11 December 2009

Formal Week: The Belted Smoking Jacket





I was told many years ago that life's luxuries quickly become necessities. Never was that more true than when I went through a discounted case of La Conseillante in less than a month. I had plenty of other wine but I just couldn't see the point. Not with a Pomerol staring at me. "Hey!" I would think to myself, "I could be dead tomorrow."

But times have changed. We have two wars going and the economy is... I don't have to tell you what it is. Nick Sullivan wrote in Esquire's Fall Black Book that the sale of pocket squares plummeted in the last year and I'm doing a week of smoking and dinner jackets. Impeccable timing.

This is a belted smoking jacket from Italy. They're a common site in the better haberdashery and they're not cheap. Around $900 to a $1,000. So who is gonna plop down a grand for something they may never wear more than a handful of times? That's a good question. Better than that, it's what we call in sales a buyer's objection. I'll try to over come it:

1. The Tuxedo Option:
It takes some stones to wear this out of one's home but it can be done. Unless Bruce Boyer is at the party who's gonna call you on it? The bow tie is a gift from Pierrepont Hicks. The cuff links were not a gift and were purchased at an auction in Chicago. All the accessory stuff for Formal Week will be covered Sunday after tomorrow's Tartan dinner jacket.

2. Home Entertaining:
A little luxe in the privacy of your own home is not a bad thing. The at-home holiday party in black tie is elegant and fun. The wine is better. The food is better and the cost is better. Plus, it's always interesting to see your neighbors in something other than cargo shorts and hair curlers. This is the jacket you wear as host.

3. The Robe:
With this option you can wear it every day. Over pajamas or over nothing.

4. The Girl Friend's Robe
Nothing looks better on a woman than a smoking jacket and only a smoking jacket.

Lastly, I ask you to consider 18th century clothing. Very little of what people wore daily 200 years ago is still around. What is around are the ceremonial coats, vests and dresses that were worn once and put away. A smoking jacket may not help your bottom line today but it could mean a new house addition for your great- great - grandson.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tintin,
"cargo shorts and curlers." When were you peeping in my window?
After yesterday's sartorial porn gone wrong, this jacket is a breath of fresh air. Love it. I can't believe the GF hasn't borrowed it permanently. I would. D

Anonymous said...

Victorian dance hall, what what?

Anonymous said...

I must admit that your recent posts left me out in the cold (opera cape?). But I just love this smoking jacket. That silver-blue pillowy collar and cuffs on black make me want to take up the habit. Fortunately, you've found alternative uses. Superb photos, too!

The great Noel Coward will come back from the beyond for that treasure, so hold on tight.

-DB

brandon sargent said...

another fantastic jacket. i've had my eye on that bow-tie for a couple weeks now-this post has convinced me to go for it. i've always been hesitant about wearing orange, but paired with the tartan it shouldn't offend (too much).

Cyclo2000 said...

My tailor (Ede&Ravenscroft) sell velvet brocaded dinner jacketswhich are not a million sartorial miles from this smoker. I once asked if anyone ever bought them and was told they sell at a rate of up to a dozen a year, mostly around Christmas. I wonder where they're worn though?

DAM said...

Two things:

1. How did you come by owning a mannequin?

2. Your living room looks like the prefect place to sit back in a club chair with a martini or champers in that smoking jacket and enjoy the roaring fire and twinkling lights...

Anonymous said...

DAM beat me to it. I don't mean to pry Trad, but where does one procure a mannequin?

Richard said...

#1 You have a lovely home!
#2 That jacket is the best yet....I am jealous of your collection
#3 You promised to show me the Christmas kit you wore a few years back, please don't forget
#4 Hope you are well!

M.Lane said...

I don't care what it cost. It is the most beautiful garment I have ever seen. On a "cost per wear" basis, you spend a grand or two on something like this and you wear it [where I live] a couple of times a year for the rest of your life.....its a steal. Man I love this jacket.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

manifolddestiny said...

This is awesome. Needs velvet slippers to really complete the look.

Chris said...

Tin Tin - I'm loving that jacket. Every time I go into the BB I come within inches of buying one. To my credit/discredit I always back down...

I'm a little surprised Press doesn't have one.

This is a great series, and I'm very glad to see you posting more frequently. You really are a top shop, and we need to see and hear more from you.

tintin said...

D- Your 11B husband would look great in that cape. What was it the infantry was called? Oh, yeah. "The Queen of Battle."

Anon/ VDH- ...

DB- I was gonna give you the cape if nobody jumped on it. The collar and cuffs are actually a slate green.

Brandon- I like the tie as well. Super nice folks too.

cycle 2000 Smokers tend to be either belted or frogged. The best jackets I've seen are the frogged English but women look better in the belted.

tintin said...

DAM - It's a 'form' not a mannequinn. I found this at a haberdasher who was closing his doors and made him an offer.

Anon- See above.

Richard- Thanks. I'm looking for that pic.

M Lane- Ok, looks like the belted number is kicking the frog all to heck.

Manifold- Those appear tomorrow.

Chris- Many thanks. Buy the smoker. What the heck. I wish I hadn't waited so long. However, like bow ties, I think they the run the risk of an affectation when you're young. I'm so old I don't give a crap anymore.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

And that reminds me that mine needs altering... thanks. Christmas Eve is fast approaching.

Hunt Hearin said...

Love the cufflinks. Looks like something that Mr. Fox might have.

casual jackets said...

This is such a stylish look!

Jeny said...

I love this kind of smoking jackets.
Thanks for sharing.
Buy Blue Smoking Jackets
Thanks.