The Case For The Cigarette Case

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Having finished my last carton of Duty Free fags it’s time to make good on my New Year’s resolution and quit smoking. So I’m the last person to encourage such a bad habit – before we get any comments on irresponsibility.

But, for all those unrepentant smokers, I advocate investing in a cigarette case – and by that I mean a proper hinged case like the one above.

A bit of old school elegance from a more stylish age, the fact that most smokers don’t use them is another reason to adopt one in my view.  As long as I’ve been a smoker I’ve carried one, and there are practical benefits.

The first, and most important, is that having a packet of fags in your pocket, with its hard rectangular shape ruins the line of your suit.  A cigarette case being no more bulky than a wallet, with softer edges isn’t so obtrusive, enabling you to maintain an elegant silhouette without an unsightly bulge in your pocket.

In my own case there were other considerations for carrying one. There is some snobbery amongst cigarette smokers, the worst offenders being social smokers – that odd breed who never smoke unless it is with a drink in hand. These folk never buy fags merely beg them off of fellow drinkers.

While asking for a fag they will tell you they only smoke Marlboro Lights, and then proceed to turn their nose up at the lesser (read cheaper) brand you’ve offered them. They refuse your cigarette or take one under sufferance. But, to coin a phrase, people are suckers for a bit of magic, and when brandishing a silver cigarette case no one questioned the quality of the cigarette inside. Indeed, most assumed they were getting something special.

A cigarette case wasn’t an unhelpful ice breaker either. In the days when you could smoke in bars, it wasn’t unusual to be approached for a cigarette by women. The bringing the case out, popping it open and the rarity of seeing one usually invited comment and conversation. And as any player will tell you, initiating conversation is the first step to a successful pick-up.


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Andrew Williams blogs at BespokeMe and is based in London. His clothing label Bulldog & Wasp represents his philosophy that style is a frame of mind not just a state of dress.

Comments

  1. Adam R says:

    Hi Andrew

    Your latest post has come at the right time as I was indeed considering purchasing a cigarette case as I find carrying the packet a bit cumbersome especially when i am wearing blazers/jackets and off out for the evening. The one pictured seems very nice, any ideas where I would be able to purchase a decent one in London?
    I smoke dunhill international mainly, but sometimes superking sized cigarettes

    Thanks
    Adam

  2. Andrew says:

    Adam,
    Davidoff on Jermyn street would be my first port of call. In fact for any smoking related item I have always found the guys in there to be really helpful -particularly so if you’re thinking of taking up cigars. Avoid antique cases as these tend to be pre-war, before the arrival of filters, so usually don’t fit today’s cigarettes. I hope that’s helpful.
    A

  3. Jake says:

    Andrew, you seem to have forgotten the most important role of a cigarette case – to deflect any bullets that may be aimed your way.

    In all seriousness, I almost wish I was a smoker just for the excuse to carry a cigarette case, but I think it’s definitely not worth it…

  4. Nicola says:

    Jake,

    You do not have to be a smoker to carry one. I do not smoke. I inherited a Bauhaus cigarette case I often use in place of a credit card wallet.

    Nicola

  5. Michael says:

    Ditto Nicola’s comment. I keep my credit cards in a cigarette case, as well, because my cigars don’t fit.

  6. Rip says:

    I’ve found them the best thing to carry ‘protection’ in on a night out.

  7. Adam R says:

    Hi Andrew
    Thank you for your help on this matter. I shall definitely pop into Davidoff and have a look. I am sure i will find something
    Regards

    Adam

  8. Adam R says:

    Just a quick update, I managed to purchase a very nice cigarette case from Davidoff on St James’s street for only £25. Large size cigarettes fit perfectly aswell. Definitely a good buy!
    Thanks Andrew!

  9. Andrew says:

    Excellent. Glad they turned out to be useful.
    Regards
    A