I figured out why I don’t really like traveling. Or more specifically, why I don’t like staying in hotels. It’s not the stack of singles that you have to peel off every time someone smiles at you. Nor is it the way they swarm your car when you pull up to the front, yank out all your luggage and pull you out the door before you’ve even had time to collect your things. And it isn’t the lousy, weak coffee that you have to drink four cups of just to get a suggestions of caffeine in your system. (Do the people working there drink that coffee, too?)

No, what drives me nuts is having to wear clothes. Or more specifically, wearing clothes to breakfast.

I don’t like getting dressed in the morning; pulling on a pair of stiff jeans, a restrictive shirt, and clunky shoes and socks, until I’ve had something to eat and a big cup of coffee. I hate getting dressed before I’ve eased into the morning, and in all honesty, it ruins my entire day. I just feel like I’ve been yanked out of my rental car a bit too soon by those over-eager door men, before I’ve had time to collect myself.


Hoo boy, am I glad I’m ending my trip with a few (well-deserved, thank you very much…) days at the Lake Austin Spa, doing some cooking demos, but mostly soaking up the spa atmosphere. One of the great things here is the first thing when you step in the door is they do is hand you a big, fluffy robe and sandals and tell you that you don’t need to wear anything else—for the entire time!

Now if that isn’t my idea of bliss, I don’t know what is. Some people are more comfortable being naked and go to nudism resorts to ‘let it all hang out.’ I’m a bit more bashful and prefer a comfy robe. I guess that makes me a robe-ist.

So here I am, wrapped up in white cottony fabric, bundled up and drinking my coffee (Illy!) overlooking the Lake Austin.

Maybe I should start a Robe-ism movement. Then we can all just wear big, fluffy robes all day long and nothing else. We can wear them to work, to the gym, to school, and when we run errands as well. And most importantly, to breakfast.

Every movement has to start somewhere. And it just takes one person to get the ball rolling.

I’ll go first. Will you follow me?

Never miss a post!


  • Laura
    April 15, 2008 10:06am

    Count me in!

  • Paulina
    April 15, 2008 10:09am

    Oui, je vous suis! That would be amazing – start the revolution!

  • April 15, 2008 10:15am

    Hahahhaa. I’m not sure I’ll be able to follow you on this one :) (restrains self from making comment about hand in robe pocket)

  • April 15, 2008 10:17am

    Years ago on a business trip to Japan I stayed at a hotel/spa which provided beautiful blue and white cotton kimonos as soon as you arrived. No one wore anything else — even to dinner in the evenings — and a fresh kimono appeared in your room every evening. I still remember thinking: “Oh the bliss of packing if this were your only destination.”

  • April 15, 2008 10:29am

    I’m so with you on this one, altho’ for me it’s not being able to get my cup of tea in the morning before I get dressed. Even if I were to get dressed, the chances of getting a decent cup of tea in a hotel are next to impossible, especially since at home I drink a really good blend of smoky black made-from-loose-leaves tea. Bliss for me when travelling would be to have my own teapot, kettle, bone china tea mug, good tea, and a wee fridge for the milk (yes, I drink my tea with milk in the morning). And what’s the point of those gorgeous hotel robes if you have to get out of them to get that perfect cup.

  • April 15, 2008 10:31am

    you have to ask?

  • biff3000
    April 15, 2008 10:34am

    I think Robe-ism is the sanest lifestyle I have ever heard of. You have my full support!

  • April 15, 2008 10:48am

    I know the feeling! Having to get dressed right out of bed before breakfast is the worst way to start the day, even if not doing it means I am late for daycare and work every single day.

    As for the robe-ism: my neighbour from across the hall is a jolly, crazy and rotund (really the best word to describe him!) man.
    Whenever you knock on his door, he will open it wearing just a lovely piqu� bathrobe and birkenstocks. The air from his appartment also seems incredibly warm at all times, we therefore suspect that he is an at-home nudist masquerading as a robe-ist for visitors…

    I am sure he would be quite willing to follow part of the way!

  • Murasaki Shikibu
    April 15, 2008 10:49am

    “…until I’ve had something to eat and a big cup of coffee. I hate getting dressed before I’ve eased into the morning, and in all honesty, it ruins my entire day.”

