As an Italian-American, I’m required by law to talk to you about the pop culture recountings of our mafia history. There are the obvious touchstones: Goodfellas and The Godfather. I even sat through all three and a half hours of The Irishman at a cramped Broadway theater. (Remember when we could do things like that?)
But The Sopranos is a show that changed not only television, but the entire mobster storyline. It also famously left millions of its fans screaming in their living rooms when the finale aired—it concluded so abruptly, I vividly remember my own family thinking the cable had cut out. But this isn’t a story about mafioso tropes. It is about the quarantine fashion inspiration I found in an unlikely source: Tony Soprano’s robes.
There’s a lot of great fashion in the six seasons of the HBO drama: fantastic button-down shirts, Silvio’s impeccable suits, the women’s wardrobes that perfectly encapsulated the New Jersey style of the early 2000s. But with the coronavirus pandemic forcing us into a new reality of being homebound, none of that fashion matters more than loungewear. Take it from someone who has worked from home for over two years, nothing beats lazing around your house all day in a robe.
Tony’s robe collection was vast, so here are some of the best ones he wore on The Sopranos, along with links to where you can buy similar versions. If you aren’t sure which one to go with, remember what the man himself said: “More is lost by indecision than wrong decision.”
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The Strong, Silent Type
You can’t go wrong with a classic, like the white and dark grey soft cotton robes Tony most frequently wears throughout the show’s six seasons.
Brooklinen’s Super-Plush Robe, which comes in white, dark gray, and light gray, is a perfect foray into robedom. Its thick material and deep pockets made me feel like I was staying in a fancy hotel instead of my own apartment for weeks on end. It’s great for lounging on the couch at night with a glass of wine, as well as for putting on right after a shower.
One day last week, I wore this as I finally emerged from the depths of my apartment to bring the trash to the bins on the sidewalk. As I looked down at my furry slippers, I truly felt like Tony as he meanders down his driveway to pick up the paper in his mule slippers, robe open to the world.
Fit for a Boss
There are many famous scenes from the Sopranos that might come to mind, like the ending of the series, or Christopher and Paulie eating ketchup packets while lost in the woods. But there is nothing quite like the pilot episode where Tony walks into his pool in his robe to feed the ducks. I mean, murders aside, you gotta love a man who loves animals, right?
The robe in question is a sleek tan number trimmed with lavender and monogrammed with an S; truly a luxurious piece of bedroom attire. The real one was auctioned off, but you can get your own family initials embroidered on the Pottery Barn Piped Trim Hotel Robe. It has a soft waffle knit and is easy to care for.
Tony’s large print plaid robe is like a time capsule. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before, as if the ’90s cup design was reimagined as clothing. A deep internet search has led me to believe it’s a Bill Blass chenille bathrobe like this vintage one that sold on Etsy in 2019. Though I don’t think anything could replicate it exactly, you have a few options.
For that classic plaid look, L.L. Bean’s Scotch Plaid Flannel Robe is beloved for being warm but lightweight. I felt just like a dad on Christmas in this robe—or at least, like Corrado in the psychiatric ward. (It also comes in women’s sizes, but at the time of writing most weren’t available. The men’s small fit me perfectly.) L.L. Bean is also known for its product quality and its customer service.
If you really crave that vintage feel, Bown of London makes fluffy robes in quite eclectic designs, but I can’t vouch for the quality.
Princess of Little Italy
Not to be outdone by her husband, Carmela also owned a rotation of luxurious satin robes in all lengths, colors, and patterns. They might not keep you warm or cozy, but you’ll look damn good in them.
When I put on the red floral Alexander Del Rossa satin robe, I felt exactly like what I imagine rich New Jersey housewives with husbands in waste management consulting must feel like: untouchable.
In the show’s first season, there is a violent scene at the pork store that is somehow made humorous by the fact that Tony shows up in his bathrobe and slippers. This brown patterned, possibly silk, robe in particular feels the most like it came out of an Italian’s wardrobe.
Though I couldn’t find an exact replica—you’d probably have to go to the depths of an Essex County Salvation Army for that—there are plenty of fantastic prints out there to choose from, whatever your style may be. Shein has a number of options with the same feel, like this paisley satin robe. I haven’t tried Shein’s robes specifically, but I have tried a lot of the company’s clothing, which is surprisingly nice given the low cost.
This Thing of Ours
T also has a collection of striped robes in varying colors and thicknesses, as one does. There’s the thick red-and navy blue-stripped fluffy robe he dons a few times in season one. In season two, he exchanges it for a thin maroon striped robe, and he has an almost identical robe in blue that he wears while in the hospital in season six.
Alexander Del Rossa, the company that makes the incredible rose-print satin robe mentioned above, also has a selection for men, including one similar to Tony’s hospital wardrobe. The cotton is thin and crisp, perfect for a summer day.
The days are strange and long right now, and things are probably not going back to normal anytime soon. The least you can do is stay comfortable.
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