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History of the smoking jacket

Posted by Steve O on 26th Apr 2023

The smoking jacket, also known as a dinner jacket or a lounge jacket, is a type of jacket that was originally designed to be worn while smoking tobacco. It was popularized in the 19th century and has since become a symbol of refined taste and sophistication.

The origins of the smoking jacket can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, where Turkish men would wear long, loose-fitting robes called "kaftans" while smoking hookahs. These robes were made of luxurious materials such as silk and velvet and were designed to keep the smoker warm and comfortable.

In the early 19th century, the smoking jacket began to make its way to Europe, where it was quickly adopted by the wealthy and fashionable. The jacket was seen as a way to protect one's clothing from the smoke and ash of tobacco, which was still a common practice at the time.

The earliest versions of the smoking jacket were made of heavy, dark-colored materials such as velvet and wool, and featured elaborate embroidery and tassels. These jackets were often worn in the home, as smoking was considered a private activity and not something to be done in public.

As smoking became more popular and acceptable in society, the smoking jacket began to evolve. In the 1850s, the first "dinner jackets" were introduced, which were shorter and more tailored than the earlier smoking jackets. These jackets were designed to be worn to formal events and were often made of lighter materials such as silk or linen.

By the turn of the 20th century, the smoking jacket had become a staple of men's fashion. It was seen as a symbol of sophistication and was often worn by actors and other celebrities on stage and in movies. The jacket was also popular among writers and intellectuals, who wore it as they worked in their studies or libraries.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the smoking jacket continued to evolve. It became more streamlined and modern, with simpler designs and fewer embellishments. The jacket was also made more versatile, with lighter materials and colors that could be worn in a variety of settings.

In the post-war era, the smoking jacket began to fall out of fashion. Smoking was no longer as popular or socially acceptable, and the jacket was seen as outdated and old-fashioned. However, in recent years, the smoking jacket has seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to the rise of vintage fashion and the renewed interest in classic menswear.

Today, the smoking jacket is still seen as a symbol of sophistication and elegance. It is often worn at formal events such as weddings and black-tie affairs, or as a statement piece for a night out on the town. The jacket has also become popular among women, who wear it as a stylish alternative to traditional evening wear.

In conclusion, the smoking jacket has a long and fascinating history that spans several centuries and continents. From its humble beginnings as a kaftan in the Ottoman Empire to its current status as a fashionable and sophisticated piece of menswear, the smoking jacket has remained a symbol of elegance and refinement throughout its history.  

Smoky Joe's Clothing makes smoking jackets so that you can have a taste of history all while making history wearing one.