Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A smoking jacket: wear it if you got it

A couple of days ago, there was a very interesting article about the smoking jacket on CigarCyclopedia.com. "There isn’t a lot of literature on the smoking jacket out today," writes Rich Perelman, "but digging a little deeper reveals that the item probably originated in England and had its heyday in the last half of the 1800s up until perhaps World War I."

True. The smoking jacket is one of those "cigar accessories" to which cigar smokers today give little or no thought. Perhaps it is a bit old fashioned, and as such has gone the way of the Fedora, which most American men wore as a standard part of their wardrobe until the early 1960's. Turn on the Turner Classic Movies channel and you'll see what I mean.

I tend to associate smoking jackets with actors like the late David Niven, or Hugh Hefner. The latter also reminds me of a classic "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode where Larry David (an avid cigar smoker, himself), mixes up Hef's geniune Roselli smoking jacket with an identical looking jacket that belongs to Larry's father. Hilarity and mayhem ensue.

According to the article, the secret to a garment that will keep the smoke off your clothes is silk. I'm inclined to agree. Every night when I return home from work, I'm greeted by my lovely wife with a kiss and the words, "You stink!" I suppose this is because I wear a Famous Smoke Shop sweatshirt over my clothes to help keep the smoke odor off my shirt. It's made of cotton, which the article notes is a "no-no," as are wool and polyester.

Hayward, my office-roomie and co-copywriter, wears a wool sport jacket and claims it keeps the stink off of his clothes. I have to admit, that on days where I've worn a sport jacket it seems my shirt doesn't smell as bad. Maybe it has to do with having a loose outer layer of clothing that isn't sticking to you like a sweatshirt.

So, is anyone wearing a smoking jacket these days?

1 comment:

AlienHand said...

I acquired recently a fantastic black and burgundy paisely silk smoking jacket, an absolute steal at €20 with some slight damage (cigarette burns on one sleeve, easily repaired) from a vintage clothing shop in Dublin. It is a wonderfully comfortable and luxurious garment, and an infinitely more stylish alternative to a dressing gown or bath robe. It gives me no end of pleasure, when entertaining, to slip out of my suit jacket and into my smoking jacket. This generally marks the point at which the proceedings take a more casual turn, and is usually where the party gets interesting. The jacket has consistently been a big hit with the ladies and gents alike, and is always a good conversation starter. I would recommend such a garment to any gentleman, smoker or not.