Today Sherlockology (the official website of the BBC’s Sherlock) announced that Sherlock season three will be airing January 1st (in the UK… dash it all PBS, you couldn’t get it before the 19th??)!!!
This is both phenomenal news to Sherlock fans like myself, who have now waited two years for this, and serves as the inspiration for today’s post.
After reading Sherlock Holmes in the sixth grade, I was and am consumed by a lifelong struggle to find the perfect dressing gown. There are only a few stipulations: 1. must be embroidered. 2. the lapels and cuffs must be made of an alternative material than the rest of the gown, and I would like them quilted if possible 3. it should be a full length robe 4. it cannot be made of cotton or *gasp* fleece. 5. i’m too cheap to pay over 100 dollars at this point in my life (this really narrowed my options).
Still that only leave a vague picture at best. Where do you find a proper robe/ smoking jacket? I’ve linked to a charming article from the Gentleman’s Gazette to give a bit of perspective on the matter. As my next source, I called up one of the most lovably-pretentious, well-dressed people I know. He’s an organ player in the South of England descended from the Dutch aristocracy with an incurable penchant for fine men’s clothes. As luck would have it, he’s currently in the process of picking fabrics for a custom-made robe from Derek Rose. Though this is going to run him something along the line of 2,500 pounds, the robes listed on the website, though still expensive are less so. Maybe an idea for a Christmas splurge? Then as I later found out, Derek Rose was the designer for Benedict Cumberbatch’s robe in Sherlock!
Unfortunately its currently unavailable, so the search goes on… I was not entirely impressed with Mr. Rose’s collection for women. I want a robe that’s a bit more sensual than the log cabin variety he’s currently selling. Still, with women’s dressing gowns, you’re much more likely to find an exotic ostrich-feathered number than anything in which you could smoke your pipe by the fireplace….
So here are a few inspirations:
The Original: It’s hard to stray from Sidney Pagent’s delicious illustrations when searching. They just look so intellectual, and cozy as if to say “yes I will take my breakfast in bed while I read about colonialism”
This picture appeared in “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”
This picture appeared in “A Study in Scarlet”
The Basil of Baker Street: In case you’d like to bring the dressing gown off the page, this might be the closest thing you can get. Unfortunately that brilliant hooked nose is not included.
Here Basil Rathbone stars in “The Hound of Baskersville.”
The Odious Mistake: Could someone please tell me what they were thinking? Sherlock didn’t have a dog, why does it look like one chewed this to a pulp?
Disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of this Sherlock retelling so I might be unnecessarily biased, but I’ve tried to reign in my distaste. From the article, Jenny Beavan’s called it “The world’s oldest dressing gown.” More like it can be found at London based costumers Cosprop, who did most of the film’s costumes.
The Oscar Wilde Hybrid (probably the closest to our vision): It’s not a Russian viscount, but it’s not cold fabric either. Could this be our dream Robe? Don’t even get me started on those slippers.
Here William Gilette plays the famous consulting detective.
My Recent Purchase: Ladies and gentleman, may i present the happiness of my days?
(Yes i was too lazy to put the sheets on my bed)
(I call this my morning look.. but isn’t that what dressing gowns are for?)
I acquired this number from a lovely vintage seller by the name of Diane. She included this divine card:
Wherever your search may take you, Good Luck!
Cool dressing gown; looks like you scored! I, too, loved Holmes as a young reader, and pored over the illustrations for hours. Recently in need of a robe, I felt an impulse for a style similar to which you described. I started searching on eBay and saw many vintage robes that had contrasting shawl collar & cuffs, some with quilting, but none were in my size or price range. Derek Rose became my go-to in trying to find one, so settled on a wool robe in camel color with a tasseled belt, contrasting piping, and a breast pocket to put a silk pocket square in. I plan on some world-class lounging in front of the fire, once it arrives.
I see what you’re saying about the American Sherlock. But you gotta admit, he’d be your first choice to have on your side when you find yourself in the middle of a cockfight.