Wearing fur was enormously popular in from the 1920s through the 1950s and remained very much mainstream (and aspirational) fashion until the 80s. While I don't condone the modern slaughter of animals for their fur, wearing vintage fur is a way cherishing these beautiful items and I love the glimpse into our society’s history that it offers. Times have changed and “new fur” is less and less acceptable but we can still enjoy a wonderful range of vintage fur. With this in mind I wanted to provide a guide to the different types of vintage fur, how to identify them and what they looked like. It's worth noting that all of these gorgeous and unique items are available to buy on The Best Vintage Clothing and there is currently a half price sale on all fur coats!  If you would like to find out more about any of the items pictured below just click on them.


Mink is a flattish fur, long narrow pelts, abundance of guard hairs, very shiny wet look, hard-wearing, expensive, wild or farmed, more abundant guard hairs than musquash, strong pile, variety of colours. Vintage Genuine Mink Poodle Brooch 1950s Rhinestones Vintage Stole Dark Brown Mink Fur Pollack’s Mink Farm Extra Long AND Lovely Vintage Mink Stole Autumn Haze Mink Shawl Collar 1950S Vintage Ladies Pringle Cashmere Sweater w/ Mink Collar Cream 1950s


Fox fur is naturally a rich,russet colour, wild or farmed, variety of colours. A dense fluffy coat, common. Full pelts used as stoles very popular in 1930's and 40's complete with head and feet. Please note that the 'silver' fox is very dark brown with silver guard hairs and is often confused with the 'blue' which is almost white. Vintage Mottled Beige Suede Trench Coat Fox Collar 1970S Medium Vintage Long Fur Hat Large Size Ladies Huge Fedora 1960s Vintage Dark Brown Full Fox Fur Wrap/Scarf 1930S Celluloid Clip Vintage Fox w/Raccoon Fur Maxi Coat Circa 1990s w/ Matching Hat Paul Magder Furs


Beaver fur can be dyed or natural (usually natural for vintage items). Glossy and hard wearing. Antique Mens Stove Pipe Hat w Box 1880s JH Windsor Vintage Sack Coat Canadian Beaver Mink Collar 1950s Swears & Wells Large


Silky soft, abundance shiny longish guard hairs, a bit like a domestic cat to the touch, not a very strong pile, variety of colours, usually farm bred but may be wild. Vintage Black Sheared Rabbit Fur Short Jacket 1930's Velvety Soft Vintage Rust Brown Red Rabbit Parka Coat 1970S


Muskrat (or Musquash) are slightly larger pelts than mink, shiny guard hair but not so abundant as mink - the base fur can be seen clearly, not as hard-wearing as mink and in vintage item sometimes goes bald on well used areas like collars and pockets. The undercoat lumps together slightly.
Vintage Stole Blonde Muskrat Fur Vogue Inc 1950s Beauty & Unusual Color One Size Vintage Swing Coat Muskrat Fur Extreme 1940s Big Shoulders Vogue Shop M


Sable is usually Russian, similar to mink, shiny, natural dark tan colour, very expensive, trapped. extremely hard wearing
Vintage Coat Early 1920’S Textured Black Velvet


Raccoon is fox-like fur, naturally dark brown, tails have golden rings and are often used for trimmings
Vintage Ladies Raccoon Coat 1970S Christian Dior Full Length Size M Vintage Ladies Raccoon Fur Bucket Hat 1970s 22 1/2
Thanks to the eBay guide to identifying furs and The Vintage Fashion Guild. If you would like more information on this topic I would recommend their sites.