12 December 2011

Turnbull & Asser's Smoking Smoker

Anachronistic? Without doubt. Expensive? You bet. Mind numbingly beautiful? Depends on who are you. If you're like me... a sucker for out of date, hand crafted attire that most likely will never see the light of day outside your own four walls...then you'll love the smoking jacket. I've written at length about them here.

It makes absolutely no sense in today's world. It's the buggy whip of formal attire but it's also an unmitigated work of art. Last December I took a poll of New York City haberdashers on smoking jacket sales. It's complicated depending on the retailer but know this -- They ain't flying off the shelves.

All the more reason to have one. Trust me...you're not gonna run into anyone wearing a smoking jacket at a black tie Christmas or New Years party. But you'll need some hefty stones to pull it off. I'd say no if you're under 25. Maybe even 35. Why? You'll look silly because you don't deserve it...yet.

I remember entertaining a lady friend in my college dorm room just before Christmas break. Astrud Gilberto was on the Akai reel to reel while she sat on the edge of my bed with her legs crossed watching me pour tonic and gin into a cocktail shaker.

She arched an eyebrow and seconds later I understood why...She wasn't as interested in me as much as she wondered if I'd really shake tonic. I did. She smiled and left. I was all sticky. Good thing I wasn't wearing a Smoking Jacket.


Main Line Sportsman said...

A true faux pas of social chemistry....G&T in a shaker...I am reminded of Otter tending bar for Mrs. Wormer.
Now, on the subject of that smokin' smoking jacket...it is a winner....a treasure...I'd wear it....but only at a black tie event in the home...never at the Club etc.
My Dad had one in black-watch with black velvet shawl collar that was tremendous....wish I knew where it went.

Scale Worm said...

I just snorted my coffee at your last paragraph. Damned funny! (btw: vintage Astrud = YUM!)... I never did get into reel to reels, but man, what a great sound...

JKG said...

MLS: Otter got over eventually. Too bad Tin Tin didn't have a smoking jacket -- it might've made up.

Maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Man! She might have stayed if you had a smoking jacket. Because, after all, what is a smoking jacket if not protection for your clothing?


Suburban Princess said...

LOL Don't we all have a Rico Suave moment in our files? What a great image!

Makaga said...

I just bought a vintage smoking jacket that feels modern enough to wear to my New Years Eve Eve party on the 30th. I agree with you, Tintin, that smoking jackets run the risk of looking affected. Luckily this jacket feels appropriate for certain events and friends.

What are you going to wear this New Years Eve, Tintin?
Or, on New Years Eve Eve? which has become the bigger party night among my NY party friends.

tintin said...

Main Line - I thought I was Otter until the shaker blew up.

Scale Worm- Astrud is seduction- pure and simple. Just don't go shaking tonic.

JKG- I did have a toga made out of a camouflage poncho liner but it was in the closet.

DB- I had protection but it wasn't a smoking jacket.

Suburban Princess - I have many. Stay tuned.

Makaga- No party this year. I pissed off all my friends last year.

Anonymous said...

One's noticed The Adventures Of Tintin in theatres December 21st. My, how a blog scales. Inclusive of Hay Street roguery or typified by relatively tame run-of-the-mill-mulleted-dubiously O.E.-Englishter-(was that Lovejoy?)-weddin's?

(Maxmin. familiar with recent BigPharm Hopalong novel?)

Back to hibernatin'. Ta'er

tintin said...

Ta'er- I'm overjoyed and honored that you would come back and comment. My Brit friends are finding much wrong with this Hollywood Tintin. We'll see.

I hope you get out out of that cave and make a visit again soon. I have my Granny 'Ginnis recipe for Banana Pudding for you if you do.

Barima said...

I am reminded of Otter tending bar for Mrs. Wormer.

So did I, my dear MLS, so did I

As a Brit and a Ghanaian (depending on which immigration office I'm visiting), I came to see that there was something fishy about Herge's Tintin over the years, to the extent that I was never going to see the film, even though Steven Moffat and Joe Cornish hold writing credits

I have considered smoking jackets, but between my velvet suit and my paisley dinner jacket, not to mention my not always aureate Christmas party seasons, I'm thinking it redundant and extra bulk. Nevertheless, there is a lovely one in my size on eBay

And that smoker there is a wonderul argument, indeed

All best,


tintin said...

BON- I think Hwood may have been a bit slap-dash with their version of Tintin and Snowy. Already a nasty commercial has aired for dog food with a Snowy tie in. Not good.

Going with the velvet or paisley jacket is a good choice for a younger man. Always appropriate for winter parties and not nearly as affected as a smoking jkt on a younger man. That's not to say you can't have one for entertaining in your home.

Literide said...

Green velvet, double breasted, frogging. Purchased a decade or so ago at the J. Peterman outlet, going out of business sale. Couple hundo, done!! Worn to club or St. Andrews with tartan trews, black tie.

Maroon velvet, sash tie, about 100 gbp at some tartan tat shop in Ayrshire 12 -13 years ago. Usually worn over PJs in the den.

Black velvet, peaked grograin lapels, SB, 1 button, or father 1 frog closure with a little swirly detail around it. Bloomies Polo sale 8 years ago, about $200, matching trousers $100. Spare dinner suit.

16 oz tartan (a restricted sett) double breasted, grograin shawl lapels. 4 grain covered buttons, + double vented!! Yikes. Bespoke by Meyer & Mortimer. Don't ask it only got worse as I was making the payments through a Sterling rally vs USD.

Love the blog btw