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.