flowing robe was a fine fallback position for relaxing at home—while still keeping up …
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