✯ Day 339 of Vintage 365 ✯
Snow hit Toronto recently for the first time this season - November 30th to be precise. It wasn't an overly cold day, nor did an arctic worthy landscape build up in the least, nevertheless it really helped drive home the point that I'm in serious need of some accessories to help keep the fierce Canadian cold at bay this winter.
As some of you may recall from my post on the subject back in October, earlier this fall I was on the prowl for a vintage princess coat to replace the one I'd had for several years, which had been worn (lovingly) to threads.
Thankfully, between the help of a sweet Chronically Vintage reader who pointed me in the direction of the coat I ended up getting and my endlessly wonderful husband (for bought it for me as a wedding anniversary gift), I now have a fabulous 1950s princess coat that definitely helps me give Old Man Winter a run for his money.
That said however, and as fabulously toasty as the coat (which I'll get a photograph of myself wearing sometime soon and share with you all in a post here) is, lacking a hood, it isn't able to keep my head very warm when the mercury starts plummeting faster than you can make a snowball.
Likewise, there leaves the matter of my hands to be attended to as well. I have a couple of pairs of classically styled winter gloves (one is faux leather, the other a lovely plush velvet pair done up in rich burgundy and inky black that channels a subtle Victorian vibe), but neither is especially well suited to the especially chilly days of winter.
Thus, as those first darling snowflakes began to fall last week, I (hot cocoa planted firmly in hand) headed online and began hunting for vintage winter accessories. My hat/hood search continues, but on the hand front, I'm pleased to say that I'll be helping keep my digits snug as a bug in a rug this winter thanks a wonderfully old-fashioned garment, the muff.
Also known as handwarmers, muffs are cylinders of plush fabric (often real or faux fur, but I've seen both velvet and padded satin versions as well) that one sticks their hands into to help stay warm in nippy weather. With a history stretching back to at least the 16th century, muffs are anything but new, though their popularity has been on the decline since the 1950s.
I've always had a fondness for muffs however, as I find them endlessly charming and wonderfully evocative of a time gone by when people didn't have the luxury of heated cars, thermal fleece, and indoor heating to help fend off winter's bite. Instead ladies often turned to fur muffs when they ventured outside as a means of keeping their hands protected from the unavoidable cold and wind of this harsh season.
Many vintage muffs can be found on etsy, eBay, and other online sources, as well as at vintage clothing stores, and (if you're really lucky) at yard sales and the like, ranging in price (generally speaking) from $20 to several hundred dollars for rare, highly sought after versions in exotic animal furs like real leopard.
I'm not personally a big fan of wearing real fur (though my view softens a tad when it comes to vintage items), so my hunt for a new handwarmer took me down the faux fur path. Happily this avenue lead to an etsy seller called Designs by K and L, who specializes in making timelessly pretty fake fur muffs.
Crafting muffs in a range of elegant, classic hues such as mink brown, black (pictured above), and white (as well as more vibrant hues like carnation pink) in both ladies and children's sizes (which are too utterly adorable for words!) that retail for very reasonable prices (all the muffs they currently have listed are $40.00 or less each), this seller is must-check-out for those who also adore the look of vintage muffs.
I'm still contemplating which colour to get, but I'm definitely planning on ordering a fake fur muff from this delightful etsy shop before winter has a chance to really get a firm hold on the world.
Now, to keep searching for a marvelous vintage winter hat to keep my new muff company!