When talking about smoking jackets as a fashion statement its impossible to ignore the effect Hugh Hefner, Founder of Playboy and editor and chief of the magazine, has had on the iconic jackets. Hefner’s smoking jackets were a symbol of luxury and wealth they were just as often described tongue in cheek as “pyjamas”. While the modern wearing of the smoking jacket has come a far distance from its origins, they are no less eye-catching or attention grabbing with their bold colours and often ostentatious materials.
The smoking jacket, as the name implies was originally designed to be worn while smoking and was typically longer than the modern smoking jacket. Made of heavy silks they were worn over men’s tuxedo’s and dinner jackets in the library to protect the formal ware from falling ash and absorbing smoke. In a time before dry cleaning and much smaller wardrobes this was essential to maintaining the longevity of men’s clothing. What was made from a matter of necessity gave way for an incredibly stylish jacket.
As the style of men’s formal wear changed so did the modern smoking jacket. Designs spreading from luxurious house coats and robes, to shorter jackets. Eventually the smoking jacket took its own place being worn as dinner jacket and on stage by performers like Frank Sinatra or popularized in Playboy magazine by Hugh Hefner himself.
While people’s opinions on Hefner’s style very the smoking jacket itself is iconic and gorgeous.