  • April 15, 2008 10:56am

    What drives me nuts about travelling is never having a place for your things and — therefore — always misplacing stuff. I stay at a perpetual low panic, constantly searching for something I’ve set down and promptly forgotten.

    Mark me down for Robe-ism. At least prior to 10 a.m.

  • April 15, 2008 11:05am

    Provided the robes are tailored with pockets to carry additional morning pastries, I am on your team!

  • April 15, 2008 11:08am

    The first (and only time) we went to a spa, we giggled a little when we saw people walking around the grounds in their robes. Of course we did it too, but we weren’t sure if we were supposed to wear undies underneath or what??? Can’t remember what we decided…

  • Margie
    April 15, 2008 11:16am

    Absolutely! Bathrobes and slippers at breakfast time are the business.

    And cooking classes at a spa! What a genius idea! Heaven. I don’t suppose you do a similar thing a little closer to London, do you?

  • E
    April 15, 2008 11:19am

    I’m all for robes too! Two years ago I was at an academic conference overseas which was fully sponsored, so all the presenters were put up in the same hotel. We alternated between semi-casuals for conference attendence, and robes at all other times. It was definitely sobering to see the Professors Illustrious shuffling across the hotel lobby in plush bedroom slippers, for breakfast.

  • adkim
    April 15, 2008 11:24am


  • April 15, 2008 11:34am

    Right on! (Posted from my front porch in my PJs. If only someone would bring me a croissant and warm up my coffee for me.)

  • Heidi
    April 15, 2008 11:43am

    I’ll follow you to Lake Austin! Maybe the next time I visit my in-laws I’ll leave the hubby and kid there, and check in to the spa…

  • April 15, 2008 11:53am

    I’ll follow you! My husband jumps out of bed on the weekend and puts jeans and sneakers on just to go to the kitchen and make coffee. I don’t know how he can do it. I need to sip my coffee in my comfy PJs and wake up slowly before I can think about putting clothes and shoes on. I’ll happily be a robist with you!

  • April 15, 2008 11:56am

    Your robe with short sleeves is also pretty practical for doing cooking demos. No big floppy sleeves to get in the way. :)

  • hag
    April 15, 2008 12:13pm

    I will certainly follow, especially if we all get to wear the waffle cotton robes! I also hate having to get all dressed and ready just to get a cup of coffee! What a great way to end your trip.

  • April 15, 2008 12:16pm

    I think I’ll stick with my PJ’s in the morning ;)
    That spa looks like a grand place and with Illy coffee, you just can’t go wrong! Enjoy your stay, David.

  • Gwen
    April 15, 2008 12:41pm

    yes, I will! :)

  • Val
    April 15, 2008 12:44pm

    I am so in! The robe is a highly unappreciated item of clothing. Yet so perfect what with its coverage and the pockets and its super absorbency. Love, love, love the robist movement.

  • Jill
    April 15, 2008 1:14pm

    I’m a sleeping nudist, and I need to put something on when I get out of bed for warmth. I just don’t think a robe is enough. I prefer my sweats for breakfast, then dealing with clothes after my shower. I guess I’m a “sweatist”.

  • KateC
    April 15, 2008 1:26pm

    Well, I work at Berkeley and frequently see people walking around in their pjs and robes. I am envious! I loooove my flannel pj bottoms. I think my supervisor would not be happy if I showed up at work that casual. Jeans most days are relaxed enough.

  • April 15, 2008 1:33pm

    Not only will I follow you in the future, I’m following you right now! Working from home, I’m on a conference call in my jammies and fluffy robe RIGHT NOW. Given all the work I have to do today, I may never get dressed.

  • April 15, 2008 2:39pm

    I wish I could be a robe girl but I just can’t – that tie always threatening to wiggle itself free. And I see from your photo above that you don’t even double-knot it the way I do! I too prefer jammies – of the t-shirt, yoga pants, and hoodie variety. Those pass for street clothes ya know. Or at least breakfast clothes.

