The Summer Muff: 1907, 1909


Cecil Beaton gave Audrey Hepburn an immense chiffon muff as part of her Ascot costume.

Cecil Beaton gave Audrey Hepburn an immense chiffon muff as part of her Ascot costume.


London, Aug. 16. Summer society is startled over a new fad. It is the wearing of muffs in August.

All the smart set feels bound to imitate, and costumers are inking large orders, for the fad was started by Queen Alexandra. She set the fashion by wearing the first of the summer muffs at the opening of the university college school.

“The fad will become the most popular of the season,” said a Bond street merchant. “It is not only a pretty idea, but also very serviceable. The muff is very light and contains a small pocket, just large enough to hold a handkerchief and a purse. In this age of pocketless gowns that point has its advantages.”

From the description of the costumer the muff is a very dainty creation. It is made of flowers, feathers and chiffon, and must match the ruffle and toque with which it is worn.

Muff, ruffle and toque come in sets. One of the prettiest of these is the flower petal set. Over a light body of tulle or chiffon dainty petals of imitation flowers are scattered and attached with a single thread. “The tulle and the petals are always in contrasting shades,” said the costumer. “Apple blossom petals are placed on lavender-colored tulle, while apricot tulle is sewn with the petals of the white rose.” Every little breeze causes the petals to dance in an attractive manner.

Grand Rapids [MI] Press 16 August 1907: p. 12



“Vigee le Brun” a Fashionable Novelty In Paris.

One of the fashionable novelties of women’s attire this season will be summer muffs, or, rather, a scarf and muff, which is dignified by the name of “Vigee le Brun,” the famous woman artist of the revolution. The style consists of a wide chiffon scarf worn on, not off, the shoulders and a large chiffon muff which buries the arms to the elbows. The “Vigee le Brun” scarf and muff will be made of an entirely different shade of chiffon from the dress and will generally match the hat.

The scarf must be very wide, but so soft that it will crumple up into the smallest space, and must be bordered with an accordion plaited frill. The muff must be as large as a feather pillowcase, edged also with frills and adorned with a large bow of soft satin ribbon.

Daily Herald [Biloxi, MS] 3 July 1909: p. 4

The Summer Muff

With the lace hat and scarf Frenchwomen now wear a marvel of muff elegance to add to their grace and to do duty as a vanity bag. These wide, flat affairs are made of mousseline, chiffon or marquisette—anything diaphanous—and colored like the gown or scarf. Although they are pleated and shirred into the semblance of a muff, they do not convey the idea of warmth, but only of novelty and airy grace.

Augusta [GA] Chronicle 6 June 1909:  p. 28

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  Mrs Daffodil imagines these confections in chiffon and mousseline as large, flat boudoir pillows with pockets. Vigee le Brun refers, of course, to Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, the exceedingly popular portrait painter—she of the notorious Marie Antoinette chemise a la reine portrait. Possibly the association of “Le Brun” and “muff” arose from her charming portrait of Madame Molé-Reymond (1786)

madame mole reymond



1 thought on “The Summer Muff: 1907, 1909

  1. Pingback: Moleskin: A Unique Fur Once Favoured by British High Society

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