Smoking Jackets and Cuban Cigars
Garden Room at The Lanesborough
TRADITIONAL. LUXURIOUS. STYLISH ATTIRE
The adaptations of Cuban Cigars and smoking jackets are akin – both modernised and re-defined through history. While Hugh Hefner conjures up association of them, times are once more changing. Smoking jackets today are great to wear as an alternative look to a tuxedo. Here we explore the style further.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN – Smoking jackets date back to the 1600’s. In the mid-nineteenth century, men would wear as they headed to a room to smoke cigars after dinner. The purpose of the jacket was to protect their clothes from cigar scents, as a sign of respect to their female partners. When tailcoats were replaced with dinner jackets (black tie attire), the smoking jacket grew in popularity and began being worn to dinner and outside the home. People were dressing less formally and smoking cigars in public became more common – particularly after Queen Victoria’s reign ended in Britain.
Top Left: Navy Velvet Smoking Jacket from Turnbull & Asser, Bottom Left: Hugh Hefner, Right: Orson Welles
"from homely leisure, informal to luxurious"
EDWARD VII AND SAVILLE ROW – According to Henry Poole – custom bespoke tailors on London’s Savile Row, it was Henry Poole himself who designed the first documented piece for Edward VII to wear in replacement of his white tie tailcoat. The smoking jacket was in a blue silk – seen as one of the only acceptable materials for the jackets, along with velvet.
WEARING A SMOKING JACKET TODAY – Smoking jackets are being worn dining out, attending events, parties and extravagant evenings. They have twisted in fate from homely leisure, informal to luxurious. Colours frequently consist of black, burgundy, brown and navy blue, and options include with a sash or with ‘frogging’. This is the most wearable and is a type of decorative stitching around a fastening. A few years ago, smoking jackets decreased significantly due to smoking bans and tobacco being vilified in the media. Although cigarettes remain as such, Cuban cigars are an opulence and one of the only luxury markets rapidly increasing in sales. Our blog post Cigar Smoking Around the World, reveals Habanos SA statistics.
Top Left: Garden Room at The Lanesborough, Top Right: Cohiba Behike Ashtray, Bottom: Cohiba Behike 54 Cigar
"accommodates to our needs"
WHY IT’S ESSENTIAL – The culture of cigars plays a significant part in the actual experience of smoking Cuban cigars. A Cohiba Behike Ashtray with a Cohiba Behike 54 Cigar, or a Romeo y Julieta Cutter with a Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills Cigar. These little touches are what many aficionados enjoy and take pride in. Not only is a smoking jacket a tribute to the history of cigar smoking, it importantly accommodates to our needs with extra pockets not found in a usual jacket. So carrying a Ligne 2 S.T. Dupont Lighter with a Montecristo Cigar case for example, is easy and hassle free.
WHERE TO BUY – Our editorial series Where to Smoke showcases some of the many luxurious lounges, rooms and terraces to light-up a stogie, like Corinthia Hotel London. A cigar lounge is a quintessential environment for a smoking jacket. In terms of where to buy, may we suggest designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry for a traditional look, and Tom Ford for a smoking jacket more eccentric and unique. Our interview with Guglielmo Miani - CEO of Milan's iconic Larusmiani, further reinstated our thoughts that as an investment piece, a jacket should ideally be crafted with quality and made with fine materials.
From royalty to Old Hollywood icons such as Frank Sinatra and Orson Welles, the smoking jacket has surpassed many centuries and represented many different periods. But just like our Cuban Cigars online, they are timeless, classic and wrapped in tradition. When you find the right smoking jacket for you, you’ll embrace the garment as a wardrobe necessity.