The symbolism of bats, wan emblems and shou (longevity) characters combined with the red color of this robe indicate that it might have been made for an auspicious occasion, such as a birthday. The five bats in each roundel represent the Five Blessings (a long life, riches, health, love of virtue, and a peaceful death). They also form the rebus Wufu qingshou (five bats extend good wishes on one's birthday).
A related woman's red kesi robe woven with eight medallions of plum blossoms, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum, and with wider sleeves, dated to the Daoguang period is in the Qing Court collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 51 - Costumes and Accessories of the Qing Court, Hong Kong, 2005, pp. 178-9, no. 109.
See, also, a blue kesi dragon robe of the same date, also woven with this unusual and striking combination of multi-colored metallic threads, sold Christie's, New York, The Imperial Wardrobe, Fine Chinese Costume and Textiles from the Linda Wrigglesworth Collection, 19 March 2008, lot 27.