Of Smoking Jackets and Product Endorsement


Okay, so, here I am wearing what they call a smoking jacket, and I don’t smoke. Maybe it’s a drinking jacket.  I do drink, but that’s not a real drink.  Actually, it is a real drink, I’m just not drinking it, because, first, it was a family photo shoot before the noon hour, and second, there were dead bugs in the glass, fruit flies that had somehow found themselves drinking too much and drowning too much in a bottle of Jameson months or even years before.  I know, it’s terrible, a terrible loss of Jameson.  Let me give you a second to collect yourself.  I appear to be modeling either for the drink or for the jacket, and since there are dead bugs in the drink, it must be about the coat.  And that’s true.  If I upload this photo to the website that belongs to the company that makes this jacket, they’ll give me a discount on my next purchase.  I’m a total whore.

I have never been very much into clothes.  When I was young, I suppose I cared about fashion a little bit.  As a musician it was prerequisite to put some thought into what you wore, even if it looked terrible or you’d never wear it anywhere else but on a stage.  And that was my modus operandi.  I wore bow ties and yellow jackets, yellow pants, Converse high tops, and in the late 80’s even a little bit of eye make-up.  This seems so stupid to me now, but I thought it was pretty great in my 20s.  As I matured, I started to care less and less about clothes, even for performing.  Any new clothes that came into my wardrobe got there by mysterious means.  I think there may have been someone else in the household making all of my clothing purchases.

And then I discovered the smoking jacket. Well, first I discovered pants.  I was simply being practical, hoping to find a pair of pants I could bicycle in and also teach in–no more changing of clothes once I got to work–a painful process that added a whole 5 minutes to the time I spent at work not working.  I must have googled something–yes, that’s it, I googled “bike to work pants” and immediately I discovered this company in San Francisco making a line of pants called, you guessed it, “bike-to-work pants.” I’m wearing them right now.  I’m always wearing my bike-to-work pants because they’re very nice pants.  And when I’m biking I can roll up my pant leg a few inches and suddenly I’ve got reflective bands around my legs, and, if I want to be a little bit more visible, I can turn my back pockets inside out and display reflective flags from my backside.

The bike-to-work pants people also make smoking jackets, and while I fell immediately in love, it took me a year and a half to save the money  and then build up the courage to buy one.  It’s a very strange thing, suitable for very few occasions–but it’s reversible!  On the other side from the side you see in this picture it’s very formal, snazzy, corduroy gray, and, well, normal.  So it’s kind of like a Jekyll and Hyde jacket. When I’m feeling crazy or mad, like I was for this photo shoot, or when it’s New Year’s Eve, I’ll turn this baby around and grab a glass.  This company also makes hoodies that look like pinstripe suits or cardigan sweaters, disco ball pants and hats and jackets, voodoo dolls, horizontal corduroy, their website features the funniest, wackiest ad copy I’ve ever seen, and, if you buy their stuff, upload a picture of yourself wearing their stuff, they’ll give you a discount.  I’m a sucker, and I’m a fan, and they should be paying me a handsome fee for this blog entry, but they’re not.  Bastards.


photo by Erin Fitzpatrick-Bjorn at Kidding Around Photography

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

3 thoughts on “Of Smoking Jackets and Product Endorsement

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