Hostess Gown: From the 1930s – 1970s, a dressy full length garment for entertaining, but not as formal as evening wear. Other than the full length, the lines followed current fashion.
Housecoat: Covers a variety of garments. Originally a dressy, yet comfortable coat worn around the house. Often buttoning or zipping at the front. Later in the 20th C, a more utilitarian front closing shift with pockets and either long or short sleeve worn at home for comfort.
Bathrobe/Robe: A utilitarian garment able to handle becoming damp. Worn either immediately after the bath or over a nightgown. Usually in washable, sturdy fabrics such as terry cloth, quilted cottons and man-made fibers.
Written by Hollis Jenkins-Evans/pastperfectvintage.com