Tuesday, January 10, 2012

18th Century Fashion on the Streets: Muffs

 I have been very pleased that every since the north wind began blowing this season that I began to see the resurrection of the muff both in shops and on the street.  Not only does this allow many cleverly crass puns on your part but also another means of exhibiting an 18th century fashion trend.

In the beginning of the 18th century muffs were rather small and cozy, allowing for efficient hand-warming.  Mary Robinson sports one of the smaller muffs in her 1782 Romney portrait which is similar to muffs I've seen for sale at John Lewis and Top Shop (the later of which I own and love!).  Toward the end of the century muffs became bigger and bigger, escalating in size until they nearly hung to the wearers knees, turning practical hand warmers into a quite cumbersome fashion accessory.  I've noticed these in the shops as well (not knee-length, thank goodness) in the form of the "snood."  Snoods are circular scarves meant for your neck but it wasn't until I saw my friend using her faux fur snood as a muff on a night out that I realized furry snoods are ideal late-18th/early-19th century muffs.  Check out my finds below!  Not only are muffs fashionable, but they're also quite handy for texting on cold winter walks- no pulling off gloves to respond to texts anymore!
Remember Darlings, just because it is cold outside doesn't mean you have to sacrifice fashion! Keep those dainty fingers covered.

11 comments:

Lucy said...

I had a muff when I was a child, loved it. Tho now I would balk at real fur. There are many other ways to make a muff.

Heather Carroll said...

I avoid real fur too. Luckily all featured here are faux! :)

Alexa Adams said...

I am also not a fur supporter, but my mother-in-law did bequeath to me a red, rabbit fur muff she had for many years. I guess I should bust it out this winter. Thanks for the fashion tip!

Lauren said...

I love using my muff. It's so fashionable hanging from one hand.

aurora said...

Lovely post. My mother used to own one muff in her youth. I also have one. They are really excellent for hands.

nightsmusic said...

I had a rabbit fur muff when I was a child. I loved it. Wore it out because I used it every day. Now, since my DD2 has had two bunnies as pets, I couldn't bring myself to do real fur of any kind.

As to the texting, I can't do that without seeing the 'keys'. But I have a litany of hand signals I could use incognito ;o)

Retro Blog said...

Muffs ideal for keeping the head warm as well. Might want to roll down snowy slope in a really big one.

A traveller in time said...

Lord yes - crass comments. The hysteria it occasioned when I mentioned at work that the estate jewellery place in the Mall had a muff chain for sale was memorable. They all need a good dose of salts!

Katie said...

I can see why one would love a muff, but I just can't fathom wearing one. I think I look dorky in one. I am much more the gloves person. (I, thankfully, own a phone that allows me to text whilst wearing gloves with ease. If only my iPod did the same thing with the turn dial. GRRRRRRRRR.)

Beth said...

Loved the fashion tips. Thank you!

SJ Reidhead said...

Toy poodles were bred smaller and smaller so that they could be held to keep the hands warm, and to be stuffed inside a muff! My little guy would love it!

SJR
The Pink Flamingo