Thursday, February 02, 2012

Your Turn

Your grandmother leaves you an old fur coat she wore back in the early part of the 20th century. Do you use it? Are there different rules for fur if it is really old?

80 comments:

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Hell yeah I'd wear it. I'd wear anything that belonged to my grandma.

yourfaceisamess said...

Stays in the closet in a plastic suit bag or whatever they are. Very back of the closet. Bad Grannie.

Janet296 said...

No, I think fur is creepy. I have no idea what I would do with it.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

No, you store it as the sentimental family treasure that it is.

SkittleKitty said...

I think my mother gave some sort of fur capelet that had been my grandmother's to the university theater department for their costume library.
I can't imagine wearing a fur, mainly for practical/fashion reasons. Since I own/have owned leather coats, it's hard for me to get a high horse about wearing an animal. But I certainly wouldn't buy a fur.

Nosy Parker said...

There are wildlife rescue organizations that take old furs and use them as blankets for sick and injured animals.

Terri said...

my mom is going to leave me her coat which has a fur collar. While the style is outdated, I'd keep it and if the right opportunity arose, I'd wear it. One side of me would hate to think the animal died in vain.

yourfaceisamess said...

@Nosy... omg that is amazing! Great idea they have. Makes me happy & sad at the same time.

Susan said...

I don't wear real fur because I have hella allergies and it's really not my thing, but I do not hate on fur wearers. It really doesn't make sense to me: We eat meat, wear leather shoes, etc. So, whatever.

I think vintage fur is really cool, and if you want to wear it, go for it.

Also, these "fur rules" that you refer to. I don't understand that, either. Just because you have a problem with fur does not mean that everybody living right now has a problem with fur.

EmEyeKay said...

I'd sell it. I have other trinkets from mom and grandmother, and I couldn't hack dead animals covering me.

Em+E said...

I'd wear it for sure! Love the old time glamour look and as far as I'm concerned, that animal died long before I was born and could decided it's fate. Some people may disagree, but I'm not going to NOT wear something vintage and beautiful simply out of principle. I don't support cruelty to animals but I'm also not here to make a political statement, I just wanna look awesome!

MM said...

If it's my style, I'd wear it. Isn't it worse to store fur in the back of the closet and never use it? The animal(s) really would have died for nothing.

FrenchGirl said...

except if i lives in a very cold country (Siberia or Poland actually where it's -30° Celcius),i never will use

Chrissy Buns said...

I find fur tacky, that is just my personal taste. I like the idea of donating it, but if it was special to my grandma I would probably put it in a garment bag and pass it on to the next generation...

Merlin D. Bear said...

I'd sell it. My gramma was tiny.

RocketQueen said...

Nope. I'd donate it to an animal shelter, they always need warm blankets and throws for the animals.

RocketQueen said...

(I see Nosy Parker beat me to it :))

crila16 said...

Absolutely not. No matter how old it is, I just can't bring myself to wear fur...unless it's a life or death situation. Not only do I find fur coats incredibly unattractive and hideous looking, it breaks my heart that fur is used as fashion, such as JLo fashion, not as a necessity now-a-days.

nolachickee said...

@Nosy Parker - that's wonderful! I'd donate it to those folks to help the animals. Plus, not much use for fur where I am.

RenoBlondee said...

I'm with MM. If it's my style I would, if not I'd sell it or keep it for my daughter.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Now that I know that you can donate old furs to sick animals, I'd probably pick that. Except if it belonged to my grandma. I wouldn't be able to part with it for anything. I'm far too sentimental.

nunaurbiz said...

My grandma wanted to give me her old stoles. One of which was two foxes, head to tails, one fox had its jaws clamped on the other's tales to go around your neck. GROSS!

She did have a lovely 20s chapeau with fur accents, which I took and cherish.

If I did take a whole fur coat, I would photograph it and then donate it to Buffalo Exchange's Coats for Cubs, which turns them into bedding and comfort for orphaned and injured wildlife: http://www.buffaloexchange.com/bulletins_det.php?Bulletin_ID=1791

ms_wonderland said...

I did have a lovely fur jacket from my aunt back in the 70's. That was before the anti-fur movement really got going, but I did feel guilty about wearing a dead wild animal. My rationale for keeping it was that the poor creature had been dead for at least 20 years, and that it wasn't my fault as I didn't buy it. I wore that fur in Moscow in mid-winter and it was soooo warm!

Now though, I'd donate it. No practical reason to wear fur, unless you're in the Artic and even then modern fabrics are just as warm. Leave the fur coats on their original owners!

