Written by Puff Staff

Thursday, 21 April 2011

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leisure and relaxationsmoking jackets


Smoking jackets have long been the ultimate symbol of status and style. Since imported tobacco arrived in the West, esteemed gentlemen have been slipping into their best robes to smoke, drink and exchange words of wisdom. The garment remained in vogue for nearly two centuries, after re-establishing itself among Hollywood’s elite during the 1950s. Infused with the glamour of the silver screen, silk robes and velvet blazers became the peak of fashion, championed by icons such as Peter O Toole and Cary Grant. The jacket became so distinguished and dignified that Fred Estaire - according to well-circulated rumours - even worn one to his own funeral.

While Hollywood’s hottest screen stars donned smoking jackets of sophisticated tailoring and Mr Bond did his bit for crushed velvet, Frank Sinatra became the godfather of the silk robe. Whatever the material, the jackets were all designed to stop the pungent smell of smoke lingering on a gentleman’s best threads - and so as not to offend the delicate sensitivities of the ladies. I don’t imagine Bond would have had as much luck with the women had he returned after a night at the casino stinking of smoke.

Today, the jacket is still a fabulously practical and stylish way to protect your clothes from falling ash, and keep you smelling fresh. While you might want to give the smoking cap a pass, the jacket has been given a modern overhaul and is attracting attention from a few notable celebs, namely Hugh Heffner and his playboy mansion friends. Once again, the jacket is becoming the perfect accompaniment to wealth and luxury, and there are still a few bespoke places where you can get hold of these rare items. It’s a romantic adage to time of opulence and glamour, and whether you’re after quality, style or just sheer eccentricity, there’ a smoking jacket out there for you.

The Silk Robe

Modern silk jackets still exude the romance and glamour of a by-gone era. Begging to be worn by gentlemen with a sense of adventure and finesse, they are often seen on theatre stages and cinema screens to this day. Few designers still specialise in this luxury item, but there are some modern manufacturers of silk robes still sketching away in pockets across the West. Hilleso Designs has created two modern smoking jackets inspired by the glamour of Tinsel Town. ‘The Retro’ jacket is made from three different types of silk and has a double-breasted front panel.

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