I have recently cultivated an interest in bathrobe wearing. Sometimes people forget about the bathrobe, the creepy (probably depressed) uncle of the fashion world. They wake up, shower, and move directly to people clothes, clothes designed for outdoor as well as indoor use. It’s faster and easier, but not particularly comfortable. Ah, but this is a mistake. Don’t put on your wife beater and denim cutoffs. Your regular garments will not caress your skin like falling into a swimming pool full of sheep’s wool. They will not envelop you like a mother bear’s powerful but gentle embrace. They will only serve to cover your gross nipples and junk, and that’s just not good enough.
Bathrobes ease the transition between sleep and waking. One second, you’re wrapped up in blankets on a soft cushy mattress, and the next you’re running around in a suit, answering phone calls, and entering data into a computer? It’s a wonder we don’t all get seizures or have boatloads of brain aneurisms from such a violent shift in consciousness. With a bathrobe, on the other hand, you’re lying on a couch, wrapped up in wooly fabric, barely aware of what’s going on around you, and in an overall state of perfect serenity. This is how our ape ancestors did things back when everyone was unemployed and wore bathrobes (i.e. fur) at all times. They woke up and thought, ‘What should I do today?’ Then they remembered there’s no such thing as an office and the concept of ‘giving a shit’ hadn’t been introduced to the culture. So they just relaxed in their caves all day and did cave paintings. They lived this way because millions of years of evolution had determined that it was the best way to live. Fact.
I take it one step further and sleep in the bathrobe in addition to wearing it all day. I started this practice after I woke up one morning and couldn’t find it next to the bed. I scoured the house, yelled at the dog, slammed doors, and searched YouTube for footage of lions eating baby animals. As a substitute, I draped myself in a comforter, but it was bullshit because sometimes I had to interact with the world using my hands, and in that instant, my arms would be exposed to a slight decrease in temperature. My flesh was suddenly subject to my environment’s capricious fury. The buffeting of air blown by the ceiling fan would cause my arm hairs to flutter in a way that did not please me. In a matter of moments, all my feelings of homeostasis, of perfect equilibrium with nature began to disintegrate like a house of cards dropped in a volcano just as the sun goes supernova. By the time I found my bathrobe, I’d started thinking crazy thoughts like, ‘Should I get a job?’ and ‘What do trees look like?’
There are further benefits to wearing a bathrobe at all times. Previously, I would spend a few moments each morning choosing an outfit for the day—should I wear jeans or khakis? T-shirt or button-up? Blue shoes or red shoes? None of the above, motherfucker, cause it’s another in a long (sad) line of bathrobe wearing days. Decision complete. Furthermore, your ability to transform from clothed to naked is greatly expedited, so if you spend a lot of time putting on clothes and taking them off, this is a fabulous boon. Strippers, sex addicts, and postgrads who just stopped giving a shit—this is the garment designed specifically for you.
Several times, I’ve had to go to weddings, funerals, proms, and other miscellaneous formal events, and authority figures forced me to wear a suit each time. Make no mistake, the suit is death: it’s (most often) black, it’s constricting, it’s the signature outfit of shit you don’t want to go to, and a tie is eerily symbolic of a hangman’s noose. The bathrobe, on the other hand, is life itself: it’s warm, it’s womblike, it’s liberating, and all good things happen while wearing a bathrobe. Spa day, bathrobe. Vacation, bathrobe. Honeymoon, bathrobe. Crippling depression…well, mostly good things I guess.
The problem with the bathrobe, I’ve observed, is that much like watching every episode of Lost consecutively—an activity that, oddly enough, is typically performed in a bathrobe—prolonged use can cause you to hate yourself and/or sink into a melodramatic pit of existential despair. The bathrobe develops a pungent aroma characteristic of anxiety sweat. You can’t remember what sunlight feels like. Your skin turns pale and slick with accumulated condiment spatter and other more mysterious residues. Do you have a job? Did you have a job at one time? Should you be looking for a job? You can’t remember. And then at last, your delicate mind atrophies to the point where you can’t do anything except blog about cats or write a series of poems based on scenes from Jurassic Park 2. You start spelling life as ‘lief’.
Nevertheless, the bathrobe’s an integral component of a psychologically healthy clothing rotation—especially if you have no need or desire to go outside into what I can only presume is a hostile dystopian wasteland plagued with fast moving cars, rabid dogs, and swarms of bees, a world poised on the edge of total apocalyptic meltdown, a world where the skies have turned red and all babies are stillborn. Also, it’s really hot outside and Shark Week’s on. What was I talking about? I’m so hungry. There’s no food in the house, and I’m too afraid to go get groceries. Oh God, why does my head feel like it’s full of baby snakes?