How do I use these snaps on my vintage fur stole?
October 12, 2017 9:21 AM   Subscribe

I bought a vintage mink stole about a year ago and I finally have a chance to wear it to a formal wedding we are attending this weekend. It has some interior snaps that I don't understand. Can you explain? I am perfectly content to wear it as is, but I am curious about what these snaps are supposed to be for! Here's the stole. And here are the snaps. Pic 1 and Pic 2. Thanks for any advice!
posted by chatongriffes to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total)
Could you snap the ends up and make little muffs?
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:25 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Possibly there was originally a coat this could attach to, to make a collar. I've seen similar coat/stole combos, the coat is usually wool.
posted by padraigin at 9:27 AM on October 12 [12 favorites]

To me, it looks like they snap up, so the end can be rounded under, rather than flat.

Or maybe you can pull one corner up and snap to the snap kitty-corner from it, so as to form a point?
posted by hydra77 at 9:32 AM on October 12

Oh, these are good thoughts! So, the snaps do cause the ends to fold up on themselves, but the resulting pocket is too narrow for a hand, so I think it's not a muff. Changing the shape is an interesting idea. It does allow it to shorten the stole or make the ends into points.

The other thought I had was that perhaps it was intended to create a loop that you pass the other end through, like a looped scarf, but the loops are too small and scrunch the other side oddly.
posted by chatongriffes at 9:39 AM on October 12

for a liner of some kind?
posted by sammyo at 9:41 AM on October 12

If all else fails, how about taking it to a local furrier? Surely they've seen every way possible to wear a stole, plus maybe you could get tips on caring for it. (But I do agree with padraigin that maybe it was an accessory piece to a coat.)
posted by easily confused at 9:44 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]

I have a ~1940's coat that has snaps that I always assumed were for a stole. Now, looking at yours, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what it is. Off to scour the vintage shops.
posted by coldbabyshrimp at 10:05 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Can they snap into this shape? I'm bad at spatial stuff so it is hard for me to tell, but that is a classic way to wear a stole, kind of crossed over and secured.
posted by zoetrope at 10:10 AM on October 12

It's a built in muff to keep your hands warm.
posted by wwax at 10:41 AM on October 12

This isn't the type of fur you'd wear as a collar on a coat. It's possible these snaps turn the stole into a shrug, either with sleeves or you snap those pieces together to go around your back like this, sort of. Have you experimented with wearing it that way?

Edit: It might also fit like this.

The nice part is, it's vintage and we simply don't wear clothes the same way we used to. Whichever way looks best on you is how you should wear it!
posted by Miss T.Horn at 11:00 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

I love it! It's so nice. Even if it doesn't look like a collar, it could certainly have been an accent piece for a specific coat.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:25 PM on October 12

In the pictures on this old pattern, the top right image shows the cape draped and curled under itself in a way I can't quite parse. The pattern appears to be for a stole in the same shape as yours, and claims that there are five ways to wear it, so it possible that the piece was made with some quite complex folding and tucking in mind.

My other thought was that perhaps there were built in mittens or muffs or pockets that could be detached for easier cleaning.
posted by DSime at 2:28 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]

Belt loops?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 5:41 PM on October 12

You use the snaps to make a loop then stick your arms in the loop. It's show on the front of that pattern. Remember- don't underestimate how incredibly tiny a lot of women were back then- we had a bunch of these laying around when I was a kid inherited or left at the house by various great aunts etc and they fit us 10 year olds quite well.
posted by fshgrl at 10:18 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]

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