In conjunction with this budding romantic connotation, the intimate setting of tea gatherings in drawing rooms and salons gave these women an opportunity to wear more forgiving dresses in mixed company. Fashions began to develop that gave them a break from restricting travel and formal wear. The tea gown emerged. It was more or less a fancy version of a nightie and robe combo.
Earlier forms of which were puffy and flowing, allowing a woman to wear a looser corset, (or none at all).
You can imagine the innuendos….
You can also see the international and what would have been considered exotic influences in early tea gowns. Adventurous flamboyance was more accepted in intimate settings; whereas outside of the home they may have classified you as eccentric or as an escort. Also some female hosted teatime gatherings were seen as a natural successor to the female-run European intellectual salons of the 1600-1700s, and therefore designers catered to a worldlier sensibility. This would have made more traditional fashions look prudish by comparison.