Nessie said...

Thanks for the comments. I did not know about these organizations that use fur coats to help orphaned and injured wildlife.
My mother has two fur coats from my grandmother. She never wears it and neither would I. If I ever get my hands on them, I will donate them to help animals.

Himmmm said...

I doubt I'd wear it. I'm just not the crossdressing type :-)

Best line from a Blake Edwards movie:
A snobby woman wearing a fur exits her limo and is approached by an activist.
ACTIVIST: Do you know how many poor animals died so you could have that coat?
WOMAN: Do you know how many rich animals I had to FUCK just to get this coat??

Ice Angel said...

I would totally wear it. The animal and all of his family members have been dead a long long time. Plus, I wouldn't buy a new fur, but I don't really judge.

I have a mink stole from my Grandmother that I proudly wore at my wedding. It's pretty beat up and falling apart now, but it sure kept my shoulders warm and looked gorgeous.

But I wouldn't intentionally buy a new fur-but I don't judge those who do.

Posey said...

Wear it and say thank you. I'm planning a trip to Siberia this coming winter and that fur will be a godsend. When I lived there, I tried to do the man made materials. When it hits -40, man made materials don't do as well as fur. Now if I can keep my eyelashes from freezing together ...

Vicki Cupper said...

I wouldn't wear it, but I'd definitely store it with love. Even if it is fur, it would be my grandmother's. I'm still kicking myself for not keeping my grandmother's taffeta nightgown after she died. I loved the hell out of that thing and would wear it whenever I spent the night at her house.

Unknown said...

Yes I would (and did). I wore a fur wrap on my wedding day. It was like she was still with me and I don't regret it one bit.

smchan said...

this is a weird questions, because my grandma died over christmas and I have a fur coat to do something with. I personally would never wear it, and it's probably about 40 years old. I have found out fur doesn't hold it's value and if I get $150. for it I might be lucky. I am hoping someone will take it and give it some love.

bits of moxy said...

I was given one by my grandmother, and I buried it. I figured it needed to be returned back to the earth.
But knowing now if I should ever be bequeathed one, I will donate it to the shelter as Skittle mentioned above.

msgirl said...

What an apt question, one that I've personally struggled over for years. My grandfather, who died before I was born, was a furrier and made a coat for my mother when she was in her late teens. It's one of those beaver coats. I wore it in the 70s when I was in college in upstate NY and I know how wonderfully warm it is, but haven't worn it since. But I can't bring myself to throw it away!

Just like others have said, the animals have been dead for about 70 years now. Also, you never know, in a possible distopian apocalypse future it might come in handy!

KellyLynn said...

I wouldn't wear it -- disembodied fur feels creepy to me. I would be more than happy to donate it, though.

figgy said...

Absolutely.

bentop said...

make a teddy bear in her honor

Treesap-Covered Lady, the Humanist said...

Well, my grandma is 4'9, and I'm 5'9 so size is a factor; however, I wouldn't wear it because fur creeps me out. I'd donate it to Goodwill.

AKM said...

My mother has a fur cape or jacket from her deceased aunt, and she used to wear it in the 80s/90s to formal events. She hasn't worn it in probably 15 or 20 years, though, and I think she now feels that it's icky but she keeps it because it's a sentimental gift. I really wish she would sell it and donate the proceeds to an animal charity, but it's HER gift to do with as she pleases, and I AM glad that she keeps it in storage and doesn't parade it about.

MISCH said...

depends how big it is, but if there's enough I''d either line a raincoat or make a throw blanket out of it....or a few pillows. My moms friend made teddy-bear's out of her mothers mink for her daughters..

Jeannies Bottle said...

a friend of mine had hers made into teddy bears and gave them to her friends

Nosey Parker said...

@Nosy Parker... I've been using that name on this site since 2007. You're using the same name without an e and you signed up in Feb 2012. (in the last 2 days)

Lori said...

I do have some passed down from my great great grammy to my mom, then to me. My mom already has some of her own, so she didnt keep them. I also received a ton of expensive jewelry. I wore one of the coats as a part of a costume many years ago, but they really don't mesh well with my style asthetic. It's sad because they are extremely beautiful and it's awesome to think about all of the women in my family that have worn them and where they have been. I don't wear the jewelery, either, but keep all in the event that I may have a child one day. If not, they will be given to the oldest of my future potential nieces.

Del Riser said...

My Grandmother was the world to me when I was a kid. I have a picture of her in a full length fur coat.
That would be enough, I would donate the coat to a worthy shelter or cause.

