Many 18th century men wore an at-home garment called a banyan, which was influenced by East Asian and Persian robes.
In the humid climate of the Southern Colonies, gentlemen wore lightweight banyans as informal street wear in summer.
It was fashionable for men of an intellectual or philosophical bent to have their portraits painted while wearing banyans.
Tailored to mimic Persian robes, the cut and construction of this patchwork banyan, particularly its button closure, is characteristically European. It is fully interlined for warmth.
Despite the similarity to a "bathrobe" or a "nightgown", the banyan was not worn for sleeping.