This coat belonged to my great-gran.  It probably hasn’t been worn for 50 years.  So I’m wondering…  if the fur is real but vintage is it ok to transform it into an incredible gilet?  Thoughts?


images – Pinterest (probably not vintage)

One thing I know for sure we’ll all agree on?  This little guy’s fur coat.


FYI: I once watched the first 10 seconds of a fur farm video. That 10 seconds was so utterly horrible that I still remember it vividly years later.  Please always, always question where new fur has come from.



  1. 29 Nov / 10:13 am

    I have worn my nana’s fur stole on occasion. I do feel torn about it, because on the one hand it is vintage, it was made in a different time, and hey, the animal would have died of old age by now anyway. But then, I do worry – by wearing it, am I glamourising real fur? Would someone else see it who doesn’t happen to have a family piece hanging in the wardrobe and go out and buy new fur to recreate the look? (Not that I’m aware of anyone ever trying to “recreate my look”, but hey, you never know…). It’s a tricky one. For now, I’ll wear it on special occasions, but be sure to mention it’s vintage to anyone who asks.

    The second part of your question, whether it’s ok to transform it into a fabulous gilet? I have to give that one a big fat thumbs down. In the 60s, my nana transformed her fur coat from a beautiful full-length piece of pure glamour to a short, shapeless coat because that’s what was fashionable, and I’ve always thought it was a crying shame. Tread very, very carefully with altering vintage pieces, especially family herilooms – there’s no repairing the damage once fur gilets stop being in fashion (which, let’s face it, they definitely will).

    Mr K’s coat definitely wins, though.

    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:16 pm

      I completely agree with you about feeling torn – that’s just how I feel too – are we inadvertently doing damage just by wearing fur as fashion, vintage or not?
      The problem with not altering the coat is that it is too big for me, and was for my mum and for my gran – think my great-gran was a whole lotta woman…

  2. Diane
    29 Nov / 10:24 am

    Your Great-Gran’s Fur Coat is stunning and definitely deserves the ‘Vintage’ title… Please, please, please do not turn this into a gilet!! I agree – It would be a crying shame for you to cut it up and transform it into a limited piece… It’s stylish and fashionable as it is and has been for 50 years!!

    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:17 pm

      Agreed and with the belt it seems to create shape (I added the belt myself) but sadly it is far too broad in the shoulder for me so I could only wear it Snoop Dogg over the shoulder stylee!

    • Yellow Rose
      30 Nov / 2:49 pm

      I agree…….I wouldn’t turn the coat into a vest/gilet. It truly is beautiful and sentimental. If you live in a very cold area, I would wear it if others are wearing fur coats. Otherwise, I would display it on a wall or closet door, as a memory of your dear great-grandmother.

      • Thankfifi
        30 Nov / 4:22 pm

        I think the coat is destined to stay as a coat. Seems I am alone in my wish to alter it and honestly I’m still uncertain that wearing it would be right for me anywyay…

  3. 29 Nov / 10:37 am

    I just think it’s wrong in so many ways to even wear the coat, yes I know you will say it’s a waste but that animal was skined and died for the wrong reasons. If you wear a coat you’re encouraging people to test on animals and influencing on people to go out and buy fur coat.

    Yeah its stunning and very fashionable but we’re trying to ban this sort of stuff these days.

    Hope you understand x

    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:18 pm

      I certainly understand, this is my dilemma. I disagree about it encouraging animal testing but completely see the angle that it could encourage people to buy new fur. In some ways it seems crazy that current designers still use fur but then on the other hand we can only hope the source it ethically (if there is such a thing).

  4. 29 Nov / 11:27 am

    I don’t think I can comment on fur as I wear leather shoes and bags, although I find fur icky. Weird I know! Maybe because it’s so hot here I can’t imagine ever needing it, haha!

    I think you should keep that coat as-is though – such a family heirloom it’s so classic the way it is.

    It’s your coat and your body to clothe how you want though, so take everyone else’s opinions with a pinch of salt. 🙂


    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:20 pm

      Thanks Mica – I think it’s so different with leather because we assume it to be a by-product of the animal whereas fur is often just for fur sake.

