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The Modern Man’s Guide to Wearing a Smoking Jacket

The Modern Man’s Guide to Wearing a Smoking Jacket

I randomly came across the smoking jacket and was intrigued by the definition and decided to do a bit of light reading on the subject matter, hence this piece.

The smoking jacket is a gentleman’s jacket typically made of velvet, formerly worn while smoking after dinner. The jacket’s classic design is a mid thigh-length jacket made from velvet, silk, or both. It’s typically designed with a shawl collar and turn-up cuffs and toggle or button fastenings, or may simply be closed with a tie belt. It may or may not have a quilted satin shawl collar.

The Classic Look

The smoking jacket evolved from a silk house robe into a shorter, mid-thigh length jacket designed to absorb smoke and to protect the gentleman’s clothing from falling ash. What was once reserved exclusively for home has evolved to become a style staple of black tie and evening wear.

The Modern Look


Most smoking jackets have three pockets on the outside and usually a pocket reserved for cigars and perhaps another pocket on the inside chest. It is almost always vent-less in the back and the sides and features very little rigidity compared to a dinner jacket. The jacket is cut roomier than a dinner jacket or blazer, similar to a dressing gown.

The smoking jacket is now the perfect alternative for when a tuxedo is too formal, a suit so commonplace, a sweater a bit too casual and a blazer too cliché.

As a final word, it’s important to note that if worn for the original purpose of smoking, velvet is the best material for protecting your clothing from the smell of smoke.

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