We’ve recently been enjoying the uman essays series, which Umberto Angeloni released in collaboration with men’s style authorities. In the sixth book in that series, “After Dark,” Nick Foulkes traces the origins of the dinner/tuxedo jacket. While exploring that topic, he also explores the development of the smoking jacket (worn at left by Oscar Wilde).
First, of course, you needed smokers. They emerged in droves after British soldiers brought Turkish tobacco back from the front lines of the Crimean war. Then you needed a nice garment, like the dinner jacket, that needed protection from your smoke.
Foulkes writes: “Men started to wear loose comfortable smoking jackets and velvet caps to protect their clothes and their macassared hair from being tainted by the fumes of their dark oily cigars. At first…these were only marginally more formal than, say, a dressing gown, and worn only at home…little by little they became more elaborate with quilting, patterning, and frogging; rendering them amongst the most decorative items of male dress.”
We are now offering the smoking jacket in nine shades of solid velour as well as silk paisley and we are able to customize them in almost any silk imaginable.