In our advice column, “Ask the Strategist,” we take your most burning shopping questions and scour friends, call up experts, and draw from personal experience to answer them. As always, please email: email@example.com with one of your own — we’re here to help.
Dear Strategist UK Editors, I recently came across an amazing duvet-like robe on Net-a-Porter. It looks like checking into a chic Nordic hotel should feel (or so I imagine.) But when I searched “quilted robe” elsewhere, all I see is grandma stuff. Any ideas for me?
The robe you have your eye on is by Skin, a New York-based pyjama and loungewear brand. They specialise in “intimate basics” made with natural materials. But their range, and the 100 percent cotton robe you have your eye on, is by no means cheap. As you mention in your email, it’s £164. A quick Google search for other “quilted robes” reveals pages of cheaper options, but they’re all decidedly less Nordic-style (more of what my nan would’ve referred to as a housecoat). Determined to find that elusive, affordable quilted dressing gown, we got to work with some internet sleuthing.
A quick Google search of “quilted robes” revealed pages of cheaper options, but they were decidedly less Nordic-style (more of what my nan would’ve referred to as a “housecoat”).
After plugging a few variations of “quilted” into Google (“padded,” “duvet,” “stuffed”), I came across this “puffer” robe from Hollister. At £49, the robe is less than a third of the price of the Skin, Net-a-Porter robe. For this cheaper price, there are two major sacrifices. Firstly, the puffer robe is much shorter, falling to just above the knees. Secondly, as opposed to a pure cotton material, the robe’s lining is made of a mix of a polyester and cotton mix (at a ratio of 40 percent to 60 percent). A quick note: Hollister refers to its women’s range as “Girls,” but the sizes run from XXS/XS (which is a women’s 4-6), to XXL (a women’s 16).
On the right track, I pressed on with my search, and came across this near identical dupe from The White Company. Its Jersey Duvet robe is long, made of 100 percent cotton, and its quilts are filled with 100 percent polyester. It was so exactly what I was looking for, in fact, that I wasn’t surprised (in the slightest) to find it completely out of stock. I was even less surprised when, after reaching out, The White Company let me know that there were no plans to restock it. Back to square one.
Dismayed — and after scrolling through countless pages of pyjamas, dressing gowns, and bathrobes — I retreated for a cup of tea with my mum. I chatted to her about the story I was working on, and she asked if I’d had a look at the options on Next yet. When I replied in the negative, she seemed genuinely affronted, reminding me it’s where she’s faithfully shopped for all of our Christmas family pyjamas over the years. “You’re absolutely bound to find something,” she said. As always, she was right. Much like the Net-a-Porter option, Next’s Grey Quilted Dressing Gown is filled with 100 percent polyester down, is long-line, and has deep pockets and a thick belt. Unlike the Net-a-Porter option, the material is made of a cotton and polyester mix, but the robe is still machine washable, and is less than half the price (and even cheaper than the elusive option from The White Company).
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