Nowadays we wouldn't be seen dead in a real fur stole, but as history shows there was a time when the fur stole would be seen as the ultimate status symbol. Time's moved on, and today we opt for the more friendly faux fur option for our stylish stoles, but when did the stole come into fashion, and how has it evolved into the faux fur stoles that we adorn today.
Fur's in fashion were somewhat of a status symbol, to be seen wearing a fur coat was to state one's nobility and class status, becoming a trend that was high in demand during the late 19th century. Coats were naturally in fashion as the ultimate winter wear and fashionable accessory, but it would be some years before the stole was created.
It wasn't until the 20th century that fur stoles would become the must have accessory, with many designers introducing stoles to their collections, a simple length of fur that was thrown over the shoulders, occasionally fastened with a decorative brooch, or left to drape over one's shoulders. Worn more for fashionable purposes than for warmth, but this accessory would soon become the must have item amongst the elite.
Whether it was draped over the arms of a Hollywood starlet, or a member of the Royal family, the stole was certainly making waves, with all manner of styles and shapes being created, some would seem awfully garish to us today; with fox heads still attached, but at the time it was all about making a statement with your outfit.
The important thing to remember with fur is that at the time, little was understood about it's origins, or the manner in which most fur items were created, today we wouldn't dream of wearing a real fur stole, but in the 1920's it was a common occurrence, and one which stayed in many wardrobes for the following decades.
Whilst the fur stole was at a time, a status symbol, today it's become more of an accessible accessory, made of a faux fur; a fabric made from synthetic material that's been designed to resemble fur. Cut in similar shapes, and styles to the fur stoles of the past, the modern day stole may take it's style inspiration from the 1920's and 1930's, but it retains a very modern, animal friendly, approach.
The use of faux fur even enables us to have stoles in all manner of colours and styles, from lush dark red long pile fur, to a leopard print patterned short pile fur, and even a wistful baby blue faux fur. Today's faux fur stoles are much more accessible, with a variety of prices and styles on the market, that even on the tightest of budgets you can still pick up a faux fur stole on the high street to update any outfit.
Time has certainly moved on, and whilst there's no mistaking the classic glamour of the early 20th century, it's wonderful to see that it's been updated into a more modern, animal friendly style.
Images: Flickr Commons & Outsiderzone | Dreamstime.com.