Maja. With a J. said...

Would not wear it...and now that I know about the donation thing, I'd do that!

I do, however, have a leather jacket that I bought several years ago and have worn the shit out of. I love that thing so much I wanna give it a handjob. While I would not go and buy a new leather jacket at this point, I will not stop wearing my old one.

ms snarky said...

I'd wear it. No question.

Noetje said...

Sooo.. all of these people who could never handle waring dead animals.. Do they wear leather shoes?? Or are the cows and pigs not cute enough.

I don’t mind fur but I would never buy a fur that was made from a „wild animal” like mink or sable. I would however love to have a fur blanket made of NZ possum fur. *sigh*

Vicki Cupper said...

Noetje, I haven't worn animal skin in years. I will take hours inspecting bags and shoes to see if they have any animal parts.

iheartjacksparrow said...

When my mom died I inherited two mink stoles. I have allergies to all animal fur, plus I'm a jeans-and-tshirt type of gal, so I'd never wear them even if I didn't have allergies. I took them both to a consignment shop, and after six months neither of them sold. Guess I'll have to dig them out of storage as I like the story of making furs into teddy bears.

Noetje said...

@Vicky.. Than more respect to you. Most people I know who have a problem with fur don’t mind leather and that seems rather hypocritical to me.

Lynette said...

Noetje, I agree with your comment about wearing leather. What about eating meat? I have a full length coyote coat that I bought in 1986 when it was fashionable, had a woman scream at me about animal cruelty -- while we were in line at McDonalds and she was buying a burger. I don't wear the coat anymore, AND I have my grandmother's old fur (think it's rabbit or something) which I don't wear either, but keep in the closet. In our sometimes -30 degree winters here in Canada they sure would be warm, just can't be bothered with the hassle from people with a complete double standard. Okay to wear leather clothes, shoes, purses, eat meat, chicken, whatever, but not use the fur?

Noetje said...

If you can eat it, you can wear it.. I’m not eating possum though..

Kathryn said...

I would keep it in the back of my closet with all those fancy minerals I inherited. Due to what I know about fur farming and the fancy mineral trade it would make it hard......probably need a couple of drinks to quite my inner voice from constantly reminding me of the interdepent web of all existence........not gonna happen

Jolene Jolene said...

Wearing leather and eating meat are not necessities. So why do they get free passes and wearing fur doesn't? Unless you don't wear leather and don't eat any type of meat/fish, you really can't say fur is just so wrong and inhumane. I would never wear fur because I just don't see the point, but I can't sit here and rightly say it's so wrong because I do eat meat and wear leather shoes/belts. This is the same argument that we had a little while back about why is it okay to eat pigs, cows, and chickens and not puppies and horses...

Smasherstein said...

Totally agree Jolene! I think it has a lot to do with aesthetics. A leather jacket doesn't look like an animal, while a fur coat is so obviously an animal. It really sucks when you start to realize how many daily things are hypocritical!

Cathy said...

Noetje - I completely agree with you about the leather point. I thought the same thing myself and came here to ask that very question - why are some people (myself included) okay with wearing leather, but not fur? I think it's the creepiness factor... seeing the fur is a reminder of what the animal looked like before it was dead. I'll eat a steak, but I wouldn't want to see the cow before it's dead. Leather no longer resembles an animal, but fur does.

That being said, the only fur I wear is the super-warm blanket that covers me while I watch tv at night... you know, until she sees the cat run across the room and gets up.

jax said...

nope.

just because they didn't know better back then doesn't mean i need to be an asshole to feel close to a relative.

the difference between fur and meat is all in how it is treated. we may not like the meat industry or agree with eating animals but at least it's not raising and killing animals solely for fucking fashion.

Ol Cranky said...

I have to be honest, my aversion to fur (from childhood on) was always because I thought they were an ostentatious display of wealth. My mother was gifted with a mink coat when her very wealthy cousin died and it was passed to me earlier this year after my parents died. I had no idea you could donate them to animals, I ended up passing it on to a cousin who I knew would wear it and appreciate it on a sentimental level (she loved my mom).

Interplanet Janet said...

I would sell it and use the proceeds to make a donation in my grandmother's name to a wildlife organization. If I could get enough money out of it, I'd set up a small endowment named for my grandmother for the benefit of a wildlife org.

Ms Cool said...

Ugh. I have one of those fox stole clips from my grandma. It is at my mom's and I could never wear it and wish I could give that poor fox its life back.

Reel Blog said...

