It’s impossible to explain the importance of a fur coats in a woman’s wardrobe in the 1940s. Simply put, it was the definition of elegance.
People weren’t worried about PETA or the treatment of animals or the cruelty of trapping. After all, humans have been wearing pelts and furs for thousands of years.
These furs were crafted with pride. They were great for year-after-year use. The pelts were typically hand selected by experts who had in-depth knowledge of dollar for dollar value of the fur. They chose furs that were full-furred, supple, strong, good in color and texture.
The furs in the mid 1940s were very styled. They featured full-draped swaggers, wide-armhole sleeves, dramatic extended shoulders, turn back cuffs, cardigan necklines and saddle shoulders.
The better coats were made to strict specification to assure lasting wear. Things like superior blending, matching of skins, use of more skins per coat, seams reinforced at points of stress, fine linings, interlining, quality trimmings and a good finish were what made the difference between a good and bad fur coat.
A lot of women couldn’t afford the most desirable furs: beaver, leopard, lynx, etc. So they would get lamb skin that was processed to look like beaver (Mouton Lamb) and they would dye pelts to look like leopard or lynx.
There were many different types of fur coats, so I decided to take a slice out of 1945 to give you a glimpse of what fur coats were like in the mid 1940s. Enjoy!
Fine Hollander-Dyed Marmot Fur Coat
Saddle Shoulder Tuxedo Coat gives her the luxury of glowing lustrous mink-brown marmot in superb Hollander-dyed skins and the easy grace of full, rippling lines. Unusual saddle detailing lends shoulder interest, full draped sleeves have turn-back cuffs. Deep armholes slide easily over suits. Converts to closed tiny rounded collar style. Rayon lined. $202.80 in 1945.
Natural Muskrat Box Coat
A favorite for wear, warmth in silvery Southern Muskrat flanks, with pale tan overtones. Casual, young in spirit — has stunning tuxedo front, soft shirred yoke effect shoulders, wide sleeves with turn-back cuffs. Rayon lined. $190.80 in 1945.
Beaver-dyed Mouton Lamb Tuxedo
Young and dashing, this coat can really take wear. She’ll toss it over suits or wear it closed and prize it rugged warmth. Deep textured, dark silvery brown lambskin processed to resemble expensive sheared beaver with wide sleeves and deep armholes and stunning wide cuffs. Rayon lined. $130.80 in 1945.
Box Coat with Turn-Back Cuffs
In brown sable-dyed coney, this fur coat is made for practical, general wear. Smartly simple with an attractive plain shoulder, wide turn-back cuffs and a small rounded collar that can be buttoned high, this fur coat is also rayon lined. This one had two different styles of pelts: good quality and better quality. The difference was the blending – the denser the better.
Saddle Shoulder Swagger
A wise investment in excellent wear, snug warmth and smart stle. Prime, full-furred conet skins dyed brown and striped like fabulous sable, are exceptionally durable. Tuxedo swagger has new saddle shoulders and turn back cuffs. Rayon lined. This one also came in two different qualities. $70.80 for good and $94.80 for better in 1945.
Fitted Princess Fur Coat
In dyed Coney, a real fashion gift in the popular new shade, lovely platinum blue gray, the talked about high fashion in furs. Gay, small-waisted, flaring silhouette is youthfully smart, shows off a beautifully worked border treatment, lavish rippling full sleeves. Pointed collar can button high too. Rayon lined. Only $82.80 in 1945.
Platinum Gray Dyed Coney
Any girl would love these sikly soft skins, so flattering in that new platinum blue-gray. Clever new “stroller” style with unusual border treatment, very wearable for all occasions, dressy or casual. Like all the others in this era, it has deep armhole sleevs and a simple shoulder. Cardigan style, rayon lined. $82.80 in 1945.
Leopard Stencilled Coney (pictured at top)
With mouton lamb trim, a stroller for the girl who loves drama! Sleek, smart, almost a twin for expensive leopard. Sharply patterned dark markings on creamy tan dyed coney. Lavish turn back cuffs and tuxedo panels of rich dark brown mouton (lamb processed to resemble beaver). COnverts to cardigan swagger. $138 in 1945.
Lynx-dyed Alpine Lamb (pictured at top)
So luxuriously soft and flattering, this versatile cardigan stroller will make a girl feel like a fashion magazine ad. Long-haired, silky white alpine lamb skins with the dark markings characteristic of costly lynx. Smart braided rayon cord accents the neckline attractively. The cord ties and hooks in front. $70.80 in 1945.
Of course, you can find these types of coats all over eBay.