    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:20 pm

      I suspect in it’s day it was not a cheap coat, no…

  5. 29 Nov / 1:45 pm

    Don’t do it. I have a fur from my Gram and I thought of doing that and I literally couldn’t bring myself to and mine is not anywhere near as nice as yours..it’s GORGEOUS as is!
    Sheree xxx

    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:21 pm

      If only it fit me… what makes this such a shame is that it has not fit the last 3 generations in my family so it’s just been lying in a closet…

  6. 29 Nov / 2:01 pm

    Real fur should only stay alive. I love mr K’s and that’s about it. <3

    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:21 pm

      I think we will all agree that Mr K’s is the best sort of fur coat 🙂

    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:22 pm

      thank you – wish I had a shot of my great-gran wearing it

  7. Emma
    29 Nov / 5:44 pm

    I could never bring myself to wear real fur, even if it was old. I have nothing against other people doing it in principle since the animal already died anyway,but I just don’t like the feel of it! I have 2 faux fur jackets that I love but there’s just something wrong to me about the feel of real fur without a warm body inside it, can’t stand touching it! I think killing for new fur is appauling when there are such nice fakes these days. I wear leather but I feel like that’s different being a by-product from meat farming, whereas fur is literally just to make a coat x

    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:26 pm

      I don’t believe real fur is always literally just to make a coat – rabbit fur for example, often rabbits are killed as they are considered vermin and then the fur is made use of. Of course though this is not rabbit fur, in fact there is no label so I have no idea.
      That being said, I completely understand your point of view but also wonder why is it ok to kill an animal if it is for many uses but not if just for one?
      I believe it is more about the process and if the animal is killed humanely. Even as I write that and read it back though it does not sit well with me… Although the same could be said of eating meat.

  8. 29 Nov / 5:51 pm

    I remember one time me and my hubby went to a thrift store, and I was really loving a vintage fur coat there, I asked my hubby:” should I get the coat? it’s real fur, and it’s vintage, 2nd hand…”, and he said:” well…it’s still from a animal , as long as you pay for it, there will be still animal die for it…”….I didn’t get the coat at the end, and I am loving my faux fur coat..

    • Thankfifi
      29 Nov / 6:27 pm

      I can see his point of view. I really sit on the fence on this one. This coat though is already in my family so perhaps it should just be made use of. I wonder if anyone even gave it a thought 50 years ago?

  9. Ailise
    29 Nov / 8:25 pm


    I have to admit I’ve been eyeing up my mums fur for years, it’s been hiding in the attic.

    I don’t support killing for fur but back then people didn’t fully understand what really happened (or perhaps want to understand ) the animals. When the truth came out everyone hid them away.

    After years of consideration I came to the conclusion the time the jacket was made was a different time to now. I would never buy new fur but what is leaving it in the attic going to achieve.

    So… I wore it last weekend and I love it. People may hate me for it but on me or off me it won’t change what’s happened and I am not going out an buying new fur. I’m not supporting killing animals.

    It feels great to bring a treasured item of my mums, which she hid in fear, back out and wear it thinking back to the 70s!


    • Thankfifi
      30 Nov / 8:15 am

      this is what seems so sad to me – for it to be there anyway and not be worn

  10. Laura
    29 Nov / 8:55 pm

    I think we could probably think more about how all our clothes are made and whether they are made humanely. The recent tragic fire in Bangladesh that killed over 100 workers, shows that labour rights (and also child labour issues) are rife in the textile industry, and this includes most of the big brands.

    There are lots of NGOs monitoring clothing companies – you can find out more at

    While I understand people’s passion for animal rights I hope that this would also translate to human rights.

    On the fur question I have worn my gran’s fur coat to couple of functions. I think it was made about 50 years ago when things were different and it would be a shame to throw it out. Not sure I would be game to cut it up though – you could probably get a tailor to alter it so that it looks the same by the shoulders are narrowed (although this might be pricey!)


