Smoking Jacket — not just a homewear
The smoking jacket is a largely forgotten article of clothing today. Those older will see with their imagination the inter-war period and even earlier eras and the men present indulging in some well-deserved pleasure after a hard day's work wearing a smoking jacket. As is usually the case, men like to indulge themselves completely in their hobbies and in those brief moments when they are not too interested in the world outside their windows, which is why they dress appropriately for the activity during these moments. Today, a little bit about domestic garments.
The birth of the smoking jacket should be linked together with the rise in popularity of smoking of tobacco and its greater availability in the European market. Due to the turmoil of the Crimean War, tobacco from Middle Eastern countries appeared in England, much more aromatic, with sharper smoke than the hitherto known domestic and American tobaccos. It was around the same period that 'smoking jackets' - appeared. Mostly made of absorbent velvet, which efficiently soaked tobacco fumes and protected the garments under from brown stains and ash. It was precisely such jackets that the gentlemen wore when going for a more chic version of today's "cig break". Room full of the aroma of tobacco, accompanied by a glass of brandy or a glass of scotch in the company of good mates, what more could you want from life?
However, with the increasing popularisation and industrialisation of the tobacco industry (cigarettes beat cigars and pipes) and the never-ending evolution of fashion, the smoking jacket began to disappear from the social circles and eventually from homes. During its decline in popularity, it was seen as extravagant, unusual, perhaps even strange. It had its flashes, of course, such as through the always controversial Hugh Hefner, often paired with satin pyjamas. We come to the present, where hardly anyone has heard of the smoking jacket, let alone seen it! Although it has seen a bit of a renaissance over the last few years, it has been resurrected in a much different form, as a replacement for the tuxedo jacket - evening wear.
Because of their original, solidly practical use, smoking jackets were most often sewn from a variety of velvets, silk and cotton varieties. These fabrics are quite warm, very fluffy and soft - comfortable and pleasant. Because it is precisely these types of fabrics that should accompany a moment of relaxation. Slightly later, when these jackets were no longer seen only as smoking clothes, but as domestic garments in general, they were often a field of challenge for the tailor and his imagination. Thanks to the well-known colonial inclinations of the European powers and what they brought, they were often made of fabrics in oriental, woven patterns, various types of thick jacquards or fabrics that today a layman would vulgarly recognise as "rug fabrics"
They were finished with braided, turned-up and fancy shamrocks interspersed with gold and silver threads, often accompanied by turned-up cuffs and lapels thickly quilted with smooth silk or ribbed grosgrain. Sometimes fastened with a simple button, also encountered stud fastenings and tied with a belt, usually topped with colourful tassels. A daydream for a resourceful tailor with an idea. Let alone for a customer...
Despite its rich history, let's not condemn the chic smoking jacket to a domestic museum. It's a garment that is very stylish, comfortable and, in most cases, warm (can't be too sure about heating this season). In these times of ubiquitous shabbiness and lack of a sense of principles, decent home clothing not only makes a difference to our wellbeing, but also to that of the household members. Who doesn't like to be well-dressed and, therefore, who doesn't like to be among the well-dressed? Unfortunately, for many of us, tracksuits and sweatpants have been cemented as the eternal household garment, especially by the last few years related to the pandemic.
However, let's not rest on laurels and want to bring something nice and interesting to our home environment and our own figure - if you work well in nice clothes, you should relax all the better in nice clothes! Homemakers will certainly appreciate the trend and hopefully pick up on it too. For guests at a quiet house party, it may come as a bit of a surprise - but I guarantee it will be a nice one! Particularly appropriate for a Sunday dinner, where no one wants to look either stiff or shabby, and whoever heard it to come poorly dressed to dinner with your grandparents. ;)
Although smoking jackets and variations of it are nowadays 'stretched' to equal dinner jackets, it would be more appropriate to leave them for domestic use, and certainly not evening wear. In the domestic area we have a wide range of possibilities, especially when combined with velvet variations of this garment. At one time, this jacket was seen as morning wear, a sort of substitute for the dressing gown. It was just the right thing to throw on over your pyjamas so that you could slip into your slippers for a lazy, yet stylish Sunday coffee. If not a quiet morning, then think of the ever-popular work from home look. Over a gray warm turtleneck and loose casual caramel corduroys, wear a bottle green smoking jacket.
Comfortable, not too serious, nothing to complain about at the zoom meeting. At various social gatherings, we can experiment with different shirts from our wardrobe and tailored trousers. White, blue, checks and stripes - here we really don't have to limit ourselves, after all we are at home, and the fabric and lack of any pattern really do allow us a lot of wiggle room. For those more inclined towards classic elegance, a foulard ora silk scarf is a must, and for those who enjoy herbal pleasures, a cigar or pipe is a must. And let's not forget decent slippers!
Finishing the entry moralizing a tad, but if we don't want to dress decently for ourselves, let's do it for our dear ones and guests. Isn't it a well-known saying that, a man is represented by his clothes first?
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