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 a sucker for out of date, hand crafted attire that most likely will never see the light of day outside your own four walls...then you'll love the smoking jacket.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.