The Attire of a Modern Cigar Smoker
Luxury cigar terrace at The Wellesley Hotel featuring a newly-built, bespoke humidor
Gone are the days of Hugh Hefner smoking jackets and clichéd businessmen with slicked-back hair. Modern cigar smokers don’t fit the bill of a Hollywood typecast – they don’t singularly represent an Alan Dale magnate persona. Head to a Cuban Cigars smoking shop and expect your eyes to glance upon a diversity nearing one found on a popular London street. With a modern cigar revival and a new wave of cigar smokers, has the attire completely changed, or is a traditional suit still a customary necessity?
TO SUIT OR NOT TO SUIT? - The Independent newspaper published a piece on cigar terraces launching across luxury hotels in 2014. A year later, Esquire magazine wrote an article on “How to Smoke Cigars Without Looking Like a Jerk”. The sub-heading “Dress better” alluded to wearing a suit. The heritage and history of cigar smoking feels warmly appreciated by sticking to the dress traditionally associated. Before social-media and smartphones, gentlemen retreated from their offices and assembled together to relax with a drink and a fine cigar. They were from a time when wearing a suit was as ordinary as a child wearing their school uniform. Nowadays, younger men are wary of socialising in such formal apparel. They find a suit a product of celebration – a wedding and black-tie event. Though arguably, smoking a Habano is a form of occasion. Whether daily, weekly or sporadically, a cigar is never just a mere pastime. You show the tobacco farmers and expert rollers respect each time you take one out to smoke. So a suit, a little out of touch with contemporary society, though homely as loungewear when in a cigar lounge.
Top Left: Cigar terrace at The Wellesley Hotel, Top Right: Mark's Club director Darius Namdar at The Mark's Club, Bottom: The Garden Lounge at The Corinthia Hotel. The best luxury cigar lounges in London.
"A SUIT IS NOT ABOUT ELITISM"
FIGURING OUT DRESS CODE - If heading out to a lounge bar to smoke, it’s crucial to consider what type of cigar lounge you plan to visit. If in a members’ club, it’s worth checking what the rules are on dress-code. Many require a jacket and tie. Smart shoes should also be a given. The majority of places for cigar smokers will have a website which demonstrates their type of style and fashion. Though if in doubt, we suggest dressing-up as oppose to down. It’s easy to loosen a tie and remove a jacket; much harder to put on a jacket you haven’t brought with you. Cigar lounges are a fantastic opportunity to network, receive great cigar recommendations and feel part of a community. A suit is not about elitism. It's about making an effort – exactly as you do when going out to a fancy dinner. To feel a sense of belonging, choosing the right attire is beneficial to any cigar smoker.
"Accessories are an obvious gesture"
SUIT CREATIVITY - For a modern man wanting to find creative freedom in the constraints of a plain shirt and suit, accessories are an obvious gesture. A pop of colour on your socks, a unique-coloured tie, or as we recommended recently, a pair of statement cufflinks. Rising to the top of fashion once more, cufflinks are enjoying a reigning spotlight as a must-have adornment for both classic and trendy men. With statement cufflinks, you can experiment with fun designs like the ‘Twist and Change’ collection at Deakin & Francis. Additionally, you can custom-make your own. We created our own EGM Cigars statement cufflinks from all branded and are ecstatic with the end result. They make for a great conversation starter. Despite the increasing rise of women smoking, cigar lounges tend to still be dominated by men. For women reading however, wearing smart, sophisticated dress is equally recommended.
CIGAR LOUNGE TIPS - Before you get dressed and arrive to an exquisite cigar terrace, it's worth mentioning, that while the scent of a cigar may initially seem powering on clothes, in actual fact, cigar smoke is gentle and does not linger. Don't be afraid to wear your best suits and attire. Once you are back home, simply let your clothes hang for a few hours or overnight. It’s also worth noting that cigar lounges come with honorary etiquette. Discussing a delicate topic – think religion and politics in a relaxing environment, is an easy way to feel alienated. Basic manners such as not blowing smoke near someone’s face, being mindful of your ash and not criticising people for their cigar choices, is as important as deciding what clothing to wear. Collectively, the cigar community has moved on from a characterised persona. Our everyday fashion is different, but when we join together in a cigar lounge and connect over our love of the best Cuban Cigars, it's nice to resemble each other's attire.