  • Kristina
    April 15, 2008 2:58pm

    I agree with hating to get dressed to go to breakfast, but worse is that you have to get up for breakfast! Who makes the rules that breakfast is over at 10 am? Some of us are still talking to our pillows at 9:58. And for me, I wouldn’t dare let anyone see my make-up-less face in the am, so that’s an added chore.

    I love inns that deliver breakfast in a basket at your door…good coffee, fresh muffins, fruit with cream. They knock to let you know it’s there and disappear. The best!

    But here’s what would happen if we were all robists: someone would make a way to ruin it. There would eventually be rules that we can all wear robes, BUT there must be a minimum of such and such articles of clothing beneath, and before you know it the whole point is moot.

  • kathleen
    April 15, 2008 4:45pm

    to the gym? oy

  • AHarste
    April 15, 2008 4:46pm

    Oh Yes! We were in Singapore a few years ago and the hotel had the greatest THICK terry robes. During the heat of the day I would buy a treat for afternoon tea, go back to the room, rehydrate in the deepest bathtub I’ve ever seen, then put on that robe, make some tea, eat my treat, and be rejuvenated for going back into the heat of the evening. So civilized!

  • kim
    April 15, 2008 5:11pm

    i am totally in!

  • April 15, 2008 5:34pm

    Ditto, what was that hand doing under the robe David?

  • April 15, 2008 6:52pm

    Kristina: What was actually driving my nuts was by 8am, the maids were knocking on the door, trying to get in and clean. Even if I hang the Do Not Disturb sign up, I can hear them hovering around outside, waiting for me to split.

    I’ve tried telling them that I really don’t need my room cleaned, and they always respond, “Don’t you need more towels?” And I’m, like, “No, I’m okay with the sixteen towels that are already in here, thanks.”

    Jeremy and Sara: You know, I didn’t think about the easy access to “the goods”…but now that you brought it up, it’s another good reason to promote Robe-ism!

  • April 15, 2008 10:51pm

    The truth is Robe-ism, and David is its prophet!

  • April 15, 2008 11:19pm

    I’m sooooo in! Comfy living is the best.

  • Terrie
    April 16, 2008 12:05am

    Hmmm….sigh, (rolling my eyes toward the ceiling), sighing again. D’abord…..I think you need to tie that belt one more time. Secondly, could there be some rules? I’ve been to places (Ojai) where there are whole tables of people dressed in robes, mixed in with people dressed in clothes. Believe me, it’s not a good thing. Those robed people look a little silly. The only reason I’d consider the robe thing even a little bit is that I think you are just a terrificly (is that a word? if not, you know waht I mean)nice guy and very funny and talented, so the answer is yes….I’d join you if all of us in robes could lock the doors to keep out…..the others.

  • April 16, 2008 12:06am

    Nah, no robes, prefer comfy cotton t-shirts and sweats if it gets cloudy and overcast out here in Los Angeles. (I swear, the most useless jobs in Southern California are the TV weathermen and weatherettes, “Sunny, some clouds in the morning, followed by more sun.” Oh bother!)

    Just read your article for the Los Angeles Times. Loved it! You really should pay us a visit sometime. Take care and keep that robe on!

  • April 16, 2008 12:14am

    Breakfast? People still eat that? The closest I get is something COLD and FIZZY.

    I guess working nights all these years has changed my sense of reality. I can’t STAND not getting dressed before I leave the bedroom. The sleeping clothes are for sleeping. I MUST put on proper clothes before leaving the bedroom, it just isn’t right any other way.

  • April 16, 2008 4:21am

    I was already enjoying robe-ism without knowing what it was :)
    The only problem I see is that the robe is hot for summer, I would take a variation of robe-ism in hot season : the huge T-shirt-ism :D (long and large, made with soft cotton, and with that smell cloth have when put to dry in free air.)
    I’m always sorry they don’t sell huge tee shirt in hotels instead of embroidered robes with their names, because i don’t need xx robes even for robe-ism, but i certainly would love a collection of xxx T-shirts :)

  • Narelle
    April 16, 2008 5:56am

    David – you can do this here in Paris – well actually at Versailles…I stayed at the Trianon Palace and Spa and ohhhh the bliss…unfortunately you still need to wear clothes to breaky (but you can always get room service!) ..but the flip flopping around in robes and flip flops is so dreamy – I loved it! So much so – I went back twice! P.S. they have cheap spa packages too…

  • Sandra
    April 16, 2008 7:01am

    There’s nothing like a nice comfy robe–short, long, terry or flannel or silk-cashmere combo like I’m wearing as I make these comments, I have quite a few and they all work for me. Robe-ism would make this world a much better place!!

