Feeling Foxy

As already established, I find myself traipsing around Antique Alley rather often.  And on a recent visit I peered into a case only to find a dear, sweet little full fox fur stole staring back up at me.  I melted.  I simply had to have him, although I wasn’t too keen on the price – so here’s a little tip if you don’t know it already…most antique malls have a policy that if an item is over a certain amount (some malls it is as low as $20, others as high as $100) they can call the dealer and you can make an offer.  In this case, my offer was accepted, and I was able to take the little darling home.

After much debate, I named him Algernon, after the character in Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest, since Algernon is sly, like a fox, but also rather lazy, and I found this little guy to be rather lazy looking, since his fur covered his eyes, making him look sleepy.

Now, to the topic you’re waiting for…fur.  Many vintage bloggers have tackled the topic of fur, and I have yet to really throw my two-cents in.  I do not support the current fur industry.  Killing animals for vanity purposes is not something I am keen on, however, if an animal is already on the chopping block for food – let’s say rabbit or cattle – then why not be resourceful and use all of the animal, including the fur and/or hides?  With regards to vintage fur, there’s really nothing you can do about it…so, why not enjoy it? The only thing I have seen that you can do with old fur is donate the item to Coats for Cubs, an event that Buffalo Exchange participates in, where people can donate old fur, which goes to rehabilitation services for injured and recovering animals to serve as bedding.  However there is so much vintage fur out there that I think these services would be overloaded with fur.  You can hardly go to a vintage clothing shop, resale shop or antique mall without seeing fur in one shape or another.  Additionally, I recall a friend saying that if one were to throw away fur, that such an action would be even more disrespectful toward the animal.  You can read some views and responses towards fur from some of my friends here.

I think Algernon will be my date for the upcoming Titanic Tea. So you’ll be seeing some more of him before the weather turns warm.

1940s Bowler: Antique Alley
1940s Gab Blazer: Antique Alley
1940s Wool Dress: Red Light, Portland
Gloves: Gift
Stockings: Metro, Portland
Shoes: Thrifted

22 thoughts on “Feeling Foxy

  1. Such a beauty! I have long coveted one of these–and still kick myself for passing one up years ago at a rummage sale (it was a mere $20). :/ I completely agree with your stance on new versus vintage fur. I own a few pieces myself that I adore–including a vintage capelet that belonged to one of my grandmothers.

  2. Algernon is beautiful! As for your stance on fur: I completely agree with it. I regularly wear leather, because the animals that provide us with leather (cows, sheep and lambs) also provide us with food. I’m also fine with wearing products that are made from the fur of an animal that didn’t have to die to provide it (angora, for example).

    I don’t believe I own any vintage fur, but I would have no problem purchasing it if I came across a piece of clothing I liked.

  3. Well said about vintage fur. That’s the point: “With regards to vintage fur, there’s really nothing you can do about it…so, why not enjoy it?”
    I really agree with you.
    Algernon is so so beautiful!
    Have a good time together, wish you all the best.

    With love,

    Idda van Munster

  4. Unfortunately, now I’m finished reading your blog. I did enjoy it, but I don’t understand how you can wear a dead animal around your neck. Its completely cruel, and I don’t understand how someone could support it.

    • There are some things that some of us may never understand, but I would like to possibly add further to support to my choices to wear what I wear. With regards to fur, there is simply nothing that can be done about the vintage fur that already exists. I buy all of my fur used, and actually have an adherence to fur that is 80s or newer even if it is being sold used at a local shop. I purchased this little guy from a local antique dealer and my money went into the local economy. I could never bring myself to purchase new fur. And in fact I see no need for the current fur industry since there is already so much fur out there and more than enough to go around it seems. What good does throwing away the fur do? Not much as far as I’m concerned. In fact you are simply making more waste, which isn’t good at all for the economy or the environment. I didn’t kill the poor devil! And by throwing him away I think that would be like killing him all over again! So in fact I am respecting him by preserving him. Additionally, I would say that I could be a more aware shopper than the average person who hates fur. I rarely buy anything new, which there in itself is something to be admired. I’m recycling by wearing vintage/used clothing and putting my money toward companies and stores and people I like. And when I do buy new, I attempt to buy as “clean” as possible, buying items locally made, made in the US, artisan made, and items that are not from areas which use slave and child labor, because I view wearing items that were made using slave and child labor has a hundred times worse than wearing fur. At lease I know where my clothing comes from. Additionally, I have on occasion been given damaged fur items. These items go towards the mentioned Coats for Cubs project that Buffalo Exchange participates in.

  5. My two cents: you either recycle the fur or your see it go into a landfill. And let’s be honest with ourselves: no one wants Algernon taking up space in a landfill and contributing to pollution. He’s too classy for that business.

  6. And here is my two cents: While I greatly admire the vegan lifestyle, I think Janey is doing a great service by the choices she is making regarding vintage fur. She is appreciating it for its beauty, she is a living example of historic fashion, and Janey is not impacting the lives of current living animals in her use of the vintage fur. I follow a vegan blogger, as well, who probably put it best, “It’s about progress not prefection.” The blogger was referring to the idea of people’s shifting views towards the treament of animals. It sounds to me as if Janey is making very responsible and respectful choices. I hope Ms. Paige doesn’t let a difference in opinion keep her from reading this wonderfull and creative blog in the future! 🙂

  7. Two thumbs up for your blog post, I too am a vegan, who also wears vintage and faux fur. I just need to learn how to clean my vintage furs, scared they may fall a part if I take matters in my own hands.

      • Ha, I feel weird chiming in here for fur cleaning advice, not to join the debate. BUT! That’s only bc I’m 110% on Janeys side, and anything I’d say would be repetitive (not that some ppl even seem to be reading what she said…. In any case.)

