Saturday, 29 September 2012

Bringing back the smoking jacket

In which G.M. Norton makes a startling revelation. 

 

As an aspiring gentleman, I am well accustomed to defying the conventional. In fact, I am making quite an art of indulging in practices considered to be mere nostalgic eccentricities; shaving with a safety razor, a familiarity with the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and more recently, wearing a smoking jacket.


A smoking jacket is an essential part of a gentleman’s wardrobe, originally made for the purpose of indulging in pipe or cigar related activities. The debonair Fred Astaire became so attached to his smoking jacket that he was buried in it. Cary Grant, the gentleman of gentlemen, was also a famous wearer of this particular garment along with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

Even when he's reading, G.M. Norton remains ever vigilant to even the smallest noise

I purchased my smoking jacket from Messrs E&Bay. They have quite a good selection although unfortunately, you have to forage through a deluge of inferior, cheap imitations, usually for the purpose of fancy dress soirees. My smoking jacket is quilted black, with a gold shawl collar, cuffs and tie-round belt. It would be ideal paired with grey trousers and some velvet monogrammed slippers but I’ve yet to track down a suitable pair. I originally bought it for home entertaining but it’s also great for sitting by the fire in my favourite over-stuffed chair.

There are different variations of the smoking jacket – I particularly lust after a double-breasted version, complete with toggle fasten. They retail at around the £495 mark. One day!

However, dressed in my smoking jacket, I can’t help but feel that something is missing. Perhaps it’s not having a bunny-costumed lady on each arm like a certain libidinous publisher. Or maybe it’s the distinct lack of pipe or cigar in hand, especially one that’s been rolled between the thighs of a Cuban virgin. 

Sadly, I’m risking the future employability of said Cuban virgin by not purchasing her uniquely crafted cigars as rather strangely for a gentleman, I don’t partake in puffing pleasures. 

It’s slightly embarrassing to admit this little fact but a gentleman cannot lie. If I could, I would be a scoundrel and of that, I am most certainly not. I am simply a non-smoking gentleman. There, I’ve said it. As I alluded to at the start of this post, I am making quite a habit of not following the conventional path.

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’

4 comments:

  1. Hello there! Many thanks for visiting my blog! Looking forward to reading more of your gentlemanly adventures x

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  2. It's my pleasure! The next dose of 'Norton of Morton' goodness will be here this coming Saturday at 4 o'clock sharp. I'm a stickler for timekeeping. I must say, it's jolly nice to meet somebody with a northern persuasion. I look forward to reading the next chapter of Old Fashioned Susie.

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  3. Thanks for sharing the nice information regarding the smoking jackets.
    grey smoking jacket

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely delighted to do so, the smoking jacket is a fine garment deserving of such attention.

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