  • April 16, 2008 9:07am

    I’m in my robe right now and already dreading taking it off–I’ll definitely join you in robe-ism!

  • April 16, 2008 4:48pm

    But of course :-) I join the club :-)

  • April 16, 2008 11:14pm

    David, Buff is better, unless you live in an apartment with huge windows and neighbors close by!
    It’s so funny I have a robe but never wear it around the house, birthday suits are so not cumbersome, but my wife always opens the window so at least two of my neighbors get a view! Makes for funny stares in the elevator when passing!

  • Brittany
    April 17, 2008 2:53am

    heck yes! i’m a robe-ist too!!!

  • April 17, 2008 8:06am

    I’m in!

  • April 17, 2008 8:14am

    “Maybe I should start a Robe-ism movement. Then we can all just wear big, fluffy robes all day long and nothing else. We can wear them to work, to the gym, to school, and when we run errands as well. And most importantly, to breakfast.”

    Already been beaten to this one.

    They are called ‘monks’.

  • joolian
    April 17, 2008 6:59pm

    I grew up in the tropics and my dad was into sarong-ism. I tried it but I don’t think I mastered the knot, which is crucial.
    Where do I sign up for robe-ism??

  • April 17, 2008 11:21pm

    Could NOT agree with you more! Who wants to get all dressed, first thing in the morning, to go relax? It’s an oxymoron. I adore robes. I live in pajama bottoms – I’m in them the very second I walk in the door when I get home.

    Start a movement, and Sensei, I will follow. LOL.

  • Kirin
    April 17, 2008 11:44pm

    Moi aussi David, je vous joins. Quelle belle idée, des robe-ists partout! Peut-être un mouvement robe-ist � Montreal? Cela vous amenerait peut-être a nous visiter?

  • Jerzeetomato
    April 19, 2008 3:12am

    I like to bake in my jammies. Often the hubby will come down in the wee hours of the morning to find me with mixer going, oven humming and I am mad at work. There is something so authentic and natural about baking at 3 am.
    Count me in!

  • Jen X.
    April 21, 2008 9:33pm

    At a Mon-Fri 8am Statistics class in UC-Berkeley, there was this one guy that would come in every day in a bright green bathrobe. Same one every day.

    Anyway, that’s Bezerkeley for ya. As long as the robes are clean and have secure closures (silk ones can be slippery), I totally love the idea! My idea of the order of things you should do after getting up:
    1. Put on robe
    2. Eat buttery brioche, bacon, and fruit. Drink hot tea/coffee. Meditate on it.
    3. Fix hair.

    If you stay at the St. Regis in San Francisco, let me know if you get away with wearing a bathrobe to Vitrine.

    Or, better yet, there should be a breakfast restaurant where bathrobes are required. Sell affordable and fun robes there. Put it in a funky college town (like Berkeley – San Francisco is too windy).

  • April 24, 2008 2:13am

    nobody’s asked yet — did you teach the demos in your robe?

  • April 24, 2008 2:25am

    anita: No, I didn’t. Since I had my hands busy cooking, I was afraid of having a wardrobe malfunction, and didn’t want to end up ‘unwrapped’ on YouTube or something : )

  • barknot
    May 8, 2008 12:47am

    Now don’t you become a Robespierre.

  • rose
    June 15, 2010 5:08am

    Going for a six week course in South Africa next week. We will be staying at a self catering place. They are providing bed and breakfast anyway. I have been imagining going for breakfast in my robe. Hoping it will be allowed. Or that there will be an option where it will be brought to you. I am grateful though that at least I will be able to make my own tea in the evening. Not sure if that can be done in the morning considering the traffic situation with the world cup and all, go to go early………………..About the hotel coffee…….. Do they even boil the water, or they just take it straight from the hot water tap?