This is a blue satin pyjama outfit: vest, jacket and trousers made in circa 1920.
The sleeveless vest is edged in white piping. It has two heart shaped patch pockets and is embroidered around the neckline with two white silk Chinese dragons. There are belt loops on either side of the vest. The belt is missing.
The jacket is also edged in white piping and is embroidered near each cuff with a white Chinese sun. It has a Chinese dragon embroidered in white silk on each front corner. On the back is embroidered a large sun and a dragon. The jacket fastens with one button and a loop.
The trousers have an elasticated waist with a v shaped panel below just below the waistband. The legs are wide cut and flaring with four long light cream satin triangular inserts embroidered with Chinese dragons in purple silk. The hem is edged in blue satin and white satin piping.
During the 1920s oriental styled clothing was fashionable. Chinese dragons and flowers were in keeping with the Art Deco movement of that time. The Chinese dragons on these pyjamas may be shen-lung, a controller of the weather. Pyjamas became fashionable in the mid-1920s, replacing the tea gown as informal wear; they were also one of the earliest acceptable forms of fashionable trousers for women. By the 1930s beach pyjamas were popular and more daring women had begun to wear trousers in the evening. The term pyjama comes from the Persian pa? meaning 'foot' and jama meaning 'clothing'.