The lounge dress has been a part of the National family for as long as I can remember. Catalogs that date back to the 1970’s and 80’s boast a wide variety of options. (I even uncovered a detail about my mother’s schoolwork – she wrote a college paper on lounge dress development in 1967!)
As a college student, my roommates kept the muumuu craze going. Bright colors and elaborate stitching took over our closets. At the time, I assumed it was a Texas trend. We walked to class in 103 degree heat, so the lightweight breathability of our “loungers” proved beneficial to say the least. (Not to mention, the “dress” appearance was just enough to get us through class without the token “change out of your pajamas next time” comment from our professors!) Certainly still a staple in closets nationwide, diverse selections of muumuus and loungers maintain their place in National’s catalog pages 45 years later.
Circa 1820, the style began with “holokū,” or a “Mother Hubbard dress” that was first brought to wardrobes in Hawaii by Protestant missionaries. As the original style became increasingly influenced by fashion trends, the muumuu evolved into a shorter version worn for more casual occasions. (Fun fact: the word, muumuu, translates to “cut off” in Hawaiian).
Tahitian women in simple “grandmother’s dresses,” circa late 1880’s.
Folk singer Birgit Ridderstedt wears a Hawaiian muumuu to a formal affair in Stockholm, circa 1971.
Today, the perfect lounger is beautiful in color, simple in structure, and easy to care for. There are many fabrications from which to choose. A few of our favorite National styles include seersucker, chambray, and crinkle cotton. The fiber blends of these styles allow for bold colors, detailed embellishments, and figure flattering drape. Click on the images below and be part of the muumuu craze!