Readers, I want one of these. I mean, I really want one.
These type of fur stoles were very popular in the 1940's and can really add a touch of luxury -- and authenticity -- to a vintage outfit.
The most popular were fox, mink, and something called marten. The quintessential period stole is comprised of three, four or even more pelts sewn together -- heads (complete with glass eyes), feet, and tails intact. There's often a crochet closure or hidden snap so you can secure it.
Of course, if money and space were no object, I'd spring for something even more glamorous.
I would never purchase fur new. Even though I'm an occasional meat eater, it bothers me that animals are raised solely for their fur -- let's not even get into how they're slaughtered -- and I don't want to contribute to the contemporary market for fur. Vintage fur, on the other hand, is a whole other story: the animals were killed decades ago and wearing them doesn't increase the demand for fur. Or does it?
Cathy adores fur. Here she sports a shaved rabbit muff -- at least that's what I think it is -- that I found at the flea market for about $10.
Of course, she also has the Seventies-style faux fur coat I made her last year. Beaver and lynx? I was never sure.
Then there's her white "mink" stole. This has more of a late Forties, early Fifties feel than the pieces I'm talking about above.
Finally, her modacrylic tiger skin, straight off a box of Frosted Flakes.
Cathy wants an upgrade and I say let her have one, especially if she's going to model the 1939 McCall's dress I'm working on.
The stoles I'm considering are easy to find and many cost less than a pair of Converse canvas high tops. I'd probably purchase mine at the flea market where they're plentiful since, like sewing machines, so many women owned one and so few do today. Etsy and eBay are possibilities, but I think I'd want to touch, try on, and smell my prospective purchase in person.
In closing, readers, what's your comfort level with wearing fur, vintage or otherwise?
1) I will wear fur new or old, it's all the same to me.
2) Vintage fur maybe, new fur never.
3) Only faux for me, thank you very much.
4) I do not want to look like I'm wearing an animal, real or petroleum-derived.
Lastly, do you think vintage fur still reinforces a culture of wearing fur and can indeed contribute to the new-fur market? How about a convincing faux fur?
NOTE: Comments I deem lacking in civility will be removed.
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!