Monday, December 12, 2011

How to Wear a Vintage Fur Stole

I recently received a question from Erin over at Fashion is Danger asking for advice on how to wear her vintage mink stoles.  Erin wrote, "I have two (yes, two!) vintage mink stoles of the kind with the heads, feet and tails on them....I can't figure out HOW to wear them. Both have little bakelite chains of 3-4 links, ending in a cord-wrapped bead with a snap in it-- it seems like these are used to fasten the collars. They also "bite" each other on the tail, via a clip built into their mouths. Finally, on some of the feet (!) there are cord-wrapped beads with snaps.  In short, there are a whole lotta ways to fasten the little critters, but no matter what I do, it ends up looking weird; I end up with a head or a foot or a tail in a bizarre position."

Erin the best way I can answer this is to just give you pictures to look at.  All those clips and snaps are meant to give you versatility in how you wear your stole.  Don't forget, you can wrap it more than once, you can just drape it over your arm or your shoulder, or you can clip it to your lapel, your belt, a pocket, your handbag or your collar.  Keep experimenting!

Check out the little face on her hat!

Two feet clipped together

This is probably 5 pelts, but they are just draped nicely around the neck.

Clip under the face attached to fur on the other end.

Clipped to her belt then wrapped around the shoulders.

Probably clipped to her collar on the side, then wrapped completely around and allowed to fall.

No need to watch all 14 minutes of this video.  In the first few, you'll see Barbara Stanwyck in "Ladies They Talk About" from 1933.  Take a look at how she has the heads of her stole are clipped to the sleeves of her coat.  Genius!


Laurence said...

I love animals but I love vintage fur too... I own several of them: fox, rabbit, mink...
I love to see people reaction when I worn a fox with head, tail and feet "Is it a real??!!!...??!!!", most of the time they cannot touch it....

BaronessVonVintage said...


fabriquefantastique said...

super post. I think that kind of fur with heads and feet is called a tippet.

Fab Gabs said...

Oh goodness! This IS briliant. For some reason the feet clipped with the piece draped about the back never occured to me. That's it - I'm trying it tomorrow!

FairyFiligree said...

WAtched part of the film - makes me yearn for those days - what women wore was so elegant all of the time.

Cye said...

love this post - i sell pieces like this and (if i don't get an immediate 'ew') many times i'm asked for advice on how to wear them. i'm in san francisco, and a lot of hipsters and goths are interested in the vintage old-timey sophistication of the 1920s-40s. seems the stigma of wearing dead animal has worn off, probably because of the flamboyant drag queens showing off their costumey sequins and fun furs, but also because of the diy reconstructed/upcycled fashion culture of local designers around here. i'm definitely gonna point people to this article.

thanks! ~Cye (

Anonymous said...


I'm a guy and love wearing vintage pelt scarfs - they go very nice when I am in my dress coats --- I never use the clasp on tail or feet - these are the most fragile and will break off easily, infact one of the main reasons to see these pelts today with no feet or tail is due to being clasped and tugged.
I clasp only to body of pelt (this works well with both my Fox scarfs)
but I have to Stone Marten scarfs one with three pelts and one with four - the clasps and botton clasps were not doing the job and very old - so I went to my furrier and he put hook and eyes on the front two pelts and it worked wonders - they actually stood were they should be the whole time I had them on.

beachgal said...

My mom and grandma both had mink wraps with the heads and feet on them when I was growing up in the 40s - I used to pet them like they were still living creatures and the way they glassed the eyes made me want to put my fingers in them big time! I lived through chinchilla, mink and fox stoles, beaver and mink coats (long and short jackets) until the late 60s, early 70s when wearing fur was really not PC - I had my own white fur stole for dances in the later 50s and early 60s

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