        Don’t try to clean your own fur! You’ll ruin it, and it’ll be a mega bummer. If you are dying to do it, there are furriers who clean & repair professionally. However, it’s crazy time expensive:( I’ve looked into prices, laughed to myself (and at my bank account), and put that thought to sleep.

        The best thing to do is maintain what you already have- keep it stored lovingly, in the right climate, and keep the hide conditioned. Sometimes this is impossible, but if you can access the “back”, keeping it hydrated keeps it in tip top shape, so your grand kids can also enjoy. (Bc hopefully by then new fur is illegal.) This will prevent shedding, bald spits, and (gasp!) rips. Talk to your local furrier, and they can give you many a helpful tip about at-home care products, without having them gouge your cash flow.

  8. I am so sorry that I have to put my two cents worth in. I do not wear or use fur or leather at all. I am continuing this to include wallets, purses and other things. My question is to you Janey and all the other vintage ladies. Have you ever had a cat or dog make you his own friend, only to have him or her taken and killed for their fur? Have you ever been touch by a wild animal that their future was uncertain because of the fur market? Have you ever seen an animal that was alive one moment and dead and skinned the next? Then you all will know where I am coming from.

    • Christine, I am sorry if you personally have had a horrifying experience with regards to the fur or leather industry. However, many of us are stating that we do not support the current industry at all! In fact I have said of several occasions I find it unnecessary! I find many of your questions reflect or pertain to the current industry and not vintage fur. And because I do not buy new fur, I must answer no to most of your questions. To clarify, I do not know your age, but if you are older than me, maybe say even my mother’s age, who is in her 60s, then I can understand your aversion to even vintage fur, since the animal may have possibly been killed during your lifetime. However the truth is, there simply is nothing that can be done about vintage fur. I have given the only option I know if aside from simply throwing it in the trash, which is Coats for Cubs, but like I mentioned in this post, if every piece of vintage fur that is out there was sent to such a cause they would be swimming in fur. And also, throwing fur in the trash is not only wasteful, but I see as further disrespect to the animal.

    • Okay, this comment is just bizarre. Although, I feel compelled to add my two cents from a slightly less… urban perspective.
      I visit my grandparents in northern Wisconsin every summer, and for as long as I can remember, duck and pheasant have been on the menu (watch out for shot!) and I’ve helped catch and fillet fish to have for dinner. The preferred method of pest control in the area is shotgun… if there’s some sort of undesirable vermin in the garden, that takes care of it faster than poison, and the poor critter doesn’t crawl off to die somewhere and stink up the place. A lot of fur (not all, but a good deal) is made from creatures that hunters, farmers, and rural inhabitants would find undesirable. I’ve inherited my grandma’s sheared-raccoon coat, made by a local furrier in Wisconsin, and my mother has joked on several occasions that it would really be difficult to object to wearing raccoon fur. And the other thing about that coat? It’s WARM. I know some pieces were made entirely for a fashion purpose, but until the advent of particularly advanced synthetics, fur was the best way to keep a person from freezing to death in the wintertime… and haven’t people always sought to make useful things beautiful as well?
      While I understand the moral objection of some, I think that the decision to wear vintage fur, just like the decision to be vegan or vegetarian, is an individual choice and should be regarded as such… As long as both parties have good reasons, nobody is going to be won over by rude comments that discount their point of view!

  9. He’s beautiful! I agree with you, I would never choose to support the current fur industry but I don’t have a problem with vintage fur either. I have a few vintage pieces that are adorned with fur (just this weekend I got a great deal on a vintage mink hat and matching collar in the original box!). Over Christmas, my step-grandmother gave me her version of Algernon. It’s not something I’ll likely wear a lot, but not way was I going to let that heirloom go! I’d much rather see things enjoyed and cherished than go to a landfill. I feel that way about pretty much most all things. 🙂

  10. I’ll through another log on the fire.
    Those of us who only wear vintage (old fur from the 1920s-1960s) most of us were not even born then, yours truly included. We know we are being green by supporting the “vintage only fur trade”. Those who do not understand what the vintage fur trade is have clearly not done their homework on the subject based on what has been stated by those who made a statement regarding vintage fur, as bad.

    And yes, I agree with Atomic Redhead, if someone can please in detail tell us what is the true and correct way to dispose of fur vintage. Other then the two options that have been clearly stated a number of times, which are number one tossing all fur into the trash or two coats for cubs.

    It is just like me telling some one who eats meat it is wrong. For me and in my eyes the animals that are being consumed day in and day out did suffer a painful death excluding the kosher meat industry. But that is another topic for a different post /forum.

    In conclusion, we have all stated our opinions. Those who think it is wrong to wear fur vintage or other wise, that is what you believe is right for yourself, good continue to believe as you do, you have a right to believe what you believe. The same goes for those of us who wear vintage fur we believe it is right for us in our hearts and minds to support the vintage fur industry. Since not a single animal who roamed this planet during our life time had to suffer for our benefit. We vintage buyers or traders are just recyclers when one takes the time to do the research one understands what vintage (we buy and reuse old items) truly is. Check out your local area and count how many thrift stores or charity shops, you shop at, you recycle just as we do when shopping at thrift stores.
    I thank you all for taking the time to state both side of what is right for you. This discussion has many benefits and wonderful opinions.

    We can agree to disagree or agree.

    I only ask one favor may we all please agree that what has been stated benefits both sides regarding vintage fur.
    And that all statements end here and now.
    Thank you, Atomic readhead and those who added their comments also.
    Miss Nathalie Vintage

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