The 'negligee' or 'négligée', literally meaning "neglected", known in French as 'déshabillé', is a form of see-through clothing for women consisting of a sheer usually long dressing gown. It is a form of nightgown intended for wear at night and in the bedroom. It was introduced in France in the 18th century.

It is thought that the answer does not mean the garment is neglected or that the wearer of such a garment will be neglected. It actually refers to the housework which will be neglected by anyone wearing a negligee.

By the 1920s, the 'negligee' began to mimic women's satin single-layer evening dress of the period. The term 'negligee' was used on a Royal Doulton run of ceramic figurines in 1927, showing women wearing what appears to be a one-piece knee-length silk or rayon slip, trimmed with lace.

Although the evening-dresses style of nightwear made moves towards the modern negligee style—translucent bodices, lace trimming, bows, exemplified in 1941 by a photo of Rita Hayworth in Life—it was only after World War II that nightwear changed from being primarily utilitarian to being primarily sensual or even erotic; the 'negligee' emerged strongly as a form of lingerie.

From the 1940s to the 1970s, the trend was for negligees to become shorter in length (e.g. the babydoll of the 1970s). 'Negligees' made from the 1940s to the 1970s are now collectible vintage items.

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