Monday, November 8, 2010

In which I look like a snotty rich lady nerd, and there is some controversy.

Vintage fur and tweed.

Vintage tweed jacket: Lilli Ann, 60s
Tunic: Express
Jeans: Banana Republic
Boots: Miz Mooz
Vintage hand-painted basket bag: gift from my mother

Photos by Dave

I have this lovely, iconic Lilli Ann jacket that my mom bought from ebay before prices for Lilli Ann were too insane. It didn't fit, so I was able to buy it from her - lucky me! It's cozy, the design is fantastic, and the fur is so, so soft. But I'm not sure how I feel about wearing fur, even though it's vintage, and wearing vintage fur is quite PC: it's environmentally friendly (you're recycling), you're not contributing to a demand for new fur, and some say that you're honoring the animal by ensuring its fur isn't rotting away in a closet, attic, or landfill somewhere.


However, wearing fur is so tricky. I'm always afraid someone won't understand it's vintage, and why wearing it is okay. I remember wearing another gorgeous fur collar Lilli Ann jacket to greet my new boyfriend (now husband) one Christmas. He didn't know it was vintage, and was probably horrified. To me and you it might seem obvious, but not everyone recognizes vintage design.


A girl in the elevator avoided eye contact with me (or was it just my imagination?), and some crazy lady tripped me in the convenience store. At first I thought she just had some mental health issues, but maybe she was offended by the fur... ? I still wear it, and even get compliments on it, but always in the back of my mind, I'm wondering how people react.

Did I mention that it's cozy?

On another, lighter note, how great is this purse? I have a small collection of handpainted and decoupaged box/basket purses from the 60s and 70s; I just love them! They take up a lot of space though, so I'm very choosy. This one has autumn leaves painted on the top, so it's perfect for fall.


What are your thoughts on vintage fur? Do you wear it? If so, how do people react?


  1. First off, you're adorable! I understand people selling and wearing vintage fur, but it's not for me. Just touching fur alone gives me the creeps, so that was a tell-tale sign to not bother trying to sell it. As for other people giving you sass, screw 'em....I'm sure they probably own a leather item or two.

  2. Thanks, Amanda! I appreciate your insight, and can definitely understand where the creeps come from.

  3. That coat is beautiful!!

    I don't wear fur, but I also haven't found an amazing piece like this with which to test my own philosophy about wearing it. :)

  4. hi! I just discovered your blog, it's beautiful:) you are really cute with that red lipstick.
    For the rest, I agree with Amanda. :)

  5. The jacket is lovely, as is the basket/bag of course! For my part, I'm a bit leary of fur, even vintage, as I kind of take the same argument as with ivory, "even the ethical ivory fuels the ivory market." And I admit to being a bit perturbed as to how many girls are rushing around London in their vintage furs all of a sudden. I feel as though our age/income bracket buy vintage, but if it's in fashion, maybe some older and richer people are buying new? Just a thought. I would probably wear that jacket though, although maybe not after being tripped in the supermarket!

  6. P.S. My parents both have old beaver hats that I'd love to take for a spin... but I'm pretty sure I would get paint thrown at me for that!

  7. Emily, thanks so much for your insight! I'd actually never heard or thought of that particular argument before - thanks for pointing it out! I think certain people will buy new fur regardless of whether us hip young folks are wearing it or not, though. It always seems to be in fashion, although I'm not sure how or why - though it may due to what you just said, at least in part.

  8. I think people who attack other people are just plain weird! People need to chill out and mind their own business! But I read that 1 in 5 Americans is mentally ill, poor things. I guess we shouldn't give them any excuses to lash out if we can help it. But who knows what sets some people off, next thing you know I will be getting egged for wearing polyester!

  9. such a fantastic little coat, it looks perfect on you. :)

  10. Thanks, Lauren! That's especially nice to hear from one of my vintage heroes!

  11. Wearing fur, vintage or not, is wearing fur. Just by wearing it, you promote the attitude that the fur trade is acceptable. Just because the animal was slaughtered a long time ago (I.E. "vintage") doesn't make that death right. For the record, I don't wear leather, either. It's very difficult to stop using animal products completely, and I don't advocate it for everybody, but the least you could do is to not flaunt such a cruel and unnecessary vanity.

  12. Anonymous: I appreciate your insight; before writing this post, I had never considered the argument that wearing vintage fur still perpetuates the idea that wearing any kind of fur, old or new, is acceptable. Another commenter pointed this out as well, and it's definitely something I need to evaluate. For the record, I don't think that the animal's death is okay just because it happened a long time ago. I do, however, think that shoving vintage fur to the back of the closet or throwing it in a landfill is a waste.

  13. your vintage jacket is the best. love the furry collar.