A wardrobe (sometimes called an "armoire") is a standing closet used for storing clothes. The earliest wardrobe was a chest, and it was not until some degree of luxury was attained in regal palaces and the castles of powerful nobles that separate accommodation was provided for the sumptuous apparel of the great. The name of wardrobe was then given to a room in which the wall-space was filled with cupboards and lockers, the drawer being a comparatively modern invention. From these cupboards and lockers the modern wardrobe, with its hanging spaces, sliding shelves and drawers, evolved slowly.


-making produced a change of fashion.

Walnut succeeded oak as the favourite material for furniture, but hanging wardrobes in walnut appear to have been made very rarely, although clothes presses, with drawers and sliding trays, were frequent.

During a large portion of the 18th century the tallboy was much used for storing clothes.

Wardrobe size; a common feature was to base future size on the "eight small men" method. A considered good size double wardrobe would thus be able to hold within its capacity, eight small men.

In the nineteenth century the wardrobe began to develop into its modern form, with a hanging cupboard at each side, a press in the upper part of the central portion and drawers below. As a rule it was often of mahogany, but as satinwood and other hitherto scarce finely grained foreign woods began to be obtainable in considerable quantities, many elaborately and even magnificently inlaid wardrobes were made.

Where Chippendale and his school had carved, Sheraton, Hepplewhite and their contemporaries achieved their effects by the artistic employment of deftly contrasted and highly polished woods.

The first step in the evolution of the wardrobe was taken when the central doors, which had previously enclosed merely the upper part, were carried to the floor, covering the drawers as well as the sliding shelves, and were often fitted with mirrors.

See also

* Cabinet

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wardrobe — Ward robe , n. [OE. warderobe, OF. warderobe, F. garderobe; of German origin. See {Ward}, v. t., and {Robe}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A room or apartment where clothes are kept, or wearing apparel is stored; a portable closet for hanging up clothes.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wardrobe — late 14c., room where wearing apparel is kept, earlier a private chamber (c.1300), from O.N.Fr. warderobe, variant of O.Fr. garderobe place where garments are kept, from warder to keep, guard (see WARD (Cf. ward) (v.)) + robe garment (see ROBE… …   Etymology dictionary

  • wardrobe — [wôr′drōb΄] n. [ME warderobe < NormFr, for OFr garderobe < garder (see GUARD) + robe, ROBE] 1. a closet or movable cabinet, usually relatively tall and provided with hangers, etc., for holding clothes 2. a room where clothes are kept; esp …   English World dictionary

  • wardrobe — [n] clothes or furniture for storing clothes apparel, attire, buffet, bureau, chest, chiffonier, closet, clothing, commode, costumes, cupboard, drapes*, dresser, dry goods, duds*, ensembles, garments, locker, outfits, rags*, suits, threads*,… …   New thesaurus

  • wardrobe — ► NOUN 1) a large, tall cupboard in which clothes may be hung or stored. 2) a person s entire collection of clothes. 3) the costume department or costumes of a theatre or film company. 4) a department of a royal or noble household in charge of… …   English terms dictionary

  • wardrobe — noun 1 for storing clothes ⇨ See also ↑closet ADJECTIVE ▪ built in, fitted (both BrE) ▪ double (BrE) ▪ walk in (BrE) VERB + WARDROBE …   Collocations dictionary

  • wardrobe — /wawr drohb/, n., v., wardrobed, wardrobing. n. 1. a stock of clothes or costumes, as of a person or of a theatrical company. 2. a piece of furniture for holding clothes, now usually a tall, upright case fitted with hooks, shelves, etc. 3. a room …   Universalium

  • wardrobe */ — UK [ˈwɔː(r)drəʊb] / US [ˈwɔrdˌroʊb] noun Word forms wardrobe : singular wardrobe plural wardrobes 1) [countable] a large piece of furniture like a large cupboard where you can hang your clothes Ted was putting his clean clothes away in the… …   English dictionary

  • Wardrobe —    Throughout most of the 19th century, designing and constructing costumes for a specific production was seldom done. An actor was expected to furnish his or her own theatrical wardrobe, and the ability to do so was a major factor in one s… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • wardrobe — [[t]wɔ͟ː(r)droʊb[/t]] wardrobes 1) N COUNT A wardrobe is a tall cupboard or cabinet in which you can hang your clothes. 2) N COUNT: oft poss N Someone s wardrobe is the total collection of clothes that they have. Her wardrobe consists primarily… …   English dictionary

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