Negligee

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The negligee (French: négligée) is a form of womenswear intended for wear as sexy nightwear in the bedroom. It is a form of nightgown; 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. 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, benefiting 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 at 2004, negligees account for only four per cent of women's nightwear sales, women's pajamas having dominated since the mid 1980s. However, UK negligee sales are said to have been the fastest increasing sector of the market since 1998. A woman who generally wears pajamas or a tee shirt with boxers to bed will suddenly change into a negligee if she wants to arousal her mate.

Photos of Negligees

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