Bespoke Wardrobes: A History

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Bespoke wardrobes have been making a comeback recently. That’s right, comeback. The wardrobe style has been around since the 17th Century, although reserved for the very richest, and it is now available for everyone at a very affordable price.

The word wardrobe comes from the 14th century, Old North French word ‘garderobe’. ‘Garder’ meaning warder, to keep guard, and robe being another word for clothes or garments. Thus, the word wardrobe literally means something that protects one’s clothes. It is thought that the first wardrobe was just like a modern-day walk-in closet: a whole room dedicated to storing clothes with a form of bespoke wardrobes and drawers. The wardrobe was strictly reserved for the nobles, as the lower classes would not have the space or amount of clothing necessary to warrant having an entire room dedicated to keeping clothes.

The earliest recorded freestanding wardrobe in the United States dates to the early 17th century. Wardrobes in Britain at this time had two distinct sections, one for hanging garments and the other for laying them flat more commonly known as where you hang your clothes and the drawers. Wealthier households would adorn their wardrobes with elaborate designs and beautiful carvings. Wardrobes were used to make a statement; they were pieces of art and were frequently the most impressive feature in a room. But, there were those nobles who did not want to emphasise their wardrobes. They built decorative paneling and stored their clothes behind it. Thus, the first bespoke wardrobes, of sorts, were built.

By the 1800s, countries were richer in general. As such, people had more wealth and therefore more clothes. Fashion was becoming less and less divided by class and in turn, regardless of class, people had a lot more clothing. Thus, the wardrobe became a staple for bedrooms everywhere. The mirrored door made its first appearance, but the fitted wardrobe had all but disappeared in most houses.

That was until now.

The bespoke wardrobe has made a dramatic comeback. More people than ever before are spending money to design their own perfect, fitted wardrobe. With a bespoke wardrobe, you can choose the wood you want, the thickness of said wood, the colours and the handles or lights making the product much more desirable to consumers who want. This is a way to put your mark on your wardrobe. To think that bespoke wardrobes have been around since the 17th century but have only recently become the done thing again!

Category: Bespoke Wardrobes