    • Thankfifi
      30 Nov / 8:18 am

      an interesting point you raise about human rights – I think nowadays we are quick to assume (or not even consider) who is making our clothes and under what conditions

  11. Gaylesbury
    29 Nov / 10:19 pm

    I kinda think what’s done is done, you can’t undo it, so wear it with pride, it is a family heirloom and should be worn! Would you feel any different if it was s leather handbag? I know, it’s a tricky one. Gaylesbury.
    P.S. Think you’ll need your fur coat this weekend, it’s FREEZING!!! Quite literally! x

    • Gaylesbury
      29 Nov / 10:26 pm


      • Thankfifi
        30 Nov / 8:20 am

        Freezing here too! I suppose the leather issue is different because we assume the animal for leather has been killed humanely whereas sometimes fur this is not so. Perhaps we should really be questioning where any animal product came from and how. Wish there was some approved stamp that could appear on labels…

  12. Kate Wilson
    29 Nov / 10:51 pm

    NO. Couldn’t contemplate ever wearing it. Considering that fur is slowly making a come back again into the fashion world of today to wear any type of fur can only lend itself to glamorising the garments and promoting the barbaric fur trade. Just say NO! Vintage or not.

    • Thankfifi
      30 Nov / 8:21 am

      I see your point and do find it kind of incredible that new collections are featuring fur pieces. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how these new fur pieces are obtained.

  13. 1 Dec / 3:54 pm

    Wendy, I work in a charity shop and we get a couple of furs in every month. We’re not allowed sell on the shop floor but often people come in and ask or vintage shops contact us to buy them. I think they are beautiful and if I had one as a family heirloom, I’d wear it, tho would likely not admit it was real! As long as faux fur is in fashion, real flu will be too – for the look, not for the realness, if you see what I mean! If I were you, I’d totally get it altered. No point in is sitting unworn. Go to a really good fur expert and they’ll make it amazing and it’ll probably actually look less like a real fur because it will be more on trend as a gilet. Ax

    • Thankfifi
      7 Dec / 8:30 am

      Hooray – someone that agrees it should be altered. I think the problem may be that there is just too much controversy around real fur and whilst I am uncertain where I sit with it it’s probably best if I don’t wear it for now…

  14. 3 Dec / 4:43 pm

    I own a rabbit fur jacket that I have never worn (it was a gift from my mother) and 2 leather jackets that I do still wear and love and take care of and I cannot feel guilty over due to eating meat (not so much now but I still do). I will say that I understand hunting and wearing fur but the means it is done today with such greed and cruelty is disgusting. I may eventually take a photo of me in the white rabbit fur jacket but i’m not sure. I have never felt ok in it. Thanks mother for that gift.


    • Thankfifi
      7 Dec / 8:31 am

      I have a rabbit fur jacket also Poppie but I don’t feel the same way about wearing that one (it was also second hand actually but from a friend who bought it in Zara!) – I don’t think rabbits are farmed for fur in the same way but there is a large chance I am wrong…

  15. 6 Dec / 4:24 am

    I wear vintage fur and I made my peace with that decision. I wouldn’t buy new one, but then again…I do buy new leather shoes and jackets, eat meat etc…
    I think vintage fur is the least of those evils.

    • Thankfifi
      6 Dec / 9:58 pm

      I would be inclined to agree with you and think vintage fur is certainly not the worst. For now though, the coat is going back to my mum’s closet…

  16. 11 Dec / 9:19 pm

    As much as that coat is divine as it is, a gillet is much more ‘Wendy’!!

    I’m vegetarian & don’t use products tested on animals or wear fur or leather. For me it’s a no brainer. Animals are NOT fashion. End off. Personally I don’t like humans using animals as objects to make use off however we see fit, be that as food, fashion or lab equipment. Unfortunately many (a GREAT many) vintage coats are filled out using dog and cat hair. I’m sitting with my two cats on my knee right now & it makes me well up thinking about it!

    People will argue that the animal is already dead & the resulting coat might as well have its destiny fulfilled kind of thing. By that logic though, a fur coat made yesterday is from animal which is already dead & can no longer be saved. For me it’s more about projecting an image to people around you. Wearing a fur coat basically says that animal cruelty is ok as long as the resulting coat is so very lovely. The fashion & beauty industry has lived by its own bizarre moral code for far too long as it plays on our vanity. If we are all really really honest with ourselves that’s all it comes down too. We want people to look at us and think, oh wow her coat is amazing. Animals slaughteredfor that? Now or at any point in the past? I can’t stomach it.


    • Thankfifi
      12 Dec / 12:05 am

      The fur is going into retirement again for now Lisa – I think I came to a lot of the same conclusions

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