Vintage Velour Smoking Jacket. During the Crimean War in the 1850s Turkish tobacco was popularised in Britain, smoking quickly gained popularity. After dinner, a gentleman might put on a smoking jacket and retreat to a smoking room. The jacket was intended to absorb the smoke from his cigar or pipe and protect his clothing from falling ash. All jackets since from the Edwardian era to Hugh Hefner and the present day, are inspired by this heritage.