I bought this pretty cotton top at a car boot sale in the summer. My plan was to dye it and wear it under a pinafore, but then I had a good look. It was so fine - all hand stitched with delicate frills and Dorset buttons. It has tightly buttoned sleeves and a single tie at the neck, which makes the frill stand up fetchingly. Is it a night shirt? A bed jacket? I didn't know so I put it on that towering pile of "things to be thought about later."
I got it out again the other day - I'd thought it might be Victorian, but it has an earlier look...
...like this - a bed gown or bedgown. These thigh-length lightweight loose dresses, allowing free movement, were popular at-home attire over petticoats and skirts in the 18th century. They were soon adopted as working clothes by poorer women. No need to get changed in the morning - how very useful!
Jimjams in the supermarket?
Busy girls have done it all before!