Help me dress my husband?
November 28, 2006 3:17 AM   Subscribe

Help me keep my husband warm

It's a matter of common sense that if you're cold in the evening, it's more economical to put a jumper on than turn up the heating. The problem is that my darling husband doesn't like wearing clothes that are either tight across his chest or have to be pulled down over his head. So warm sweaters are out. He also doesn't like wearing outdoor coats indoors, for which I hardly blame him.

Lately, he's taken to wearing his fleecy dressing gown round the house over the rest of his clothes. This has given me the idea of getting something akin to a smoking jacket for Christmas. The problem is that when I search for actual smoking jackets, all that turns up are fancy-dress-costume shops. These all look the part, but I have the feeling they're probably made of thin cotton so as to look the part without being expensive. I don't want him to look like Sherlock Holmes - I want him to be warm.

Can anyone suggest something which might fit the bill without being too prohibitively expensive?
posted by talitha to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How about a poncho, particularly if you can find one that do up instead of going over the head. How about a cape, or a cloak?

Okay, yes, the price of the one linked is not friendly, but perhaps you could find a pattern and sew one?

Jedi cape?

Oooh, check these out.
posted by b33j at 3:35 AM on November 28, 2006

I suggest more exercise.

Convince him, any way you can, that he has to "drop and give you 20" or 10, or 5... start with whatever. If you can make this game work he'll live longer and healthier, and be warmer too.
posted by ewkpates at 3:39 AM on November 28, 2006

If you search ebay for smoking jackets, you'll get at least a few wearable options. There's also this absolutely gorgeous option from Brooks Brothers (not that I'd dream of dropping that kind of cash on a gift he couldn't drive, but it's something to drool over). If you go this route, you want something in velvet (and preferably lined) for warmth.

It's not terribly sexy, but there's always long johns or thermal underwear, which at least are worn under clothes. I also think men's flannel pajamas can be quite attractive, if they are worn to size and not big floppy messes.
posted by melissa may at 3:53 AM on November 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

Is wearing hoodies out of the question?
posted by slimepuppy at 3:56 AM on November 28, 2006

How about a sweater that zips up in the front? Except without zipping it up? Wouldn't that be enough to keep him warm? I, too, fall into the "why can't we just turn up the heat?" camp, and I love my Roots hoodie with the zip in the front.
posted by antifuse at 3:57 AM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: I like the cloaks and capes. It fits with a comment he made a week or two ago about regretting growing up when we saw a little kid with a tea towel tucked into the neck of his T-shirt who we think was pretending to be superman. The Jedi cape looks wonderful.

I've tried to steer him towards zip-front hoodies and sweaters before, but for some reason he's not steerable in that direction. Possibly because there's not much daylight between a zip-up sweater and a thin outdoor coat, especially in mens' clothing. When we're cuddled together on the sofa for any length of time we use a blanket, but that doesn't work when he's up and moving about.

As for why we can't turn up the heat, the reason is roughly psplit between trying to avoid needless exenditure and trying to avoid raping Kuwait more than absolutely necessary. It's perfectly *possible* to turn up the heat, except that then (a) it costs more, and (b) I then get too hot and have to start shedding layers. And there's only a certain number of layers I can shed.
posted by talitha at 4:07 AM on November 28, 2006

These people profess to be a UK-based smoking-jacket retailer with an on-line ordering option: the site & the sample pictures thereupon are none too inspiring, though.
posted by misteraitch at 4:09 AM on November 28, 2006

ah, there are manly cardigans.
posted by bilabial at 4:09 AM on November 28, 2006

Yeah, what's wrong with a cardigan?!?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:11 AM on November 28, 2006

posted by FauxScot at 4:13 AM on November 28, 2006

I think you are in the UK? There seems to be some good options at Marks & Spencer.
posted by londonboots at 4:17 AM on November 28, 2006

Oo! Hi. *waves* *shivers*

Anyone who finds a smoking jacket that comes complete with comedy 'smoking' action gets bonus points.

So that there's actually some point to my sticking my nose in, the problem I have with said clothes is this :
*jumpers itch. I don't care if it's coarsest barbed goat hair or the finest chenille, I find that wool itches.
*I hate anything that stretches across my chest, partly because I feel constricted (arms and chest) and partly because of my impressive man-boobs.

posted by twine42 at 5:16 AM on November 28, 2006

Would he consider a corduroy blazer an indoor jacket? Plenty of room across the chest, lined with no-itch silk or rayon, and every bit as warm as a cardigan. Plenty of pocketses is an added bonus. Don't forget the elbow patches.
posted by klarck at 6:03 AM on November 28, 2006

My solution is less dramatic. When I'm cold and sitting around the apartment, I drape a fleece throw blanket over my shoulders. We keep some near the computer room and in the living room just for this purpose.
posted by tastybrains at 6:07 AM on November 28, 2006

It's perfectly *possible* to turn up the heat, except that then (a) it costs more, and (b) I then get too hot and have to start shedding layers. And there's only a certain number of layers I can shed.

