Archive for shawl collar

The Smoking Jacket

Posted in Grooming, LOOKBOOK, MEN with tags , , , on September 14, 2011 by Jaiye Gesinde


A smoking jacket is an over garment designed to be worn while smoking tobacco, usually in the form of pipes and cigars, or for domestic leisure. It stems from a time when men were true “gentleman” and women had to be protected from the rancid smell of smoke. Ladies had nostrils too sensitive for the smoke to linger on their partners clothing, or so it was believed. Men would even go as far as putting on smoking caps to protect the hair (smoking slippers too). Aside from protecting the women, the jacket would also protect coats, shirts, and pants from ash or cigar burning incidents.

Smoking Jackets are cut longer than the regular jackets sitting just past the waist. The material would be a rich colored velvet or silk, it would have a shawl collar, and turn-up cuffs. Colors are typically a deep bottle green, red-burgundy(ish),  a deep colored blue, and sometimes dark brown or black, but always elegant and stylish.

Another style smoking jacket resembles more of a shower robe (as we would know it today). This slightly less formal jacket was loosely cut and sashed, had patched pockets, and was secured with a tassel. This was a favorite look of Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street fame.

The Smoking jacket should be worn with a formal shirt (with bow tie) and trousers (black or midnight blue) or gray flannels and a pair of black velvet (personalized motif optional) or leather Alberts.  You can also wear a less formal shirt with a scarf or ascot tied jauntily about the neck.

The  smoking jacket is one of the last vestiges of men’s wear which survives from the era when men wore different clothing based upon time-of-day and location. It is for this reason that different opinions as to where and when the smoking jacket is to be worn.

The smoking jacket was originally made as an ‘at home wear’ or when entertaining close friends. However if you are not the type to spend hundreds on a jacket to stay at home in, the modern smoking jacket would perhaps be a more suitable option. The modern smoking jacket is a stylish piece that can be worn while in a lounge, out in public, and works with any style of clothing (jeans, chinos, wingtips, loafers, etc).