The Ultimate Festive Velvet Jackets

The Ultimate Festive Velvet Jackets

With end-of-year events and parties coming thick and fast, as well as the prospect of hosting friends and family, there is no better time to crack open the velvet. The smoking jacket is one of our favourite menswear silhouettes for this time of year, being both lightweight and warm, a combination you don't find very often. But more than that, it's a sartorial masterpiece - a throwback to old-school elegance that can be styled in such a way to feel inherently modern. 

Another of our go-to styles is the woefully underused Nehru jacket, which is a sublime piece of velvet tailoring that can deftly dance between smart and casual. This versatility comes in handy when your diary is peppered with events as you need only change your shirt and trousers to create a completely different look.

At Favourbrook, we have created a number of velvet Nehru jackets which we think make for excellent day-to-eveningwear options when the dress code is that tricky in-between. The omission of classic shawl or peak lapels certainly gives the Nehru jacket a less formal appeal, but it is undoubtedly still a smart jacket. What's more, we created them in a variety of autumnal tones such as rust, burgundy and olive green to give them a little more personality and flamboyance.

 

 

 
 
 

The Nehru is a variation of the Jodhpuri which is in itself an evolution from the Angarkha, a type of three-quarter length wrap commonly worn in India. The jacket of course gets its name from Jawaharlal Nehru, the country's first independent Prime Minister, but it's something of a red herring. Nehru the man never wore Nehru the jacket. He always favoured the longer and more traditional version called an 'achkan'. Ostensibly the same other than the length, Western culture preferred the short version and so pinned the style on Nehru. The name stuck.The jacket began to be marketed as the Nehru jacket in Europe and America in the mid 1960s, with its popularity catalysed by the likes of the Beatles who took to wearing it during their respective 'looking East' period. 

Back to today, we think it's a marvellous garment and a fantastic option for evenings when smart and casual lines are blurred. It feels dressed up, but can easily be dressed down with a pair of jeans. Worn with a crisp white shirt, it becomes formal, but add a silk neckerchief and it changes once again into something you could wear during the day. If you've never tried on a Nehru jacket, we'd thoroughly recommend you drop into our Pall Mall store and try one on. You might just find it becomes your favourite jacket of all.

The Smoking Jacket

There is a quote in Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer that seems to perfectly sum up the spirit of the smoking jacket:

“It's beautiful to have a smoking jacket, a good cigar and a wife who plays the piano. So relaxing. So lenitive. Between the acts you go out for a smoke and a breath of fresh air.”

One of the more iconic pieces of traditional menswear, the smoking jacket has evolved from a functional frock coat to what it is today - a sort of pseudo ceremonial lounge jacket for formal evenings, or conversely, whiling an evening away at home with a fine Sancho Panza and a nip of Louis XIII. While its original purpose may have changed along with the general lung health of the population, the smoking jacket is no less loved because there is simply nothing quite like it. Part robe, part blazer, part warm loving hug from an old friend, it is the difference between a good sartorial wardrobe and a splendid one, and it comes into its own this time of year.

 

 

It wasn't until 1865 that the smoking jacket ceased to be a purely functional garment and took on a style vocation all of its own, thanks in large part to Edward VII the Prince of Wales who commissioned Henry Poole & Co. of Savile Row to craft him a blue silk smoking jacket that he needn't take off at meals. Since then the smoking jacket has ridden waves of popularity, sliding into the mainstream on the back of Dean Martin and Fred Astaire (the latter of whom was buried in his favourite smoking jacket), but really always remaining on the periphery of fashion. As the world became increasingly more casual from the 60s onwards, the smoking jacket maintained a quiet but secured stance in the higher echelons of society until the 90s when Tom Ford repopularised it and every celebrity worth his salt was turning up to gala events in one. 

 

Today, the smoking jacket is once again charmingly assured yet discreet. Its original functionality has all but disappeared and so is now more of a ceremonial proposition. One can wear a smoking jacket in place of a dinner jacket for formal evening events for example; at smart dinners; or one can be unapologetically decadent and wear it around the house in the evenings. At Favourbrook, we have a number of different smoking jacket styles to suit each different occasion.

For example, smoking jackets with frogging details are perhaps best suited to more formal events, whereas smoking jackets with more of a DJ one-button front are more versatile. The double-breasted velvet smoking jacket with frogging details is perhaps the pinnacle of formal smoking jackets. Who can resist that elegant sweep of silk grosgrain lapel, perfectly framing the face? If you want to make a statement this season, and every other season for that matter, the smoking jacket will be your most trusted accomplice.

Shop Velvet Jackets

← Older Post Newer Post →

Fantastically Fun Summer Dresses

Fantastically Fun Summer Dresses

With summer finally on our collective doorsteps and the outdoor events coming thick and fast, we've curated a selection of perfect summer dresses to feel...

Read more
It's Not Summer Without A Linen Suit

It's Not Summer Without A Linen Suit

For the sartorially inclined, the linen suit represents the pinnacle of easy-going summer sophistication, and is a must-have for elegant outdoor events this season.

Read more
Exquisite Summer Coats

Exquisite Summer Coats

From our Camden jacket to our Soho coat, these versatile layers are the perfect addition to your summer ensembles.

Read more
Top Hats and Tails

Top Hats and Tails

Often when wearing a morning suit, you may be required to accompany it with a top hat. This guide will tell you everything you need...

Read more
What Makes a Favourbrook Shirt So Special?

What Makes a Favourbrook Shirt So Special?

Our friends and neighbours over on London's Jermyn Street get all the plaudits for shirtmaking, but we fancy that our shirts are their equal, and we'll...

Read more
A Khaki Jumpsuit Three Ways

A Khaki Jumpsuit Three Ways

Our khaki crepe de chine jumpsuit is an absolute breeze to style in so many elegant ways. We'll show you three ways that this feminine...

Read more
Royal Ascot 2024: Ladies Day Everyday

Royal Ascot 2024: Ladies Day Everyday

As Royal Ascot gallops ever closer, it's time to get your outfit sorted! We share some of our best tips for getting the ball rolling...

Read more
What a Trio of Top Trainers Wear to Royal Ascot

What a Trio of Top Trainers Wear to Royal Ascot

Favourbrook of course! With the world’s greatest horse racing event just over a month away,  we had the great pleasure of welcoming Andrew Balding, Richard...

Read more
Blooming Gorgeous - Dressing For Chelsea Flower Show

Blooming Gorgeous - Dressing For Chelsea Flower Show

Get into bloom at Chelsea Flower Show this month with a glorious curation of our brightest and boldest dresses and coats.

Read more
Instant Upgrades to your Royal Ascot Ensemble

Instant Upgrades to your Royal Ascot Ensemble

If you're already good for a morning suit, but don't want to wear the same ensemble to Royal Ascot as last year, here are some...

Read more
Jumpsuits For Joy

Jumpsuits For Joy

The 70s allure of the jumpsuit is having a resurgence today as the once military garment is redefined in a most glamorous and versatile way.

Read more
Dressing For A Royal Garden Party

Dressing For A Royal Garden Party

Over 30,000 people are invited to the Royal Garden parties each year. If you've been lucky enough to get an invitation, we'll show you how...

Read more