I definitely couldn't wear it but love the idea of donating it for an animal blanket.

Jaiden_S said...

My grandmother did give me two fur capes. I've never worn either of them, but I do wear a fur collar she gave me.

The Black Cat said...

they have to be well taken care of during the summer months - put in cold storage, otherwise the pelts will dry out. It's easy to forget so the chances of the pelts being in good condition over time would be slim.

The Bitch Next Door said...

I have Granny's 1970's full length off-white mink which I use as a couch throw...my cats luv lounging on it. I'd never wear a fur coat in public but I guess some celebs still do when they're at SUNDANCE.

pdj said...

Those poor animals are long dead, it would be wasteful not to wear a warm coat. lol

hamster party said...

I would never wear it. Just by wearing fur in public, vintage or not, makes it more socially acceptable. Someone will see it, want it, and buy a new one - perpetrating the cycle of death. If you've never looked into the fur trade or fur industry, you should - its shocking.

While the mechanism of destroying the animal to get it's skin is different between points of history and now, it is a fact that many animal species have been to the brink of extinction and gone extinct due to human greed and wealth over life. Seals, jaguars, ocelots, and tigers just to name a few who have been greatly destroyed by this disgusting desire.

If I were given a fur coat, I would give it to my pets to sit on and destroy, something slightly more natural than the sick preservation of death that humans are so keen to continue.

lunabelle said...

I think it is honoring the animal to wear the fur rather than stick it in a closet to mold.

I don't understand why it is okay to have an inherited fur Teddy but not to wear an inherited fur coat?

I wear leather and eat meat and I wear inherited fur. I would not buy a new fur but I honor the ones I have inherited from my Grandmother and mother.

RocketQueen said...

Oh good lord. People, spend 5 minutes googling "mink fur farms" or Chinese raccoon dog fur farms and you'll see why fur is so horrific. Personally, I don't eat meat and try to abstain from all animal products, but for those of you claiming fur is a side product or an offshoot of the meat industry, you are so far off it's laughable. These animals are raised and bred in cages and usually killed by anal electrocution or drowning, so as not to damage the pelts. While I don't eat meat for my own reasons, I honestly believe the animals on those farms are dealing with horrific suffering far beyond those animals even on factory farms. They are stuffed in cages, live in their own feces, and often go mad, chewing off their own limbs. I'd rather you all eat meat (ideally from small farms where you know the conditions) than ever buy anything made from fur.

And with regards to leather, seriously - do us all a favour and watch Earthlings. A large majority of leather comes from a certain type of cow bred specifically for that purpose, where the meat is not used. The type of cow escapes me now, but I assure you, your friendly neighbourhood factory farmer isn't dealing leather on the side.

Salon deWinchester said...

I don't want to wade into the whole meat versus leather versus whatever debate. That said, I don't get the rationale expressed in some comments that inplies donating or repurposing fur so that other animals can loll around on it rehabilitates it and makes it "ok".

alex said...

I have my grandmother's fur cape, as well as a velvet coat with fur collar and a fur stole, all of which I have worn a handful of times total. I have also loaned them out. Now if I had an endless supply of money, maybe I would have gone out and purchased a cold weather, formal coat to wear the time I've needed them, but I don't, and no one is offering to buy them for me. While I wouldn't currently buy them, I see nothing wrong with wearing something inherited.

Aside from that these items were my grandmother's. I remember her wearing them. I have pictures of her and my grandfather out on the town and she's wearing them. Seeing them, feeling them, reminds me of her, and quite frankly the rest of my family, all of whom are dead. I don't have a lot of family mementos, but they are some of them.

ardleigh said...

My Irish Nana had a seal fur coat direct from Ireland. My sister or I could have after she passed. We refused it. I have a tea cup she handed me and told me to think of her when I drank from it.

Thinking of those poor seals. I'd have cried everytime I saw it.

surfer said...

Thank you Susan.

I inherited my mother's mink coat, which she inherited from her mother; as well, I have my own fur coat (which was a gift). I haven't worn my coat in years, nor have I worn my mother's/grandmother's. Like others have said, these animals died long ago, so I really have no guilt about owning them.

I've known many people in the fur industry, but I also respect those who wouldn't wear fur.

Everyone does what's good for them, and personally, what people choose to wear or not wear is none of my concern.

shelly said...

I too have my grandmother's mink- I think every southern family has a hereditary fur of some sort. It's really too hot to wear down here; Texas has given up on winter. If there was an occasion to wear it I would, no question. It has an Edwardian/Art Deco feel to it and it is fabulous!