Looks like hubby has been rumbled :)

I presume that you've ruled out something like an old-fashioned Grandad knitted cardigan, in a tartan pattern? I know that bilabial and Pollomacho have mentioned them, but it may be entertaining to try and find the worst possible cardie that you can (perhaps at a charity shop?) as a joke present?
posted by Chunder at 6:15 AM on November 28, 2006

What about having a regular robe hemmed to be the length of a smoking jacket? All a smoking jacket is is a short robe, after all. Either of you could hem it yourselves or you could send it to a tailor. Between vintage corduroys and chenilles, and wool or flannel plaids, and fleeces of all kinds, you could probably make some really cool smoking jackets out of existing robes. If he likes a top pocket you could take the extra fabric left over from the hemming and make a pocket. Or an ascot :)

twine42 - are you the frosty hubby?
posted by iconomy at 6:25 AM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: Whilst it's a tempting thought, I'm hoping that he'll be able to wear what I get him. Wool has been ruled out and I'm not sure you can get a cardigan made of anything else.

My favourite so far has been the medieval cape, but I can't get a sensible quote from the site as to shipping charges or delivery time without first giving them a credit card number. Why do online shops do that? It's very frustrating.
posted by talitha at 6:27 AM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: Yes - twine42 is the frosty hubby. He's promised not to look at this thread again unless I ask him to.
posted by talitha at 6:28 AM on November 28, 2006

My dad is always cold, even when he turns up the heat. We got him some fleece jackets and a nice robe. The robe is probably the closest non-Holmes smoking-jacket-related thing I can think of, but the fleece jackets are great in that they don't look weird over clothes and can go inside and outside. My dad lives in the fleece zip-up. Old Navy and about a zillion other places have similar things.
posted by theredpen at 6:28 AM on November 28, 2006

Oh there are a lot of cotton cardigans, but I think they make men look like they've raided Mr Rogers' closet.
posted by theredpen at 6:31 AM on November 28, 2006

Some zippered jackets feel weird when you're sitting down. Why not a fleece quarter-zip top? I have that particular one and it's very soft and lightweight but also very warm. I usually wear it unzipped.
posted by naomi at 6:43 AM on November 28, 2006

Wool has been ruled out and I'm not sure you can get a cardigan made of anything else.

Of course there are. Synthetic fibres have come a long way in the last two decades.
posted by orange swan at 6:49 AM on November 28, 2006

I totally sympathize about your desire to not turn the heat up - it's so expensive!

Is he opposed to hats? I get freezing fast, and sometimes at home I wear a hat, like a ski hat. If I keep my head warm, then the rest of me doesn't lose heat so quickly.

I also usually wear big, thick socks because if my feet are cold, I'm miserable and feel even colder.

And I always have a fleece blanket nearby. Sometimes I walk around the house with it wrapped around me. I don't know how tall/big your husband is, but if you get one that is big enough that he can wrap completely around himself it helps.

Lastly, moving around helps a LOT. Doing chores for 20 minutes can keep one warm for up to an hour.
posted by sutel at 6:54 AM on November 28, 2006

A Hot water bottle is your secret weapon!
posted by Scram at 7:08 AM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: He's not overly fond of hats, but I've been able to get him to wear a sunhat on the beach before. Maybe a fleece bobblehat wouldn't be too big a stretch.

My darling is big. 6'5" tall and fairly broad-shouldered. I don't know his exact measurements, but he's generally a 2XL or 3XL with these people We have a fleece blanket that's roughly 5 feet by 7 feet. When he's in a silly mood he puts it on like a cloak and it's about the right size.
posted by talitha at 7:27 AM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: The right size as a superman cloak that is. Not as a snuggling robe.
posted by talitha at 7:28 AM on November 28, 2006

What about some of these quilted flannel shirts? (We always called 'em trucker jackets, but apparently Google thinks those are something else.) No wool, they're plenty warm even unbuttoned, and they're a Big-and-Tall section staple around here so I'm sure you can find one in his size.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:53 AM on November 28, 2006

nebulawindphone, your link is eponysterical, and has nothing to do with shirts.. heh.

I sometimes don a down vest when I'm cold indoors. I find that as long as my torso is warm I feel fine.
posted by iconomy at 8:10 AM on November 28, 2006

how about a carhartt vest or zip-front hoodie? it won't win style points, but it will be warm and it comes in alot of XL sizes.
posted by the painkiller at 8:13 AM on November 28, 2006

Cotton Cardigan. Also here. Good for inside or out.

I know the above sites are USA -centric, but here's the weird thing: Lands End UK doesn't have any cotton-only cardigans. If he can handle cashmere, go with this. The Marks and Spencer site mentioned above seemed to only have knit cardigans in wool blends, too.

I guess my advice is to try shopping on US websites for all-cotton; it seems to be easier to find there than in the UK.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 8:15 AM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: The vests look good. We call them gillets over here.
Looks like I'm going to have to take him shopping...
posted by talitha at 8:17 AM on November 28, 2006

What about some Footy Pajamas? I'm getting some for my always-cold wife for xmas.
posted by JohnYaYa at 8:57 AM on November 28, 2006

What about a thin, silk cap? That would still retain heat but not feel bulky. I wear this wyoming wool cap around. It keeps me warmer and I get too look like some sort of hybrid sherpa/gangsta.
posted by mecran01 at 9:25 AM on November 28, 2006

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