Cigar-smoking – similar to pipe-smoking – requires more ritual, more thought and care, than regular cigarette smoking and, god forbid, vaping. And, whereas cigarette-smokers are likely to burn through multiple packs per week, cigars are more an accessory than an addiction – and thus require the right equipment to make the most out of them.
A cutter, a humidor and a fine leather case are all must-haves for the discerning cigar-smoker, but one garment seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent years, a troubling trend we hope to reserve. Men, it seems, no longer wear smoking jackets.
First appearing in their modern design around the mid-1800s, the classic smoking jacket is a mid-thigh length garment crafted from either velvet, silk or a mixture of the two. It classically features a shawl collar and turn-up cuffs, toggle fastenings and a tie belt, and is fantastic.
The jackets, which are intended to absorb the smoke from heavy stogies such as cigars, take on a masculine and musty scent over time and were described in The Washington Post in the early 20th Century as being ‘synonymous with comfort’. And, with Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra and – somewhat more questionably – Hugh Hefner being proponents of the smoking jacket, what are you waiting for?
Vintage shops and the great online are the best places to look for used jackets, but why not swing by New & Lingwood to pick up a new jacket – one which you can imbue with your own tapestry of smoky flavours.