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

I remember being a very little girl and thinking those fox furs where the mouth would clip onto the tail were so spiffy, but now?...um, no. I'd never buy new fur, but while I probably wouldn't wear it, I don't have quite as many moral objections to vintage fur, and understand why people might want to wear it, whether for sentimental reasons or from wanting to honor the animals (since it's far too late to do anything else for them...).

One of my oldest friends still has her mom's sealskin coat from the late '30s, and was wearing it in the '80s; it had gone through several re-linings, but it was something she very much treasured for its association with her mom, and since the latter has been gone for 15 years or so, probably even more so now, although I don't think she's actually worn it in years.

Someone else I knew back in the mid-'80s was given a wolf fur coat (I kid you not) by her semi-estranged father, which put her in a dreadful quandry--she didn't want to wear it out and about, and felt terrible for the animal, but at the same time she couldn't give it back, and living in Boston, she was desperately in need of a warm coat...in the end, she used it as an extra layer on her bed in her barely-heated apartment, thus keeping her from freezing to death some nights, although she still felt guilty for the wolf's sake.

Anyway, I'm afraid I'm still an omnivore who wears leather shoes, purses and coats; I know various man-made materials can be used instead, but then you get into issues of pollution, using valuable petroleum resources, etc. etc. etc. In the end, I suppose we all just have to pick our battles, and remember just how interconnected life is on so many levels...

lutefisk said...

When my grandmother passed away I inherited her Persian lamb jacket trimmed in mink. I was the smallest grand daughter and when my mother and aunt were dividing up her possessions they gave it to me because I was the best match size wise. I wore it a few times just to feel the closeness to her, now it is hanging in my basement.
My brother-in-law's father was a furrier. I used to go to the factory as a kid whenever someone in the family was getting a new fur. All I wanted growing up was a nice wool coat like everyone else had. Instead my mother had a muskrat coat made for me. Why? Because we were able to buy furs wholesale. I hated that coat. When my sister's mother-in-law moved to Florida she gave my sister seven fur coats. For some reason I ended up with a mink jacket from her. It is sitting in my basement next to my grandmother's coat. They keep each other company.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

(My favorite kind of fur just came over to nudge my arm and purr at me...my tortoiseshell cat, Jezebel, has the most beautiful coat, and it's all natural and all hers. :-)

DixieTheNoble82 said...

I'd rock the sh*t out of an old fur coat without a second thought. This is probably why I shouldn't/don't own too nice of things.

bouncergirl said...

My great grandfather was a furrier. My great grandmother consequently had some gorgeous furs, mostly made out of leftover skins, but still beautifully made. I inherited all of them because, as a toddler, I loved to wrap myself in them whenever we visited.

Those furs are over 100 years old. I wear the mink stole often (it's soft and really keeps me warm)(and it freaks people out, which I enjoy). I don't wear the seal skin (it's too delicate for wear and, frankly, does creep me out a little---although I love how soft it is). I don't wear the lamb's wool and mink jackets (I have two) because they are just too out of style.

Do I feel guilty about owning them? Absolutely not. My great grandfather's skills allowed him to earn enough money to leave Russia before the Revolution, come to America, find a wife, have a family, and send three daughters to college. Those furs are my connection to a piece of family history and I will wear the ones I can, love the ones I can't, and pass them all on to the next generation.

caydian said...

Wouldn't bother me. I'd wear it and feel closer to my grandma, knowing how much she loved it. Unfortunately, Texas winters are basically sweater weather so it's a moot point.

Alicia said...

Haha I've been struggling with that one for the last 8 years. I have a full length mink and a waist cut fox fur my grandma left me. Along with some jewels I put away. The coats have remained in a back closet for years. I guess I keep them for sentimental value? I nor my daughter is interested in wearing fur. But if a really really rainy day ever comes.. Sigh.. Not sure if I'd ever sell .. I've had plenty of rainy days too..

Wil said...

Day late on this one .. but I would wear it .. if I wasn't allergic. I have a mink coat and a mink hat that I got from my Grandmother. I just can't wear them.

I live in a - normally - frozen north. F*ck PC .. I like to stay warm. If I could wear fur .. I would. However, as it stands with global climate change .. looks like Minneapolis is turning into the Chicago of my childhood .. I won't need to worry about it. A nice heavy duty windbreaker will likely become the winter coat of the day!

Lelaina Pierce said...

I wouldn't keep the fur, no. I did inherit a leather jacket from my grandmother, who bought it decades ago in the UK.

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